Iced Earth

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Black Thunder said:
You stubborn non-believers probably never heard Gettysburg. :ninja:

There are bad tracks on it, I admit, but Waterloo, Valley Forge, Declaration Day, Hollow Man & Red Baron are all great. Really great war-themed album.
Gettysburg is excluded. Backing vocals are allowed in those songs.

And I love Gettysburg. The entire Glorious Burden is very good but there are some fillers (filler sections. Not really entire songs), too much backing vocals, and some atrocious lyrics. Red Baron isn't Ripper's finest lyrical moment.

Besides. It's the first album I heard with Ripper. He's in my top 5 and I listen a lot to him.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I'm listening to Gettysburg right now. My first IE song. It's amazing. Getting an Iced Earth album is on my to-do list.
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
Black Thunder said:
You stubborn non-believers probably never heard Gettysburg. :ninja:

It's a good song, no question. Some impressive moments here and there. But I just can't understand how people think it even has a chance of standing up to masterpieces such as Travel in Stygian, A Question of Heaven (and mostly the entire Suffering trilogy) or what may be one of the most underrated tracks ever, When the Night Falls.

If I had to make up an attribute to describe Gettysburg, I guess I would say it is "over-composed". It just has too much going on, even for thirty minutes or whatever. It seems like Schaffer is just shoving the progress of the battle down my throat, leaving nothing to my imagination. It's not that I don't like complex music, but I think that if you are going to put so much complexity into a song, you also need to give the listener some liberty as to what he makes of what he hears - and that is totally lacking here. We are told the progress of a battle with no intention to reflect on what happened, why it happened (it only mentions what led to it), and what its essential outcome is. There is a moment when the tragedy of it all is being revealed at the start of the second part, but this avenue is not explored any further, and you basically forget all about it later on. The song paints a grandiose picture of the battle, but just doesn't address in any way the reason why it is being painted or why you should look at it. It's just sort of there, and nobody asked for it, and nobody would miss it if it weren't there.

I'm picking on the content so much because the whole song revolves completely around the content. No artistic liberty, no occasion to marvel at a guitar solo, a break or a vocal line just for what it is, it's all just there to tell the story of the battle and doesn't warrant any appreciation for the individual musician's achievement. Basically, it's just like the rest of the album, a huge vehicle for Schaffer to rub it into everyone's face how great he is. It's not that I don't like story-telling songs, I just don't like it when it's being done so offensively and without any sort of sublety. Any well-told story, especially when being told through music, should give your mind the occasion to wander and come to its own conclusions.

Sorry for the rant, but after reading so many reviews praising Gettysburg to the highest of heavens for seven years now, I just had to get my own opinion on it out.
 

Invader

Ancient Mariner
I agree with you to a certain extent, Perun, though I would still say Gettysburg is among the best Iced Earth songs.  Not the best, though, and at least your examples I like more.  And the Something Wicked trilogy beats the Gettysburg trilogy hands down.

Black Thunder said:
You stubborn non-believers probably never heard Gettysburg. :ninja:

Gettysburg is on a different disc than the other songs on my version of the album.  Therefore, for me, Gettysburg is Gettysburg, not part of The Glorious Burden.  ;) I rarely listen to them together.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Gettysburg sounds the way it does because Schaffer wants it to sound that way. He is telling a vision of a battle that he wants you to hear, and so there is little left to the imagination.

The problem with this approach is that it matches the 1993 movie Gettysburg scene-for-fucking-scene. While well arranged, and indeed, still one of my favourite songs by Iced Earth, Schaffer really shows the quality here that he will really show later, with Sons of Liberty. The movie isn't a faithful recreation of history, and therefore, Schaffer's careful orchestrations are at essence incorrect.

Historical accuracy is a sticking point for me, as it is for Perun. See his post on Alexander the Great if you don't believe me.

This is what unravels what should be Iced Earth's greatest song. Schaffer sticks to an idealized view of history. The idea that John Reynolds was killed by a rebel sharpshooter (the Rebel sharpshooter takes Reynolds's liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife) is one that persists within the history books. In truth, he was shot in the back of the head by his own men. Longstreet's reluctance to attack (Longstreet is cautious and lacking in trust, Longstreet's slow to give the order) is given as one of the causes of the Confederate retreat. This is symbolic of the Lost Cause, which is generally 100% disbelieved by anyone in the knew today.

He has an idealized view of the South, and of American history, and it gives this song an increasingly bitter taste in my mouth.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
SCHAFFER.jpg
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
There we go, I wasn't even getting started on how the lyrical content of the whole Unglorious Burden album pisses me off.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Perun said:
There we go, I wasn't even getting started on how the lyrical content of the whole Unglorious Burden album pisses me off.
Thankfully, I'm able to ignore lyrics most of the time, I concentrate on the music. This way I can listen to songs with sucky lyrics and still enjoy it. If the lyrics are awesome, I'll enjoy the song even further.

Although. I do get annoyed with Declaration Day's chorus, Quest for Fire by Maiden and don't even bring up how crappy Gaia Epicus take on the Star Wars trilogy is. "He flies among the stars blah blah come to save us all blah blah STAR WAAAARS!!! Darth Vader, the man in black blah blah".
 

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner
Perun said:
Basically, it's just like the rest of the album, a huge vehicle for Schaffer to rub it into everyone's face how great he is.

Iced Earth is Schaffer's band and he can do whatever he wants with it. What had to happen - it did. Nothing against Matt, but he really wasn't with the band at that time - he became over-obsessed with his job, and so he had to be kicked out.

It's your opinion and all, but I think it's a very good interpretation of the battle itself, but awesome music in the back-ground. I agree it sometimes needs to give a listener a little freedom, but instrumentally - it wipes every IE song off the map.

Invader said:
I agree with you to a certain extent, Perun, though I would still say Gettysburg is among the best Iced Earth songs.  Not the best, though, and at least your examples I like more.  And the Something Wicked trilogy beats the Gettysburg trilogy hands down.

Gettysburg is on a different disc than the other songs on my version of the album.  Therefore, for me, Gettysburg is Gettysburg, not part of The Glorious Burden.  ;) I rarely listen to them together.

It's released with TGB, but on the second disc. It's a double album, only CD 2 is re-named Gettysburg 1863. ;)
 

Invader

Ancient Mariner
Black Thunder said:
It's released with TGB, but on the second disc. It's a double album, only CD 2 is re-named Gettysburg 1863. ;)

I know, hence the smiley.  But I prefer to live in denial/fantasy: Gettysburg is its own album and The Glorious Burden never happened. ;)

Black Thunder said:
instrumentally - it wipes every IE song off the map.

Except for:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUvNMunHtN8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPiW82Lxcvo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsVdau231RQ + http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqKKZMhTLAw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WVx4NdCH7I + http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1CXWXBwgXM + http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFcN6wMZjwY
 

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner
Me too.

I like Gettysburg because in consistent all the time - I simply can't find the bad point in it. Amazing both instrumentally and lyrically.

I also find it more suitable for Ripper's voice and his high register. If Matt sang it, it would sound like his work from mid-section in A Question Of Heaven.

Sorry guys, but Gettysburg wins it for me.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Dante's Inferno is re-recorded with Stu on vocals, and is FREE to download - http://www.icedearth.com/dantesinferno
Sounds very good. Stu succeeded in mimicing Matt's vocals, and I think that he's a worthy replacement. Song itself sounds very similar to the original, although some choir parts are missing.

Btw. I only started liking Dante's Inferno few days ago, I thought it was very boring before.
 
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