Iced Earth

Invader

Ancient Mariner
Forostar said:
On Horror Show he still came up with some strong and original tunes. E.g., Damien, Phantom of the Opera Ghost. Good stuff.  :shred:

And The Glorious Burden has Gettysburg, but that wasn't my point.  The albums before 2001 were much more consistent, and the latest two albums don't have even a single track that reaches the (overall) level of the previous albums. 

Night Prowler said:
In my opinion, Night Of The Stormrider-Horror Show Something Wicked period hasn't got one bad song.
I know most people like Horror Show a lot more than I do, but I've never really gotten into it with the exception of a few tracks.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Another new song - Dystopia: http://www.revolvermag.com/news/exclusi ... topia.html

It rocks :shred:

Btw. The Crucible Of Man finally clicked for me. My new list of albums in the order I like them:

1. Night Of The Stormrider
2. The Dark Saga
3. Horror Show
4. Something Wicked This Way Comes
5. Burnt Offerings
6. Framing Armageddon
7. The Crucible Of Man
8. The Glorious Burden
9. Iced Earth
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
It leaked :yey: :edmetal: :shred: :rocker:
Review later.
Fantastic album - early favorites: Dystopia, Anthem, Boiling Point, Anguish Of Youth and End Of Innocence.
Stu is better for Iced Earth than Ripper, tied with Greely, MUCH better than Adam, and (obviously) weaker than Barlow (but Barlow is my favorite vocalist EVER).
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Night Prowler said:
Stu is better for Iced Earth than Ripper, tied with Greely, MUCH better than Adam, and (obviously) weaker than Barlow (but Barlow is my favorite vocalist EVER).
Greely, better than Ripper?

I can totally understand that you like Stu better than Ripper, because he's remniscent of Barlow (although he borrows the high notes from Ripper), but better in the higher register than Matt. I've always found Barlows top register weak in comparison to Ripper, Halford, Tate etc (His upper mids down to his lows are awesome). But Greely... I'm not following.  :p Like, at all.  :ninja:

Each to his own I guess. I just don't get it though!  :D
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I forgot which old singer was on Night of the Stormrider but I think he fits perfectly to that kind of music.
 

Murder89

Officer Friendly
Couldn't resist any more, so I listened to the album today.I liked it, some of the best moments of the album are the slower songs.I can't stop listening to Anguish Of Youth, what a great chorus.
 

Invader

Ancient Mariner
I have to say, on first listen Dystopia sounds better than any of the previous three albums sounded on first listen, even factoring the "wow" factor of Barlow returning.  I'm still not sure I like Stu Block though.  Not because he's different from Matt, but because he's too similar.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
My review of Dystopia

First of all, I'll say that it was really sad to see Matt leaving the band again, 'cause I really wanted to see Iced Earth live with their best vocalist (and my favorite vocalist of all time). My first reaction was "bring back Ripper", but after rethinking (and seeing Festivals Of The Wicked) I realized that he really isn't a good enough frontman for Iced Earth. Announcement that Stu Block is the new vocalist was a total shock for me, mostly because I expected some more famous and certainly not a vocalist from a melodeath band. After hearing new version of Dante's Inferno, I was convinced that Jon made a smart choice by hiring someone who sounds like Matt, 'cause hiring someone totally different this late in the career would be too risky (though I'd probably still like it :D).

I like all Iced Earth albums, and all of them have lots of good songs with very few fillers (which are mostly on post-Horror Show albums). I never liked The Crucible Man, but it finally clicked few weeks ago, and I can say that it's probably Iced Earth's most epic album. Framing Armageddon was also good, though it had too many interludes, and it didn't have Matt on vocals :p I wish Matt re-recorded vocals on it before he left, like it was planned before their label went bankrupt. The Glorious Burden was mostly plagued by questionable quality of lyrics, though it also had some great songs, it has my least favorite Iced Earth song (Hollow Man). 1991-2001 era is flawless and I really can't name a bad song on those 5 albums. I was never a big fan of the first album mostly because it had horrible vocals (even Jon said in one of recent interviews that Gene Adam sucks). All the songs except title track and When The Night Falls sound much better with Matt. Discography recap done :D

I guess that first question by the people who haven't heard Dystopia is - are the vocals good? So now I'll write an explanation like I promised few days ago to Yax :D

I prefer:
Generally: Barlow > Ripper > Stu > Greely > Adam
In Iced Earth: Barlow > Stu > Greely > Ripper > Adam

I prefer Barlow in all styles (high, mid, low register) over Ripper :p I read some comments that Ripper's screams make Barlow sound like a pussy which is a blasphemy IMO. Matt has more control over his screams and his shrieking is much more pleasant to the ear than Ripper's. Just listen to this (6:06 - 6:19) and tell me that he doesn't sound powerful. Of course, Matt's clean vocals are unparalled, no doubt about that, and that's what I missed the most in Ripper era.

On the other hand, I really like Ripper's vocals. Actually, he sang some Judas Priest songs much better than Halford - Diamonds & Rust, Turbo Lover, The Ripper, Rapid Fire etc. IMO Ripper's best performances are on Judas Priest's Jugulator, and Charred Walls Of The Damned's debut album. He did too much overdubbing on The Glorious Burden and Framing Armageddon, and couldn't sing those songs good enough live, and also, I prefer Barlow's versions of Ripper's songs :p

I also prefer Greely over Ripper in Iced Earth, mostly because Night Of The Stormrider is my favorite Iced Earth album and simply because he fitted much better. He also had nice clean vocals (listen to Before The Vision and Reaching The End, for example.)

Stu did a great job on Dystopia. Yes, his style on this album is mostly copying Matt's mid range and Ripper's screams, but I don't have a problem with that 'cause he sounds good. His clean vocals aren't as good as Matt's but are better than Ripper's. He also has a much more pleasant shriek than Ripper (and does a much better Painkiller than Ripper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dls43pCG7WM :D). Generally, I prefer Ripper, but that could change easily - I still have to hear him live with Iced Earth.

Dystopia is a breath of fresh air after a decade of focusing on epic rather than fast and heavy songs. It's much more consistent than last 3 albums, and sounds mostly like a sequel to Something Wicked This Way Comes in terms of music.

1. Dystopia
This song starts with a marching intro that's also repeated at the beginning of Tragedy & Triumph (because both of these songs are related to Something Wicked saga). It's a good intro, though it would've been better as a separate song. It lasts for first 70 seconds and then it morphs into a fantastic riff-fest. Pre-chorus and chorus are very catchy (and headbangable) and "We must find our way" is probably the best part of the song.

2. Anthem
Most of you probably heard the song many times before the album was released. It's a great ballad in the vein of A Charge To Keep. Stu did a great job on this song - he sounds very powerful on it. Chorus is slightly over-repeated, but since it's very good I don't have a problem with that :D I'm not a big fan of Troy Seele (because he butchers solos on old songs Janick-style :D), but he plays a really good solo on this song.
There's a bonus track with a "string mix" of this song which is just the regular song with more keyboards.

3. Boiling Point
This song is something that hasn't been done a lot since Something Wicked This Way Comes album - a short (almost) 3 minute song. It's very fast and has fantastic riffs and drum performance. It has to be played live :shred:

4. Anguish Of Youth
Another ballad, this time in the vein of Melancholy (Holy Martyr). As I said, Stu's clean vocals aren't as good as Matt's, but are still very good - he proves it on this song. Chorus is fantastic, and solo is good (which is also refreshing, 'cause Something Wicked saga albums had a very small amount of solos).

5. V
This is the weakest song on the regular edition of the album. I don't like the beginning of the song much. Chorus is OK until "We are the resistance" line, which is too cheesy IMO. Guitar solo saves the song, and from then on (excluding "We are the resistance" line), the song is fine. It should've switched places with Iron Will 'cause that song is much better.

6. Dark City
This song is a total Maiden worship. Beginning of the song is reminiscent of some AMOL&D songs. Chorus is fantastic - one of the best on the whole album. Again, the solo is very good. About 3,5 minutes into the song, a great Maiden-inspired harmony starts. "oooooooooooo" part is very good, and I think that it will work great if this song gets played live.

7. Equilibrium
I'm not sure, but I think that this song is inspired by the movie of the same title that stars Christian Bale. Well, I like that movie a lot, but I don't think that this song transcribes the feeling this movie has. Nevertheless, it's still a good song, with another Maiden-inspired harmony section. Btw. Jon Schaffer said in a month-or-two old interview that Steve Harris is his idol.

8. Days Of Rage
Another short fast song. It's a very thrashy, Violate-like song. It would've been much better if it didn't end so abruptly...

9. End Of Innocence
The last ballad on the album, and my favorite song on the album. Stu wrote the lyrics about his mother who is battling cancer. I predict that this very personal subject of the song inspired him a lot and he did his best performance of the album on this song. Another song that I'd love to hear live.

10. Tragedy & Triumph
This song starts with the same intro as the title track - I don't like that :) It would've been better if they put that at the end of the album (like Maiden did on Seventh Son album). Tragedy & Triumph is possibly the happiest Iced Earth song. It's almost 7 minute long, but very fast and epic. Chorus is definitely the best one on the album. I hope that this song ends the whole Something Wicked saga, though it's kinda finished already, 'cause this song is actually a prequel to Come What May from The Crucible Of Man. Another thing that I don't like about this song is that it ends with a fade-out. It's followed by a hidden-track with (probably) everyone in the studio singing a song unknown to me.

11. Soylent Green
This is the weakest song on the special edition of the album. It's a bonus song. It's similar in style to V, but worse. It's not catchy, and generally goes nowhere.

12. Iron Will
This one should've been on the regular edition of the album instead of V. It flows good, it has a great catchy chorus and great vocal performance.

13. The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath cover)
Haven't heard this one yet.

14. The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover)
Nice cover. Change of the main melody is interesting and original. Stu's performance is cool, but no one can sing this song as good as Bruce.
 

Black Wizard

Pleb Hunter
I think 'Dystopia' is a great album! It's so much better than that Something Wicked nonsense. It had me hooked from the first listen. HMV actually managed to send me the Limited Edition Box Set (I pre-ordered the 13-track CD for £8) without charging me for it so I got all that random crap for free.

Looking forward to seeing them next month! :shred:
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I am also enjoying this album very much.  Some of the lyrics have a "Tea Party Metal" vibe to them, but the music is smokin'. 

Night Prowler said:
6. Dark City
This song is a total Maiden worship. Beginning of the song is reminiscent of some AMOL&D songs. Chorus is fantastic - one of the best on the whole album. Again, the solo is very good. About 3,5 minutes into the song, a great Maiden-inspired harmony starts. "oooooooooooo" part is very good, and I think that it will work great if this song gets played live.

This song is actually based on a really good sci-fi movie of the same name, which I strongly recommend -- one of the coolest-looking movies ever.  And yes, this song is very reminiscent of Maiden, particularly the opening bit and the twin-guitar parts. 
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
First of all: thanks for the review!

Night Prowler said:
What is "Tea Party"?

(I could google it, but I'd prefer a simplified explanation here :D)

Well, it will get very political now. I say the Tea Party is a danger for the United States. They influence media and have huge impact on politicians and elections. These people deceive and are deceived by lots of nonsense stories, lots of them based on fear, paranoia and hate, rather than on facts. They don't care about the big gaps between the rich and the poor, they obstruct new measurements to get the US out of the financial troubles.

Tea Party members feel patriotism for their country and are upset at the government.

They are a populist political movement and generally recognized as conservative and libertarian.

Polls have shown that they are to a very great extent to be registered Republican, have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party and an unfavorable opinion of the Democratic Party.

These guys portray my worries very well:

In a September 2010 piece for Rolling Stone, journalist Matt Taibbi wrote: "I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of shit. ... The Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits ... The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about ..." Taibbi concluded, "This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they've mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn't an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist."

In March 2011 Ronald Schiller, a National Public Radio fundraising executive was secretly recorded during a lunch meeting with two men posing as potential donors. On the recording, Schiller said that he would speak personally, and not for NPR; then he contrasted the fiscally conservative Republican party of old that didn't get involved in people's personal and family lives with "the current Republican Party, in particular the Tea Party, that is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian — I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical kind of move." Schiller said some highly-placed Republicans believed the Republican Party had been hijacked by this radical group, and characterized them as "Islamophobic" and "seriously racist, racist people".
 
Top