Sep 302013

I haven’t attempted to compile a round-up of noteworthy findings in several days, so I’ve had to ruthlessly cut what interested me or this post would have been longer than a reticulated python. Even truncated, it’s as long as a boa constrictor. And everything in here is awfully bloodthirsty, right up until the final item.


Is that a fuckin’ brutal album cover up there or what? It’s the latest cover art by Eliran Kantor, who I watch like a hawk because he’s so damned good, and it graces the 11th album by Iced Earth, which is planned for release by Century Media in January 2014. With a grisly cover like that and song titles such as “Democide”, “Cthulhu”, and “Parasite”, in addition to the title track, this could be very interesting.

Speaking of brutal, how ’bout a new Deicide track? Continue reading »

Nov 102011

(ElvisShotJFK, a long-term member of the NCS community, provides this guest review of the new album by Iced Earth.)

Iced Earth and bands like them aren’t exactly material that’s usually covered here at NCS, but when Islander made a post about the band streaming the title track from their latest album (here), it seemed to generate some interest, along with discussion over what kind of metal Iced Earth plays. To that end, I would say that they are a breed of power metal that leans more towards thrash than progressive metal, as many of the band’s peers (most of them European) tend to do. While they aren’t immune to some of the trappings of the genre (the cheese, the flash), they deliver an aggressive, tight, galloping metal that borrows from the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest without being too blatant.

Over the past 20 years or so, Iced Earth have gone through many line-up changes, founder and rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer being the sole remaining original member. However, as with most bands, it is the changing of singers that has been more notable – not to take anything away from the rest of the guys, who’ve also been in the ranks of Testament, Megadeth and Futures End, among others. Though he was the third singer (after Gene Adam and John Greely), Matt Barlow became the de facto voice of Iced Earth, a powerful singer who was as impressive (if not more so) live as in the studio.

After the terrorist attacks in September of 2001, Barlow wanted to leave the band and pursue a career in law enforcement, but was talked out of it, Horror Show and Tribute To The Gods being the last of his output before being granted his release during the recordings for The Glorious Burden; he didn’t seem to have the passion for music anymore. Continue reading »

Oct 072011

Call me blasphemous, but I’ve never been a fan of Iced Earth. Not just them, but power metal bands in general, and it’s mainly because of the vocals. To be clear, this isn’t criticism, but simply a matter of taste. It just doesn’t taste good to me. However, I do get the attraction of the instrumental part of the music — the physical charge produced by the infusion of thrash and speed metal is undeniable. Given that attraction, I did make time to hear the title track from Iced Earth’s next album, Dystopia, when it premiered on REVOLVER’s web site yesterday.

Now, I’m sure that for many metalheads the vocals are part of the attraction to Iced Earth’s music, rather than an aspect that you have to tolerate as the price of feeding on the instrumental goodness. Iced Earth has run through a succession of vocalists, with Matt Barlow being the longest-tenured. But he’s gone now, and in March of this year the band named his replacement: Stu Block of Into Eternity.

Stu Block sounds very good on this new song, and the song itself is galvanizing. So, although I doubt I’m suddenly going to become an Iced Earth convert, I felt this was worth sharing. So, you might want to jump over to REVOLVER and hear the Soundcloud stream (which is only available there) or you can go past the jump in this post and hear it on a YouTube clip.

Dystopia is scheduled for release in Europe on October 17 and in the U.S. on October 18 via Century Media Records. Two bonus tracks are also being recording for inclusion on special editions of the album. Any Iced Earth fans out there? Continue reading »

Feb 272011

We’re jumping the gun on this post, since the month doesn’t end until tomorrow. Why? Uh, because this post is ready to go and we don’t have anything else finished for today yet. Work and other shit interfered with our grand plans for a Sunday post.  We might still get another one up later today, but for now, feast your eyes on the barrage of metal headed our direction.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days (or in this case, the last 27 days) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming New Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. There’s some awesome shit on the way. Continue reading »