(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 »