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4.25 | 14 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2017

Filed under US Power Metal


1. Great Heathen Army (5:19)
2. Black Flag (4:56)
3. Raven Wing (6:25)
4. The Veil (4:47)
5. Seven Headed Whore (3:00)
6. The Relic (Part 1) (4:59)
7. Ghost Dance (Awaken The Ancestors) (6:35)
8. Brothers (4:54)
9. Defiance (4:08)
10. Clear The Way (December 13th, 1862) (9:30)

Total Time 54:33


- Jon Schaffer / Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
- Brent Smedley / Drums
- Stu Block / Vocals
- Luke Appleton / Bass
- Jake Dreyer / Guitars

About this release

Century Media, June 16, 2017.

Thanks to Unitron for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

With their last album Plagues of Babylon (2014) having, let's be fair, a rather lukewarm reception (especially following the praise heaped on Dystopia (2011), current vocalist Stu Block's debut with the band), a lot is riding on US power/heavy/thrash metal act Iced Earth to really hit one out of the park with Incorruptible (2017), their twelfth main studio album. Four singles have been released prior to the full album, each showing the band in a bit of a different light. Seven Headed Whore was an immediate thrashy headbanger. Raven Wing was initially a disappointment but turned out to be one of those slow burn type of tracks. Great Heathen Army proved to be highly addictive, with this reviewer streaming the song off of Spotify about two dozen times in the run up to Incorruptible's release. Finally Clear The Way (December 13th, 1862) turned out to be long, fast, epic and catchy piece that it was impossible not to be instantly won over by.

Four tracks out of a total of ten from the album. Had Iced Earth showed their hand too early and served up all the album's best cuts as singles? Well, yeah, they kinda did, but I guess that's one way to sell your album. The rest of the material here has been a bit like Raven Wing in respect to the tracks being slow burners, requiring a few listens to open up before they can really be appreciated. There's a few of the remaining tracks that have come to stand out over the others, such as Black Flag, which could easily be a Running Wild song thanks to its pirate theme, and also Defiance, but the trinity of Great Heathen Army, Seven Headed Whore and Clear the Way (December 13th, 1862) have remained untouchable. These three are Iced Earth gold.

Incorruptible is a very balanced album from Iced Earth with several faster and hard hitting USPM tracks and some more mid-paced and melodic heavy metal orientated material. Seven Headed Whore is the only really thrashy number, though Great Heathen Army also hits bloody hard and fast. The production on such tracks is really beefy and heavy in the riffs and it sounds really pummelling. The lead guitar work from new guy Jake Dreyer is crystal clear though and sounds excellent. Iced Earth have found a great addition to the group in him. His solos really stand out across the whole release. Stu Block is also on great vocal form, delivering a mix of aggressive clean vocals and high register notes. The opening scream of 'Valhalla' in Great Heathen Army is absolutely insane.

Incorruptible is overall an extremely solid Iced Earth album. It could probably do with another really hard hitting USPM track to really knock some socks off, but even with the whole slow burn thing taken into consideration I'd judge this to be the band's best album since Stu Block took over as lead vocalist. Unlike Plagues of Babylon there's no loss of steam in the second half and I think it even edges one up on Dystopia, though that's a real close call.

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