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Iced Earth is an American power metal band that combines traditional heavy metal and thrash metal genres in its music. The band was formed by Jon Schaffer, the lead songwriter and rhythm guitarist, in Tampa, Florida in 1984. The original name of the band was Purgatory but was then changed to Iced Earth.

Iced Earth’s music is often described as the style of Iron Maiden combined with 80’s thrash metal. The most distinctive element of the band’s sound is the stuttering right-hand gallop of rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer, which sounds something like the ‘eighth-note, two-sixteenth-notes’ gallop made famous by Iron Maiden’s bass player/songwriter Steve Harris (in such songs as “Run to the Hills”, “The Trooper”, and “Caught Somewhere in Time”), varied rhythmically. Overtop of this gallop are typically laid strong melodic hooks, sometimes doubled by two guitars playing in harmony. The vocals are often high-pitched, but express a full range,
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ICED EARTH Discography

ICED EARTH albums / top albums

ICED EARTH Iced Earth album cover 3.88 | 37 ratings
Iced Earth
US Power Metal 1990
ICED EARTH Night of the Stormrider album cover 3.97 | 45 ratings
Night of the Stormrider
US Power Metal 1991
ICED EARTH Burnt Offerings album cover 3.73 | 45 ratings
Burnt Offerings
US Power Metal 1995
ICED EARTH The Dark Saga album cover 3.51 | 43 ratings
The Dark Saga
US Power Metal 1996
ICED EARTH Something Wicked This Way Comes album cover 4.09 | 46 ratings
Something Wicked This Way Comes
US Power Metal 1998
ICED EARTH Horror Show album cover 3.62 | 43 ratings
Horror Show
US Power Metal 2001
ICED EARTH Tribute To The Gods album cover 3.17 | 18 ratings
Tribute To The Gods
Heavy Metal 2002
ICED EARTH The Glorious Burden album cover 4.18 | 32 ratings
The Glorious Burden
US Power Metal 2004
ICED EARTH Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked, Part 1 album cover 3.65 | 23 ratings
Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked, Part 1
US Power Metal 2007
ICED EARTH The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked, Part 2 album cover 3.42 | 27 ratings
The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked, Part 2
US Power Metal 2008
ICED EARTH Dystopia album cover 3.92 | 29 ratings
US Power Metal 2011
ICED EARTH Plagues of Babylon album cover 3.70 | 25 ratings
Plagues of Babylon
US Power Metal 2014
ICED EARTH Incorruptible album cover 4.22 | 18 ratings
US Power Metal 2017

ICED EARTH EPs & splits

ICED EARTH The Melancholy E.P. album cover 3.00 | 9 ratings
The Melancholy E.P.
US Power Metal 1999

ICED EARTH live albums

ICED EARTH Alive in Athens album cover 3.93 | 11 ratings
Alive in Athens
US Power Metal 1999
ICED EARTH Festivals of the Wicked album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Festivals of the Wicked
US Power Metal 2011
ICED EARTH Live in Ancient Kourion album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Live in Ancient Kourion
US Power Metal 2013

ICED EARTH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ICED EARTH Enter the Realm album cover 2.50 | 3 ratings
Enter the Realm
US Power Metal 1988
ICED EARTH Setian Massacre album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Setian Massacre
US Power Metal 2007
ICED EARTH Framing Armageddon / September Sun / In Splendour album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Framing Armageddon / September Sun / In Splendour
US Power Metal 2007
ICED EARTH 5 Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
5 Songs
US Power Metal 2011

ICED EARTH re-issues & compilations

ICED EARTH Days of Purgatory album cover 4.03 | 14 ratings
Days of Purgatory
US Power Metal 1997
ICED EARTH Dark Genesis album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Dark Genesis
US Power Metal 2002
ICED EARTH The Blessed and the Damned album cover 3.71 | 4 ratings
The Blessed and the Damned
US Power Metal 2004
ICED EARTH Slave to the Dark album cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
Slave to the Dark
US Power Metal 2008
ICED EARTH Enter the Realm of the Gods album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Enter the Realm of the Gods
US Power Metal 2008
ICED EARTH Box of the Wicked album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Box of the Wicked
US Power Metal 2010

ICED EARTH singles (8)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Reckoning
US Power Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
3.46 | 7 ratings
Overture of the Wicked
US Power Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
3.12 | 4 ratings
I Walk Among You
US Power Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.75 | 6 ratings
Dante's Inferno (2011)
US Power Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
4.79 | 7 ratings
Seven Headed Whore
US Power Metal 2017
.. Album Cover
4.25 | 6 ratings
Raven Wing
Heavy Metal 2017
.. Album Cover
4.75 | 6 ratings
Great Heathen Army
US Power Metal 2017
.. Album Cover
4.58 | 6 ratings
Clear The Way (December 13th, 1862)
US Power Metal 2017

ICED EARTH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
US Power Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.88 | 4 ratings
Alive in Athens
US Power Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
Festivals of the Wicked
US Power Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
4.78 | 5 ratings
Live in Ancient Kourion
US Power Metal 2013


ICED EARTH The Glorious Burden

Album · 2004 · US Power Metal
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Eight albums into their career, and Iced Earth’s output was proving to be very hit-or-miss with me. Sure, they’d released some absolute masterpieces, such as their self-titled debut, its follow-up ‘Night of the Stormrider’ and 1998’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, but they’d also put out some very sub-par stinkers, such as ‘The Dark Saga’ and ‘Horror Show’. And so, with their ninth studio album, 2003’s ‘The Glorious Burden’, the rollercoaster ride continues, as the American power metal quintet once again are on top form.

Most notable here is the addition of new vocalist ‘The Ripper’ Tim Owens. Recently ousted from Judas Priest, this was a huge score for Iced Earth after the departure of long-time singer Matt Barlow. Owens’ powerful voice is not only a great fit for the group without copying his predecessor, but it sounds like it sparked a few creative juices for band leader Jon Schaffer, who was probably as motivated by the new recruit as he was by his passion of the albums theme; military history.

Musically, this is classic Iced Earth and very typical power metal; lots of fast guitars and harmonies, galloping bass lines and rich orchestrations. But the song-writing is solid and very inspired, and Tim Owens’ vocals are absolutely perfect for this band, replacing Barlow with ease and really giving this album an identity of its own.

With highlights including ‘Declaration Day’, ‘The Reckoning (Don’t Tread On Me)’, ‘Greenface’, ‘Attila’ and the epic three-part ‘Gettysburg (1863)’, this is a banger of an album that furthers Iced Earth’s erratic discography, but shows that when the right pieces fall into place, this band rocks seriously hard.

ICED EARTH Night of the Stormrider

Album · 1991 · US Power Metal
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Iced Earth’s sophomore album is where they aced their style of epic, thrashy Power Metal. The album is a concept about a man fed up with religion who receives power from the devil and leads a sort of crusade against humanity, plunging the world into darkness, before finally losing his mortal soul to the devil after all is done. It’s a well written story with a decent variety of songs that back up each chapter. None of the musicianship or songwriting is mind-blowing, but it’s certainly very strong, and the rhythm section puts down some quite unique (for the time) beats.

I feel I should enjoy this album more than I do, but despite the awesome concept and genre being right up my ally, it just doesn’t strike home. The riffs are very rhythmic and unmemorable, somehow they are missing both the edge of Thrash as well as the melody of Power Metal. That aside it is very great stuff, a strong concept album played in a style unique at the time.

ICED EARTH Horror Show

Album · 2001 · US Power Metal
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American power metal band Iced Earth had managed to carve a bit of a niche for themselves at this point in their career. Having established themselves as one of the more notable and prominent bands of the subgenre, it’s surprising that their discography has been drastically hit-or-miss. Unable to truly capture any momentum over a string of consecutive releases, one album could be amazing, while the next could be pretty average. There really was no predicting how each release could be received, and 2001’s ‘Horror Show’ follows on with that trend.

After a bit of a lull had been rectified with 1998’s critically acclaimed ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, the band followed this up with, uh, a pretty mundane themed release focusing on horror characters and stories. While one or two tracks could be acceptable, an entire album seems a bit uninspiring and not overwhelmingly promising.

And so here we have it, another pretty average release. Iced Earth’s sound by this point is what it is, and while they aren’t looking to branch out and explore new styles, the quality of songwriting could still benefit from a bit more focus and enthusiasm. This feels slightly by-the-numbers. An abundance of the usual speed metal trappings and powerful, operatic vocals, this is undeniably Iced Earth, but the songs just don’t have the same exuberance and determination that the band have shown with past releases.

Still, it’s not all terrible, as there are a couple of decent tracks on here. ‘Wolf’, ‘Damien’ and ‘Jack’ are alright, though mostly forgettable compared to the bands stronger material. Admittedly however, a cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘Transylvania’ is actually fantastic and the true highlight of this album. The band truly stamp their identity all over this instrumental track, and, most notably for me, it’s the song that served as my introduction to the band (how ironic that it was a cover, a fact I didn’t find out until years later).

Overall, ‘Horror Show’ isn’t by any stretch a terrible album, it’s just not overly memorable, and considering that Iced Earth have shown the ability to put out some incredibly strong releases, it just fails to truly stand out in any way other than being “that horror album”.

ICED EARTH Tribute To The Gods

Album · 2002 · Heavy Metal
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Covers albums. Love them or hate them, there’s just always something about them that sticks out like a sore thumb in a bands discography, whether they’re good or bad, they just “stand out”. Y’know? Some bands are great at covers, though. Metallica comes to mind. Maybe it’s because most of the songs they cover are obscure bands that nobody would have heard of otherwise, but they have a knack for basically taking a song and completely making it their own.

Then there’s Iced Earth. Theirs are not so good.

‘Tribute to the Gods’ is Iced Earth’s attempt at paying homage to the bands that inspired them. It was originally released in 2001 as part of the ‘Dark Genesis’ box set, but has since been released a number of times by itself. Not that that makes it any better or anything... just saying...

The thing is, Iced Earth just don’t really have the right sound that lends itself well to covers. I mean, they’ve kept their own guitar tones, Matt Barlow can sing really well, but none of it works well when comparing thrash-inspired power metal to hard rock like AC/DC or Blue Oyster Cult. Also, in all honesty, I find the choices of songs mostly lacklustre.

At best however, their cover of KISS’s ‘Creatures of the Night’ is pretty damn good, as is their Iron Maiden covers ‘The Number of the Beast’ and ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, but honestly, they’re not really good enough to make me choose to listen to them of my own free will, and if anything it’s a simple case of the originals being better.

Never mind though, it’s a covers album, never really something to take too seriously in the first place. I originally got this with the aforementioned ‘Dark Genesis’ box set, so it wasn’t like I splashed out particularly on this release, which is good, because if I had I’d probably feel slightly perturbed right about now.

ICED EARTH Alive in Athens

Live album · 1999 · US Power Metal
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‘Alive in Athens’, released in 1999, is the first live album by American power metal band Iced Earth, and is an absolute marathon of a release, with a staggering duration of three hours split over three discs. Highly regarded by fans, ‘Alive...’ sees the band draw as much material as possible from their five previous studio albums and cram it into two nights of live music at the Greek capital. But is it really as good as people make it out to be?

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good album. The quality of the audio is fantastic, with some songs sounding nearly identical to their studio counterparts, and there’s a lot of incredibly strong material, from earlier hits such as ‘Iced Earth’, ‘Angels Holocaust’, ‘Cast in Stone’ and ‘Stormrider’ to later numbers such as ‘Burning Times’, ‘Watching Over Me’ and the ‘Something Wicked’ trilogy.

So what’s the problem, you ask?

It’s just so bloody long!

Simply put, that’s it. Iced Earth are a great band, but three hours in one go is a hell of a mouthful, with most songs sounding similar to the one before. The musicianship is fantastic, with every track performed to perfection, but there’s not really anything that stands out in particular. There’s nothing overly interesting in terms of crowd interaction, or adding anything new to the compositions. It literally is three hours of repetitive Iced Earth tracks, one after another, with crowd noises thrown in between.

For what it’s worth, this isn’t a terrible album, but the overwhelming duration is a huge detriment, and seeing as I’ve always preferred studio albums anyway, I can’t see myself choosing this over any of their studio releases.

ICED EARTH Movies Reviews

ICED EARTH Live in Ancient Kourion

Movie · 2013 · US Power Metal
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Live In Ancient Kourion is a live concert Blu-Ray from the American Power Metal band Iced Earth. It was filmed at the ancient Kourion Theater in Limasol, Cyprus (a site with a 6,000-year history according to the liner notes) in 2012, in support of the Dystopia album. The line up features Jon Schaffer, Brent Smedley, Troy Steele, Luke Appleton and then-new singer Stu Block.

The career-spanning set contains 27 songs from all eras of the band’s history, in a concert that lasts around 2 hours and 35 minutes. Its pretty great value for money in that regard.

The performance is very strong indeed, with all band members putting down solid performances with no weak links. Stu capably handles the material of previous singers Matt Barlow and Tim Ripper Owens in a suitable but distinctive way. He fits the band perfectly and is immensely talented. Elsewhere; the dual guitar lines and solos are sublime and the drumming is powerful and rock-solid. If you like Iced Earth then this is a really strong and representative example of what they are all about.

Highlights include strong performances of ‘Burning Times,’ ‘Wolf,’ ‘Declaration Day,’ ‘Days Of Rage’ and ‘Dantes Inferno.’ ‘Boiling Point’ and ‘Damien’ are also especially energetic and exciting here – if you were wondering if you’d enjoy this release, then I suggest trying those two tracks out.

The stage design and the simple, tasteful lightshow in conjunction with the well-integrated use of smoke and pyro perfectly complements the band’s meaty, honest approach to Metal music. The crowd get into it and both clap and sing along on many occasions. Sometimes not only singing the words but also the guitar melodies. The concert really shows a confident band delivering their best to an appreciative crowd.

The camerawork and editing are absolutely solid, the audio recording quality and live mix are spot-on and overall this is a very strong release on both the audio and visual fronts. Sometimes you’ll get a DVD with way too many flashy transitions and cheesy editing choices, or the bass guitar missing from the mix, but a lot of care has obviously gone into making this a tasteful and musician-friendly affair. Admittedly I have seen concert Blu-Rays with better picture quality (Sabaton, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius and Hammerfall spring to mind) and here it can be a tiny bit grainy, soft-focus or washed out at times depending on the lighting conditions in the venue at the time however just because better examples exist, it doesn’t mean the picture here is anything to complain about.

In terms of bonus features there are photo galleries (4 minutes of very high resolution photos of the band and the beautiful Cypriot landscape), a 9-minute world tour story (breaking down the logistics involved such as how many guitar picks and flights the band went through) which mixes photos and graphics with interview footage, as well as the 31-minute Documentary feature “The Making Of Live At Ancient Kourion.”

The version I got comes with a slipcase in a digibook-style box which contains booklet featuring photos, credits and liner notes from bandleader Jon Shaffer. It houses the Blu-Ray version, DVD version and CD version of the concert for maximum flexibility.

The Blu-Ray specs are as follows: Region 0, Format 16:9, Audio comes in a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 or DTS HD Surround 5.1.

Overall; Live In Ancient Kourion, especially this edition, is a very worthwhile release and I whole-heartedly recommend it to fans of the band, or fans of Traditional Heavy Metal and Power Metal in general.

ICED EARTH Festivals of the Wicked

Movie · 2011 · US Power Metal
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There's a lot of value for your money in this DVD package. Three full festival appearances are included, two with singer Matt Barlow and one with singer Tim "Ripper" Owens. There's also the seemingly customary documentary and all the band's music videos with the exception of the older Desert Rain back from the Night of the Stormrider era, as well as the advert for the Ten Thousand Strong video and photo slideshows. For the price this seems to retail at (I bought it for just £9.99), this is a very worthwhile package for any Iced Earth fan. The one catch is that it in reality looks more than it is, as both the Barlow fronted shows feature a completely identical setlist. It's still a very good value package to get despite this, but 4 stars is all I feel inclined to award it because of the amount of repetition. Still for the very reasonable price, if you like this band, buy it anyway.

(I originally posted this hastily written review here: )


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