ICED EARTH — Alive in Athens (review)

ICED EARTH — Alive in Athens album cover Live album · 1999 · US Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
martindavey87
‘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.
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
2 months ago
Yeah, i rarely get excited about live albums. There are exceptions but i just listened to this one. You don't have to listen to the whole thing at once though ;)

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