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icedearth plaguesofbabylon
Artist: Iced Earth
Title: Plagues of Babylon
Genre: Traditional Metal/ US Power Metal
Release Date: 3rd January 2014
Label: Century Media Records


Album Review

This famous and incredibly awesome band (fan boy alert) was formed in 1984 in Indiana, USA by Jon Schaffer as PURGATORY. After the band was renamed ICED EARTH and the first demo ‘Enter the Realm’ saw the light of day the band scored a record deal with German record company Century Media Records. The first album ‘Iced Earth’ was released in 1990 and it was the band’s baptism of fire. The band was very often challenged with a changing cast. Adding Matthew Barlow to the cast in 1995 was a turning point in the bands history, though ICED EARTH had at the time a big and yet still growing fan base. Barlow was a game changer for the band almost like Bruce Dickinson was for IRON MAIDEN back in 1980. The first album he helped bring to life was ‘Burnt Offerings’ the record dealt with Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy’ among other topics. Matthew Barlow’s way of singing was well received by the crowd and the album was the darkest and heaviest to date.

The follow up ‘The Dark Saga’ was a concept album about the Todd McFarlane comic character Spawn; the band came close to do the score for the Spawn movie but the idea was ultimately neglected by the studio. The next album ‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ was the start for the something wicked storyline about the Jon Schaffer brainchild Seth Abominae as main character. There are three records dealing with the story about Seth Abominae and his rise to power. There`s been two records recorded with Tim ”Ripper” Owens of JUDAS PROEST fame which fans consider a bit weak due to their love for Matthew Barlow who left the band 2004. Barlow returned in 2008 recorded ‘The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part 2)’ and left the band again in 2011, this time for sure. Since then Stu Block the previous singer of INTO ETERNITY is the new man in front of the microphone and he`s doing a very nice job so far.

I was a big fan of ‘Dystopia’, the record really blew me to pieces and I am in love with it to this very day. You can imagine the excitement I felt when I heard of the new record. So here I go again and listen to a record over and over again, not to mention that I love doing so. The record is a straight kick in the teeth but a kick that feels awesome. Schaffer guitar work is astonishing as ever, not many can play that precise and fast at the same time. Stu Block is doing a great job and he is getting better from record to record, he varies more than last time although I miss the high pitched screams he does so well. The rhythm fraction bass/drums set the route of march and marching they do. Almost every song is mid tempo to up-tempo except ‘If I could see you’ and ‘Peacemaker’ this two songs hit home, but hey I think this album needs a little more time to grow. I can close this review telling you that as a fan of ICED EARTH you will love this record though maybe it`s not love on the first listening session.


Tracklist

01. Plagues of Babylon
02. Democide
03. The Culling
04. Among the Living Dead
05. Resistance
06. The End
07. If I Could See You
08. Cthullu
09. Peacemaker
10. Parasite
11. Spirit of The Times
12. Highwayman


Line-up

Jon Schaffer – rhythm & lead guitar/ vocals
Stu Block – vocals
Troy Seele – lead guitar
Luke Appleton – bass guitar
Brent Smedley (1996 - 2013)/ Raphael Saini (since 2013) – drums


Website

http://www.icedearth.com / https://www.facebook.com/OfficialIcedEarth


Cover Picture

icedearth plaguesofbabylon


Rating

Music: 9
Sound: 8.5
Extras: -
Total: 8.75 / 10





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