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Iced Earth

Well, I've always loved metal, as ya know, and Iced Earth, despite a far less than constant lineup, have
certainly lived up to that goal.......formed in Tampa in the mid-80's, Iced Earth were basically about guitarist Jon Schaffer, a Judas Priest/Iron Maiden style slammer (not a put down). Scaffer was the only constant in the band, there is no fucking way I am listing everyone who teamed up with him, although, interestingly and unlike  alot of metal bands, they went through a myriad of vocalists which we WILL investigate......

So, ok, the first offering I have from these boyos is the self titled 1991 debut.....Gene Adam handled vocal chores on this one, but it's really NOT about vocals, rather, it's a showcase for Schaffer's guitar antics......it's really a fairly good piece of work, actually, if you are a fan of bone-crushing metal, "When the Night Falls" and "Written on the Walls" are pretty damn good, and the rest isn't bad at all.

"Night of the Stormrider" came out shortly after and utilized John Greely on vocals......it's got a conceptual theme, dealing with religion/apocalypse type things, but, I'll tell ya, this motherfucker rocks as well...."Pure Evil" and "Travel in Stygian" stand out, but a good old fashioned and overlooked slammer of metal, of which these guys did up on all their albums......slamming shit, no question.

Matthew Barlow took over vocal duties for 1995's, "Burnt Offerings".....I may like this as well as anything
they did, it's really dark, gloomy, and heavy as fuck, somewhat innovative as it includes the really cool 16 minute "Dante's Inferno", as well as cool shit ala the title track and "Burning Oasis", this is a REALLY under appreciated slab of metal, and also came with (included here) a bonus disc with rough mixes various Iced Earth tunes, which is REALLY cool, it sounds like a fucking garage band trying to play Iced Earth tunes and works VERY well.....the "main" disc might be thier best/my fave effort, and the bonus disc really DOES work in this context....if you hate this kinda stuff, you're not going to like the set, but real metal-heads will thrill to the whole thing, including the (imo) very fine and fitting bonus disc.

The follow up to "Burnt Offerings" was 1996's "The Dark Saga"....ok, I gotta say, while not "bad", it's also not that good, either, sounded at the time for all the world like they were trying to gain (gag) "mass acceptance"....certainly, it is listenable, but does not replicate the dark-metal crunch of its predecessors.

Next we have the 2-disc "Days of Purgatory", which is interesting in
that it features barlow on vocals on some of the pre-Barlow tracks......"Written on the Walls", for example, from  their self titled debut, is given a complete overhaul , with a complete set of new lyrics and even a new title, "Cast in Stone"......a BIT redundant, but not terribly so, myself I wouldn't have made it a 2 disc set,but if I had a brain I'd be licking off Drew Barrymore's tattoos....wait, did I do that one yesterday?

They turned the amps back up a bit for 1998's "Something Wicked This Way Comes".....my friend Tim who loves this band to pieces, really likes this album, not sure I concur......it's OK, but ONLY OK, honestly, it's heavy-heavy metal, lovers of metal should find a slot on the shelf for this one, if you are not big time into metal, likely you will pass.

The THREE(!) disc "Alive in Athens" is more than a little excessive,
the band DID have some live chops, but THREE discs? I'm a metal fan, as you can see, but in general NOT a fan of live metal albums, they tend to go on a bit long, and this effort defines my complaint......if you're a fan, this is for you, if not, well......

Around this same time they released an EP entitled "The Melancholy".....while not horrible, it does contain a highly questionable cover of Bad Company's "Shooting Star" (a bad song to begin with, sez only me), as well as a version of Black Sabbath's "Electric Funeral" (and a decent one at that).....again, for fans ONLY of this type of thing.

Next, they released a 5-disc box set, "Dark Genesis"....while I do happen to have one, I'm not posting the whole thing here, as three discs are remasters of the first three albums......however, also included is the rare EP "Enter the Realm" (1999 and really very good), as well as a disc entitled "Tribute to the Gods" (Gods?) which contains cover versions of a bunch of tunes that apparently influenced the band.....it's not bad, but there are no real surprises here, AC-DC, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden.....you know how I feel about these things, the versions here are so close to the originals, for the most part, that imo there was not really a point in bothering.

2001's "Horror Show" is not a favorite of mine, at all, it's a conceptual affair with a bunch of tunes inspired
by various horror films, see the track list below, but I think this one tries WAYYYY too hard and doesn't work....again, my friend Tim would not agre with me, for certain (It's great to be open minded like myself, and not a slavish sheep like TIM (just kidding fucker you know I love ya!))...

Tim "Ripper" Owens, who would serve as Rob Halford's replacement on vocals in Judas Priest takes over singing duties on 2004's "The Glorious Burden", and imo, it's a good one, one of their better works actually....while often conceptual metal alabums fall flat, this one works, as it is themed around various battles and moments in military history....call me crazy, but I really like this one, I think perhaps Owens gave them a needed shot in the arm. The disc-length "Gettysburg" is nothing if not ambitious, and in my estimation, this is certainly the band's most overlooked work, many thought them to be past their peak, but do not miss this one.....a fine and seriously hard rocking, bone crushing 2 disc set.

"Framing Armageddon" is next in line, and takes the concepts sprouted on "Something Wicked" and expands
on them......a lot of instrumental guitar hijinx here, and this would be Ripper's farewell....still, all in all, this is not a bad effort either, these guys (or, more accurately, Schaffer), were a hell of a lot more ambitious than 90% of other metal bands of the day. Released in tandem was the EP "Overture of the Wicked", and features perhaps their best known tune "Ten Thousand Strong".

There is yet another segment to the "Something  Wicked" series, "The Crucible of Man", which I was pretty sure I have but can't find, I'll look some more tomorrow, but there is, in either case, a hell of a lot of stuff here, metal fans, if unfamiliar, you have no excuse......they compare somewhat favorably to Iron maiden or Judas Priest, perhaps a notch beneath those bands, but if you are a fan of headache inducing metal, you won't go wrong here...I gather they've released an album or two since, fuck, they might still be kicking it now, but nothing I've heard (I need to talk to Tim I guess).....anyways, here is some fucking hard rocking, ear piercing, semi-intellectual heavy metal for ya, as always feel free to discuss, comment, or contribute any of the stuff I don't have........I know some metal-heads (HI Tim!) listen to NOTHING but hard core metal, but me, I just consider it another nook in the rock n roll universe.

Enjoy these, there is some good stuff here.

ICED EARTH-01 Iced Earth/02 Written on the Wall/03 Colors/04 Curse the Sky/05 Life and Death/06
Solitude/07 Funeral/08 When the Night Falls

NIGHT OF THE STORMRIDER-01 Angels Holocaust/02 Stormrider/03 The Path I Choose/04 Before the Vision/05 Mystical End/06 Desert Rain/07 Pure Evil/08 Reaching the End/09 Travel In Stygian

BURNT OFFERINGS-01 Burnt Offerings/02 Last December/03 Diary/04 Brainwashed/05 Burning Oasis/06 Creator Failure/07 The Pierced Spirit/08 Dante's Inferno

THE DARK SAGA-01 Dark Saga/02 I Died For You/03 Violate/04 The Hunter/05 The Last Laugh/06 The Depths of Hell/07 Vengeance Is Mine/08 Scarred/09 Slave to the Dark/10 A Question of Heaven

DAYS OF PURGATORY DISC 1-01 Enter the Realm/02 Colors/03 Angels Holocaust/04 Stormrider/05 Winter Nights/06 Nightmares/07 Before the Vision/08 Pure Evil/09 Solitude/10 The Funeral/11 When the Night Falls

DAYS OF PURGATORY DISC 2-01 Burnt Offerings/02 Cast In Stone/03 Desert Rain/04 Brainwashed/05 Life and Death/06 Creator Failure/07 Reaching the End/08 Travel in Stygian/09 Dante's Inferno/10 Iced Earth

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES-01 Burning Times/02 Melancholy (Holy Martyr)/03
Disciples of the Lie/04 Watching Over Me/05 Stand Alone/06 Consequences/07 My Own Savior/08 Reaping Stone/09 1776/10 Blessed Are You/11 Prophecy/12 Birth of the Wicked/13 The Coming Curse

ALIVE IN ATHENS DISC 1-01 Burning Times/02 Vengeance Is Mine/03 Pure Evil/04 My Own Savior/05 Melancholy (Holy Martyr)/06 Dante's Inferno/07 The Hunter/08 Travel In Stygian/09 Slave to the Dark/10 A Question of Heaven

ALIVE IN ATHENS DISC 2-01 Dark Saga/02 The Last Laugh/03 Last December/04 Watching Over Me/05 Angels Holocaust/06 Stormrider/07 The Path I Choose/08 I Died For You/09 Prophecy/10 Birth of the Wicked/11 The Coming Curse/12 Iced Earth

ALIVE IN ATHENS DISC 3-01 Stand Alone/02 Cast In Stone/03 Desert Rain/04 Brainwashed/05 Disciples of the Lie/06 When the Night Falls/07 Diary/08 Blessed Are You/09 Violate

THE MELANCHOLY (EP) 01 Melancholy (Holy Martyr)/02 Shooting Star/03 Watching Over Me/04 Electric Funeral/05 I Died For You/06 The Ripper/07 Colors

ENTER THE REALM (EP)-01 Enter the Realm/02 Colors/03 Nightmares/04 Curse the Sky/05 Solitude/06 Iced Earth

TRIBUTE TO THE GODS-01 Creatures of the Night/02 Number of the Beast/03 Highway to Hell/04 Burning For You/05 God of Thunder/06 Screaming For Vengeance/07 Dead Babies/08 Cities on Flame (With Rock N Roll)/09 It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock N Roll)/10 Black Sabbath/11 Hallowed Be Thy Name

HORROR SHOW-01 Wolf/02 Damien/03 Jack/04 Ghost of Freedom/05 Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh's Curse)/06 Jekyll & Hyde/07 Dragon's Child/08 Transylvania/09 Frankenstein/10 Dracula/11 The Phantom Opera Ghost

THE GLORIOUS BURDEN DISC 1-01 The Star Spangled Banner/02 Declaration Day/03 When the Eagle Cries/04 Don't Tread on Me/05 Greenface/06 Atilla/07 Red Baron Blue Max/08 Hollow Man/09 Valley Forge/10 Waterloo/11 When the Eagle Cries Unplugged

THE GLORIOUS BURDEN DISC 2-01` The Devil to Pay/02 Hold at All Costs/03 High Water Mark

FRAMING ARMAGEDDON-01 Overture/02 Something Wicked (Part 1)/03 Invasion/04 Motivation of Man/05 Setian Massacre/06 A Charge to Keep/07 Reflections/08 Ten thousand Strong/09 Execution/10 Order of the Rose/11 Cataclysm/12 The Clouding/13 Infiltrate and Assimilate/14 Retribution Through the Ages/15 Something Wicked (Part 2)/16 The Domino Decree/17 Framing Armageddon/18 When Stars Collide (Born Is He)/19 The Awakening

OVERTURE OF THE WICKED-01 Ten Thousand Strong/02 Prophecy/03 Birth of the Wicked/04 The
Coming Curse

Oh, and hey...these are all (or mostly, I forget) FLAC files.....some love them, some hate them, as I've said before, how I have them is how you get them....but they are a bit more work for me, as most of them need split....this is a rather large project, but it's cool, if you want an album that is split, download ALL parts and it will work fine, trust me......yeah, yeah, when I originally downloaded them I should have converted them, but the cold hard fact is I didn't.......so this is what you are getting....no bitching, there is a lot of good shit here, and if it's too much work for you to DL multiple parts or convert them (free converters are available online), then you are a bit too self-entitled.....we work each day, practically, to make a wide variety of music available to you, and it's not THAT much work to fix it up the way you prefer.......think about it, it's not that hard, and, hey, believe me, it's much more work for us than it is for you.......sorry to rant, but I do get tired of people bitching about the free music they get through me and my wonderful team of helpers......good shit here, take the extra five minutes and GET IT DONE......and of course, let me know what you think, or what you'd like to see here........as Brian likes to say "One Love"!

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