Iced Earth - Dystopia


8.1 | 496 votes |
Release date: 17 October 2011
Style: Heavy metal, US power metal

Owners:

512 have it
63 want it


01. Dystopia
02. Anthem
03. Boiling Point
04. Anguish Of Youth
05. V
06. Dark City
07. Equilibrium
08. Days Of Rage
09. End Of Innocence
10. Soylent Green [limited edition bonus]
11. Iron Will [limited edition bonus]
12. Tragedy And Triumph
13. Anthem [string mix version] [limited edition bonus]
14. The Mob Rules [Black Sabbath cover] [iTunes bonus]

The best Power Metal album of 2011

Line-up
Stu Block - lead vocals
Jon Schaffer - rhythm, lead & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Troy Seele - lead guitar
Brent Smedley - drums
Freddie Vidales - bass, backing vocals

Additional info
Released as a limited edition Digipak, limited edition box set and iTunes version.

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, Florida in July and August, 2011.

Dystopia was released in Europe on October 17th, and in the U.S. on October 18th, both via Century Media.

Bonus tracks for the limited edition:
10. Soylent Green (04:20)
11. Iron Will (04:15)
13. Anthem (String Mix) (04:51)
"Tragedy & Triumph" moves from 10 to 12 on this tracklist.

iTunes download includes an exclusive bonus track:
11. The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath cover) (03:07)

The Japan edition features all the bonus tracks from the limited edition version, plus one additional bonus track:
14. The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover) (04:19)

All other physical releases include a code for a free download of The Trooper as well.

Staff review by
Baz Anderson
Rating:
7.5
It's been a bit of a rocky ride for Iced Earth in the last few years, especially after things looked so promising with Matt Barlow back in the band. The Crucible Of Man really didn't deliver what the line-up promised, and then another knock back with the news that Matt would be leaving the band once more.

After everything, Iced Earth stand strong here today with their latest offering and another lease of life and promise. Dystopia is Jon's tenth album but the limelight is firmly shining on new singer Stuart Block, who has seemingly breathed new life into this iconic American band. Stu sounds so comfortable in Barlow's position as he emulates the past singer's vocals almost perfectly. Not only this, but his versatility is unparalleled with his ability to scream just as well Tim Owens. Iced Earth have found the last piece of the jigsaw, and it didn't have to be cut to shape this time.

Read more ››
published 15.10.2011 | Comments (24)

Guest review by
AndMetalForAll
Rating:
8.0
For the second straight time Iced Earth saw themselves without a singer and so they had to look for a new one. In the beginning of 2011 the search was over and the choice was Stu Block (former Into Eternity). The expectation was enormous about the new singer. Iced Earth aren't exactly famous in choosing Matt Barlow's substitutes over the years after having as their singer Tim Owens, with technically amazing vocal capacities but without the heart Iced Earth fans truly love.

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published 26.11.2011 | Comments (14)

Guest review by
Tristus Scriptor
Rating:
8.5
Once again, Jon Schaffer's vehicle of pure METAL does a dust-stirring figure-eight around all of our dizzied heads, screeching to a halt directly in front of us. I can't think of a time when a new Iced Earth release was a humdrum occasion. Be it Schaffer's knack for incessant line-up changes, anticipated concepts, re-recorded classics (both original and covered), and...MORE line-up changes; one cannot deny that curiosity almost always surrounds every release with the Iced Earth moniker. This one is no different. Come to think of it, for many reasons, Dystopia might just be the most significant case of raised eyebrows yet.

Read more ››
published 03.03.2012 | Comments (6)

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Comments

Comments: 99   Visited by: 1241 users
03.10.2010 - 22:32
Rating: 9
thewall30
I seriously can't wait for this!
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03.10.2010 - 23:11
RavenKing
Considering how excrutiatingly boring the last album was, let's say my expectations for this one are extremely low.
To be honest, I believe it won't be any good.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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18.10.2010 - 08:41
BloodFireDeath
Anything will be better than the last two albums
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Goodspeed on the Devils Thunder
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19.10.2010 - 05:46
Angelic Storm
Melodious
I actually liked "Framing Armageddon" despite its obvious flaws. (some songs having rehashed parts, and it being overlong) And I find it to be head and shoulders above "The Crucible Of Man", which was a huge disappointment to me, and is IE's worst album without question, IMO. My expectations for the upcoming album are very low, which is a good thing I guess, as I wont be surprised or disappointed if the new album isnt very good. lol

It cant really be any worse, only as bad or better. Hopefully it will be a great album, or at least a step in the right direction after the dire last album.
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19.10.2010 - 11:29
Rating: 9
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk
To Mega Therion
^ Exactly my sentiment.
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Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, and they all stink.
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24.10.2010 - 16:31
Valentin B
Iconoclast
Written by Angelic Storm on 19.10.2010 at 05:46

It cant really be any worse, only as bad or better. Hopefully it will be a great album, or at least a step in the right direction after the dire last album.

i know i'm beating a dead horse here, but i really hope Schaffer will get his shit together and channel his patriotic sentiments in Sons of Liberty and brings us back the almighty monstrous riffs of his early-mid 90s releases.

i want more impossible ultra-heavy triplet picking patterns!
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Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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24.10.2010 - 16:39
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by Valentin B on 24.10.2010 at 16:31
i know i'm beating a dead horse here, but i really hope Schaffer will get his shit together and channel his patriotic sentiments in Sons of Liberty and brings us back the almighty monstrous riffs of his early-mid 90s releases.

i want more impossible ultra-heavy triplet picking patterns!


The last album was mostly awful, and that had no patriotic sentiments in it!

But yeah, totally agreed on wishing he'd bring back the monster riffs of the early stuff. I need more extremely fast, galloping palm muted riffs that will make my arm fall off when I try to play them.
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03.11.2010 - 21:40
Rating: 9
thewall30
I've liked all their albums they've ever put out, their all unique in their own ways. Its never a same release thats what i love about this band, and yes it would be nice to hear some more fast riffing, galloping speed type of stuff in their next album just like the old days
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03.11.2010 - 23:09
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 19.10.2010 at 05:46

It cant really be any worse, only as bad or better.


Exactly what I believe. I can hardly imagine how it could be worse. Imo, it can only be as awful or better.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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25.11.2010 - 02:19
Holy Man
STEEL DEFENDER
I think every one of their albums is good in it's own right, but to compare them all to each other, yeah Crucible was pretty fuckin weak. It had it's highlights, but I think that's the risk you take with a concept album. Certain parts of a story have to be portrayed a certain way, and to stray from that is to fuck up the story. Assuming this next album doesn't have any weird concept twists like Something Wicked, I think we'll be looking at something pretty cool.
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LIGHT THE FUSE ON THAT VAGINAMITE!!!
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25.11.2010 - 05:44
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by Holy Man on 25.11.2010 at 02:19

I think every one of their albums is good in it's own right, but to compare them all to each other, yeah Crucible was pretty fuckin weak. It had it's highlights, but I think that's the risk you take with a concept album. Certain parts of a story have to be portrayed a certain way, and to stray from that is to fuck up the story. Assuming this next album doesn't have any weird concept twists like Something Wicked, I think we'll be looking at something pretty cool.


Crucible definitely had it's highlights, but they were far fewer than on any of their previous releases, including "Framing Armageddon". You have to sit through a lot of dull, monotonous stuff in order to reach the rare gems like "Divide/Devour", (which could have been made stronger with a solo) "I Walk Alone", and "Come What May". "The Revealing" has promise, but it should have been fleshed out into a full song, and the ending riff is repeated far too many times for its own good. lol So that's less than half the album which contains decent songs. Which for a band with such a prestigious pedigree of Iced Earth, isnt good enough.

Whether the weakness of Crucible (and to a lesser extent, "Framing Armageddon") has anything to do with it being a double concept album, I have no idea. Maybe in the end, Jon wasnt up to the huge task of creating two awesome albums pretty much at the same time. (Most of the stuff on Crucible was written at the same time as "Framing Armageddon") The biggest weakness of ... Armageddon, is the blatant rehashing of parts from other songs. "Retribution Through The Ages" in particular is hurt by this, as it has the potential to be a great song, but the use of a rehashed riff from "Prophecy" robs it of any chance of being a great track in its own right, which it had the potential to be. The next album wont have anything to do with the Something Wicked story as far as Im aware, so maybe without that added pressure, Jon can come up with a great album again, though I have my doubts...
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25.11.2010 - 13:03
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 25.11.2010 at 05:44

Crucible definitely had it's highlights, but they were far fewer than on any of their previous releases


If you ask me, no. Not even. TCOM doesn't have any highlight or good moment. It's sleep-inducing plodding chugga-chug and it sucks from beginning to end.
And even if it would have better parts (for people less picky than me), it would still be a few teardrops in an ocean of shit.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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25.11.2010 - 13:06
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by RavenKing on 25.11.2010 at 13:03
If you ask me, no. Not even. TCOM doesn't have any highlight or good moment. It's sleep-inducing plodding chugga-chug and it sucks from beginning to end.
And even if it would have better parts (for people less picky than me), it would still be a few teardrops in an ocean of shit.


Well, there's that thing called personal preference again... lol But I think we can both at least agree that it is a very below-par album for Iced Earth, and also definitely their worst.
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25.11.2010 - 13:11
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 25.11.2010 at 13:06

Written by RavenKing on 25.11.2010 at 13:03
If you ask me, no. Not even. TCOM doesn't have any highlight or good moment. It's sleep-inducing plodding chugga-chug and it sucks from beginning to end.
And even if it would have better parts (for people less picky than me), it would still be a few teardrops in an ocean of shit.


Well, there's that thing called personal preference again... lol But I think we can both at least agree that it is a very below-par album for Iced Earth, and also definitely their worst.


I agree about it being a mediocre album. And definitely Iced Earth's worst. I never liked "Horror Show" but at least it had a couple of good songs. TCOM doesn't have a single good song, imo.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
29.11.2010 - 17:45
Holy Man
STEEL DEFENDER
Written by Angelic Storm on 25.11.2010 at 05:44

Written by Holy Man on 25.11.2010 at 02:19

I think every one of their albums is good in it's own right, but to compare them all to each other, yeah Crucible was pretty fuckin weak. It had it's highlights, but I think that's the risk you take with a concept album. Certain parts of a story have to be portrayed a certain way, and to stray from that is to fuck up the story. Assuming this next album doesn't have any weird concept twists like Something Wicked, I think we'll be looking at something pretty cool.


Crucible definitely had it's highlights, but they were far fewer than on any of their previous releases, including "Framing Armageddon". You have to sit through a lot of dull, monotonous stuff in order to reach the rare gems like "Divide/Devour", (which could have been made stronger with a solo) "I Walk Alone", and "Come What May". "The Revealing" has promise, but it should have been fleshed out into a full song, and the ending riff is repeated far too many times for its own good. lol So that's less than half the album which contains decent songs. Which for a band with such a prestigious pedigree of Iced Earth, isnt good enough.

Whether the weakness of Crucible (and to a lesser extent, "Framing Armageddon") has anything to do with it being a double concept album, I have no idea. Maybe in the end, Jon wasnt up to the huge task of creating two awesome albums pretty much at the same time. (Most of the stuff on Crucible was written at the same time as "Framing Armageddon") The biggest weakness of ... Armageddon, is the blatant rehashing of parts from other songs. "Retribution Through The Ages" in particular is hurt by this, as it has the potential to be a great song, but the use of a rehashed riff from "Prophecy" robs it of any chance of being a great track in its own right, which it had the potential to be. The next album wont have anything to do with the Something Wicked story as far as Im aware, so maybe without that added pressure, Jon can come up with a great album again, though I have my doubts...



Yeah, I getcha Angie... definitely both of those albums are the dullest ever done by the guy. But I would hope he's going to step his game up on this next one. The only thing I'm really hoping for is for it NOT to be a Sons of Liberty album with different vocals... I hate preachy, political albums like that... I get that he feels that way, but it's too much for my taste. I like the old school Iced Earth formula... Dark, heavy, epic. Too much DRAMA in an album results in the Something Wicked duo...
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LIGHT THE FUSE ON THAT VAGINAMITE!!!
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25.05.2011 - 02:38
Sulac
I want the aggression and power of Burnt Offerings or Night Of The Stormrider. Now, is Stu doing this album's vocals, or is Matt?
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28.05.2011 - 04:24
Rating: 8
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
I think most agree it just needs to be heavier and faster. If they did that, it should be at least a positive.
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02.06.2011 - 06:31
Rating: 10
ToMegaTherion
We'll soon see what IE have install for us. I'm looking forward too it, but i do hope the line-up stabilizes soon especially with the singer. Seriously, Barlow; just stay stay with IE and be done with it.
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The Darker Side of Metal - Metal Reviews and Discussions
http://thedarkersideofmetal.blogspot.com.au/
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27.07.2011 - 19:45
Rating: 9
thewall30
Album artwork looks sick!
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28.07.2011 - 21:09
Angelic Storm
Melodious
The artwork is pretty kewl, but then again "The Crucible Of Man" had amazing artwork, and that album was pretty terrible!

My expectations for this album are low, though I really hope Jon can surprise me and show that he still has the chops to make some great songs again.
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29.07.2011 - 20:20
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 28.07.2011 at 21:09

The artwork is pretty kewl, but then again "The Crucible Of Man" had amazing artwork, and that album was pretty terrible!

My expectations for this album are low, though I really hope Jon can surprise me and show that he still has the chops to make some great songs again.


The album cover could as well have been used for the two previous albums. I think Schaffer needs to stop using Set Abominae now that the concept albums are over and move on. Now that they have a new singer, why not taking a completely new start and stop being in the past?
I have the feeling Schaffer doesn't have a fucking idea what he's doing once more.

Also, I don't find the song titles very inspiring.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
29.07.2011 - 22:59
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by RavenKing on 29.07.2011 at 20:20
The album cover could as well have been used for the two previous albums. I think Schaffer needs to stop using Set Abominae now that the concept albums are over and move on. Now that they have a new singer, why not taking a completely new start and stop being in the past?
I have the feeling Schaffer doesn't have a fucking idea what he's doing once more.

Also, I don't find the song titles very inspiring.


I think it's because Set Abominae has sort of like became the official mascot of Iced Earth. He featured on the "Horror Show" cover art, even though there was no songs on that album about him, plus live albums and DVD's. Maiden's Eddie is the most obvious comparison, but even if you take say, Kreator's pointy eared mascot.. He first appeared on the "Terrible Certainty" cover, and since then, they've had 5 different album covers with just his head on it! I can see what you're saying, but because Set seems to have became the band's mascot outside of the albums/songs featuring him, then I can see why he's on the cover. Though yep, new singer and all that.. the first album Tim sang on didn't have Set on the cover, so they could have done that. (although the single cover for "The Reckoning" did feature Set on the artwork)

Hearing what Jon said about the lyrical themes of the album, then the titles make more sense. I also don't really put much emphasis on song titles alone, and Im definitely very intrigued to hear the new stuff. Especially because of the new singer... Im interested in hearing whether he fits the band's music, and also if Jon can make a good album again after the last one was so bad. xD
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30.07.2011 - 00:03
RavenKing
Written by Angelic Storm on 29.07.2011 at 22:59


I think it's because Set Abominae has sort of like became the official mascot of Iced Earth. He featured on the "Horror Show" cover art, even though there was no songs on that album about him, plus live albums and DVD's. Maiden's Eddie is the most obvious comparison, but even if you take say, Kreator's pointy eared mascot.. He first appeared on the "Terrible Certainty" cover, and since then, they've had 5 different album covers with just his head on it! I can see what you're saying, but because Set seems to have became the band's mascot outside of the albums/songs featuring him, then I can see why he's on the cover. Though yep, new singer and all that.. the first album Tim sang on didn't have Set on the cover, so they could have done that. (although the single cover for "The Reckoning" did feature Set on the artwork)

Hearing what Jon said about the lyrical themes of the album, then the titles make more sense. I also don't really put much emphasis on song titles alone, and Im definitely very intrigued to hear the new stuff. Especially because of the new singer... Im interested in hearing whether he fits the band's music, and also if Jon can make a good album again after the last one was so bad. xD


Sure Set Abominae has become Iced Earth's mascot, just like Eddie is Iron Maiden's mascot or Violent Mind is Kreator's mascot.
The little problem I have with Set Abominae is he's so obviously copied on Eddie. Also, since Iced Earth's music is heavily-inspired on Maiden's, I see it as another way to copy Maiden. I mean, Schaffer copies Maiden at every turn and in every way, as if he hopes he will get the same success by doing this. He never will. Iced Earth will never get close to Maiden in terms of popularity, sales, etc. It is simply impossible. So, Imo, he should work on building Iced Earth its own identity instead. (a stable line-up would help here, something Iced Earth have never been able to achieve)

I know "The Glorious Burden" didn't have Set on the cover but "The Reckoning" single had him.

As for what to expect, we will see.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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22.08.2011 - 19:48
Rating: 10
Dedcalm
Lets start with Imo, The last album wasnt good. Altho better than the first album, But ive listened to Stu's voice from Into Eternity and it doesnt work for me and i cant see how it will fit into Iced earth. Ok i have no idea what direction this new album will take. What im concerned about is the next tour. Can Stu pull off the old stuff? Im worried about Iced earths future and not just cause there stuff went down hill after The Glorious Burden. I just put that down to not liking that perticuler concept. I will buy it. I will listen. Then... We shall see.
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22.08.2011 - 21:02
Rating: 8
Enemy of Reality
I would like them to go back to a more simple and straight forward sound like in The Dark Saga, SWTWC or even Horror Show. I love the last 3 albums, but i got sick of the choir and epic stuff. This is metal not fuckin opera. Leave that to Avantasia and Blind Guardian, they do it just fine!
I don't hate those records though. The Glorious Burden had that patriotic feeling, but most songs were great.
Framing Armageddon was awesome, but i would cut it to 7/8 really good songs, the rest are bad fillers and lame intros.
The Crucible of Man had it's moments, but it's by far the worst IE record to date. I like 4 songs on that record. The rest is just shit.
Just bought Festivals of the Wicked. Badass dvd that proves 3 things:
1. Jon doesn't seem to like FA and TCOM too.
2. Iced Earth live needs more action, more movement. The band seem to be dying on stage sometimes.
3. Ripper Owens is deplorable live.

Hope Stu is abble to fill does gigant Barlow shoes.
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24.08.2011 - 20:30
Valentin B
Iconoclast
Written by Enemy of Reality on 22.08.2011 at 21:02

3. Ripper Owens is deplorable live.

Hope Stu is abble to fill does gigant Barlow shoes.

haven't watched Festivals of the Wicked, but i saw Tim Owens with his own band live, and i totally disagree with that point. the guy can go from those razor-sharp low vocals to explosive screams like it's ABC. he can also hold an E5 note for 20 seconds every other night and then keep on singing for another 90 minutes with no problem.

the guy is pretty much a beast, and the studio recordings he sings on don't even come close to showing his full potential. this video of him nailing the middle part of Declaration Day like it's nothing also disagrees with you.. on the other hand, Barlow, back in 2008, obviously struggles with those insanely high notes and, more embarassingly, forgets the lyrics. now i'm not saying that Barlow is a bad concert vocalist (imo he really is a highly capable singer, but sadly that shined through only on Alive in Athens and his last few shows with IE), but it's quite obvious who has the upper hand in vocal range. imo Greely is the best vocalist IE ever had (have yet to hear Bloc in IE though), but then again Schaffer had good reason to kick him out, and Barlow seems to be really good at writing lyrics too (Diary, Vengeance is Mine)..

but then again let's see what Stu Bloc has to offer, if the song Timeless Winter by Into Eternity is to be believed, then i'm pretty sure we're looking at some kind of 3-in-one multi-vocalist. it's safe to say i'm pumped that Schaffer is going back to writing grim tales of vengeance, darkness and glory, instead of beating the dead horse no-one really cares about that is the Set story.
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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25.08.2011 - 21:39
Rating: 8
Enemy of Reality
Written by Valentin B on 24.08.2011 at 20:30

Written by Enemy of Reality on 22.08.2011 at 21:02

3. Ripper Owens is deplorable live.

Hope Stu is abble to fill does gigant Barlow shoes.

haven't watched Festivals of the Wicked, but i saw Tim Owens with his own band live, and i totally disagree with that point. the guy can go from those razor-sharp low vocals to explosive screams like it's ABC. he can also hold an E5 note for 20 seconds every other night and then keep on singing for another 90 minutes with no problem.

the guy is pretty much a beast, and the studio recordings he sings on don't even come close to showing his full potential. this video of him nailing the middle part of Declaration Day like it's nothing also disagrees with you.. on the other hand, Barlow, back in 2008, obviously struggles with those insanely high notes and, more embarassingly, forgets the lyrics. now i'm not saying that Barlow is a bad concert vocalist (imo he really is a highly capable singer, but sadly that shined through only on Alive in Athens and his last few shows with IE), but it's quite obvious who has the upper hand in vocal range. imo Greely is the best vocalist IE ever had (have yet to hear Bloc in IE though), but then again Schaffer had good reason to kick him out, and Barlow seems to be really good at writing lyrics too (Diary, Vengeance is Mine)..

but then again let's see what Stu Bloc has to offer, if the song Timeless Winter by Into Eternity is to be believed, then i'm pretty sure we're looking at some kind of 3-in-one multi-vocalist. it's safe to say i'm pumped that Schaffer is going back to writing grim tales of vengeance, darkness and glory, instead of beating the dead horse no-one really cares about that is the Set story.


I agree that Barlow lost his touch, the performances in the DVD are miles away from the gig i saw back in 2001 here in Portugal and they performed almost 2h. I also think that Schaffer did well in replacing him for Tim Owens and now with Block.
On Owens, the dvd's probably doesn't do him justice. Even in Ten Thousand Strong (his best studio performance imo) he struggles to reach the higher notes.
I recall great gigs with Judas for example. I dunno if Schaffer limited his live performing, but the guy seems to be held back most of the time.
Hopefully Block will deliver the goods.
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16.09.2011 - 21:22
John Shock
I want this! ...that's for sure!
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18.09.2011 - 04:56
Rating: 10
Dedcalm
Ive just heard a song from Dystopia and i believe we are in for an amazing album.
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21.09.2011 - 10:00
Valentin B
Iconoclast
Written by Dedcalm on 18.09.2011 at 04:56

Ive just heard a song from Dystopia and i believe we are in for an amazing album.

if you're talking about "Days of Rage" then i slightly disagree, but "Anthem" imo is just amazing, probably Iced Earth's best slow epic in years.
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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