Iced Earth - Festivals Of The Wicked review


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Band: Iced Earth
Album: Festivals Of The Wicked
Release date: June 2011

Disc I

Live at Metal Camp Open Air 2008

01. Dark Saga
02. Vengeance Is Mine
03. Burning Times
04. Declaration Day
05. Violate
06. Pure Evil
07. Watching Over Me
08. Ten Thousand Strong
09. Dracula
10. The Coming Curse
11. I Died For You
12. Travel In Stygian
13. A Question Of Heaven
14. Melancholy (Holy Martyr)
15. My Own Savior
16. Iced Earth

+ 25 Chapter Documentary (52 min)

Disc II

Live at Rock Hard Festival 2008

01. Dark Saga
02. Vengeance Is Mine
03. Burning Times
04. Declaration Day
05. Violate
06. Pure Evil
07. Watching Over Me
08. Ten Thousand Strong
09. Dracula
10. The Coming Curse
11. Travel In Stygian
12. A Question Of Heaven
13. Melancholy (Holy Martyr)
14. My Own Savior
15. Iced Earth

Live at Wacken Open Air 2007

16. Burning Times
17. Declaration Day
18. Violate
19. Vengeance Is Mine
20. Ten Thousand Strong
21. The Hunter
22. Stormrider
23. A Charge To Keep
24. My Own Savior
25. Prophecy
26. Birth Of The Wicked
27. The Coming Curse
28. Iced Earth

Bonus Video Clips & Pictures

29. Ten Thousand Strong [Music Video]
30. When The Eagle Cries [Music Video]
31. The Reckoning (Don't Tread On Me) [Music Video]
32. Declaration Day [Music Video]
33. Framing Armageddon [Electronic Press Kit]
34. Photo Slideshow (By Ross Halfin)
35. Photo Slideshow (By Rudy De Doncker)

Aside from their studio offering in the form of Dystopia, in 2011 Iced Earth also released a 2-disc DVD package called Festivals Of The Wicked. Containing a documentary, 3 full concert setlists, and bonus material; on paper this looks like it could be the ultimate package. However, despite being a very good all-around offering for fans of the band, a few things hold this back from being the perfect DVD that every Iced Earth fan dreams of.

Starting off with the good, there is a lot of content here, and the setlist in every show covered a broad range of the band's music from different eras. This was a strong point; the mix of the old time thrashers like "Stormrider" and of course the frantic anthem "Iced Earth" with their mid tempo heavy metal style tracks like "Burning Times" should appeal to fans regardless of what era is their favourite in Iced Earth's fabled history. There is also some variation in band members, most notably Tim Owens handling vocals during the Wacken performance, and while in my opinion he is weaker than Barlow, he did an admirable job. The band's performance in all 3 concerts was professional and well done, and the sound was nice and clear with just the right amount of crunch. Jon Schaffer's performance in particular was air tight and a pleasure to watch. There is also a nearly hour long documentary on the first disc which is fairly interesting, and has some worthwhile input and stories from the band members.

Now is where I get to the problems. You don't even need to put the disc in your DVD player to find out one obvious one - two of the setlists are nearly identical. With the exception of "I Died For You" being added to Metal Camp Slovenia 2008, the first two concerts have exactly the same setlist. If that isn't pointless, I don't know what is. The attention to Matt Barlow in the documentary is also odd, considering he was gone by 2011.

Time to get to the "bonus material", which felt nothing like a bonus. The video clips range from cheesy and laughable, to cheesy and lame, to just plain pathetic. They tried tacking some kind of weird, unintelligible storyline to "Declaration Day", in which everyone in the world disappears. In reaction, an old guy rides a motorcycle around and saves them from the big monster holding them captive (by doing absolutely nothing, other than being an old guy on a motorcycle). Ray Harryhausen was probably doing better monster animation when he was 10 than what goes on in this video, and it is really a shame rubbish like this is in what is overall an enjoyable package.

The final word on this one: it should please virtually any Iced Earth fan but it not without its fair share of redundancy and nonsense.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: -
Originality: -
Production: 8

Written by Mattybu | 06.07.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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