Iced Earth - The Glorious Burden review



Reviewer:
8.1

531 users:
7.43
Band: Iced Earth
Album: The Glorious Burden
Release date: January 2004


Disc I
01. Star-Spangled Banner
02. Declaration Day
03. When The Eagle Cries
04. The Reckoning (Don't Tread On Me)
05. Greenface
06. Attila
07. Red Baron/Blue Max
08. Hollow Man
09. Valley Forge
10. Waterloo
11. When The Eagle Cries [acoustic version]

Disc II [Gettysburg 1863]
01. The Devil To Pay
02. Hold At All Costs
03. High Water Mark


The Glorious Burden is an album of change in so many ways. Not surprisingly the biggest change is the one of vocal duties. Matthew Barlow, frontman and vocalist since 1995 is no longer a member of Iced Earth and this album is the start of the Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-Wintersbane, Judas Priest) era. Another big change is the one of the music itself, or rather the theme of the music. The dark, gothic touch that has characterized Iced Earth's sound and lyrics has been exchanged for a historical theme. Before listening to the album I was a bit skeptical about this but it turned out great.

If you've had the pleasure of hearing any of their preceding albums you know what to expect musically. As stated in the band-profile you could describe it as Dark Heavy Metal as it draws heavily from thrash-metal. There are still a lot of melody and power metal-influences in there to make it stand out even further. I bought the Special Edition here in Europe and it starts out with "Star Spangled Banner", a great intro for the classic Iced Earth song "Declaration Day". These two songs along with "When the Eagle Cries" might look patriotic on the paper but the songs are all plain great. Through the rest of the album the listener gets to experience everything from the hunnic invasion to the battle of waterloo.

The song writing is what's to be expected from an Iced Earth release but nothing revolutionary in any way. Standouts are "Declaration Day", "The Reckoning" and "Waterloo", all sounding fresh but still very much Iced Earth. How does Owens handle the vocals then? He does it strikingly good! He's nothing like Matt but I see that as an advantage as it adds to the "fresh-factor". From the first verse to the last he has the listener on their toes and he fits the song writing perfectly. Assuming you aren't a Barlow fanatic you can prepare to be blown away. Don't stop reading just yet because the best is still left!

The second disc of this album is made up of a three piece epic under the name of "Gettysburg (1863)" and is some of the best music ever written by Jon Schaffer. These three songs are worth the price of the album alone, that's how good they are. Describing the battle of Gettysburg the music is dramatic and symphonic with lyrics describing the events very emotionally. You've heard the description before: imagine a film-score crossed with heavy metal. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing like the film-score metal of Rhapsody of Fire. Gettysburg was created from a musicians love for history and the result is a jaw-dropping, thoughtful, dramatic and emotional tribute to the important historical event. Probably the best possible tribute ever made in this form.

The production is above average and the artwork is very beautiful. The main disc is classic Iced Earth with a historical twist. The lyrics are great but it lacks in originality and I miss a standout guitar-solo. The second disc is what really makes this album worth buying with some of the bands best music. If you're new to the band, be sure you know that this is not like their other albums but still a good album. If you've been a fan for a longer time you have probably already bought the album but if not I can assure you'll find a lot of interesting things about this release.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Written by Storchillarn | 16.06.2007


 


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


Comments

Comments: 14   Visited by: 130 users
26.06.2007 - 07:56
Doc Godin
Obnoxious
I like the Gettysburg part of this album but the rest grew pretty boring quite quickly for me. Guess im not into powery type metal so its for me to say objectively if this is a great album or not.
----
"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
Loading...
07.11.2007 - 20:05
ProgTon
Account deleted
album is good, ive not listened every iced earth cds yet, but the newest is a nice piece of work, this one is okay,
Loading...
06.09.2008 - 13:42
Tornado Of Souls
I think this albums much better than Framing Armaggedon.
Loading...
07.09.2008 - 02:46
Dangerboner
:D
The Reckoning (Don't Tread On Me) is really the only song on this album that I like. The others are just too slow for me, but I did turn it off around 3/4 of the way through.
Loading...
01.02.2009 - 15:02
Black_Sheep
This album is great. IMO it only has two weak tracks "When The Eagle Cries" and "Hollow Man". The Gettysburg trilogy is awesome! i would give this album 9/10
----
"Reality is almost always wrong."
Loading...
03.02.2009 - 01:39
Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk
To Mega Therion
IMHO, one of the best Iced Earth albums (yeah, I like the "powery" style better )
----


Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, and they all stink.
Loading...
06.02.2009 - 01:33
Storchillarn
It was quite a while since I made this review but it's always fun to read comments. Guess it's time to write some more reviews. =)
Loading...
09.04.2009 - 01:05
BMR Monkey
Best iced earth album for soo long
Loading...
13.04.2009 - 02:26
Lord_Regnier
Written by Black_Sheep on 01.02.2009 at 15:02

This album is great. IMO it only has two weak tracks "When The Eagle Cries" and "Hollow Man". The Gettysburg trilogy is awesome!


One more time we have exactly the same opinion. The two tracks you mention are precisely the ones I consider as the weakest on the album.
----
"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
Loading...
22.05.2009 - 08:23
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
Quote:
Standouts are "Declaration Day", "The Reckoning" and "Waterloo", all sounding fresh but still very much Iced Earth.


Totally agree. Exactly my favorites.
----

----
member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
Loading...
25.09.2009 - 14:01
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
I only like the "Disc II", Gettysburg saga
----
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


Loading...
30.10.2009 - 16:14
Hermann Langke
Brahmastra Corps
Written by Doc Godin on 26.06.2007 at 07:56

I like the Gettysburg part of this album but the rest grew pretty boring quite quickly for me. Guess im not into powery type metal so its for me to say objectively if this is a great album or not.

I have my majors in history and i really like it.It is like a time machine taking you back to the U.S. Civil War.
Loading...
09.10.2013 - 15:52
Supernaut
If you are curious about symphonic metal, I can highly recommend the second disc, but don't pay too much as it would have all fitted on one disc. Glad it's on two discs though as I rarely listen to the first disc, with occasionally off-puttingly patriotic lyrics (check out Schaffer's side project Sons of Liberty for an interesting about-face though). Owens is technically better than Barlow, but he has less emotion (though he certainly got the short straw with the lyrics as well). The second disc is a 9 and the first a 5, hence my 7...
Loading...
13.12.2016 - 01:09
Bad English
Masterchief
Only sad thing this was not real concept album about US history but mixed histprical events in one
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...

Advertise on Metal Storm

Hits total: 7041 | This month: 36