Rating:
8.0
Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1)
7 September 2007


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


Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1) is a conceptual album which continues the storyline of the famous Iced Earth's 1998 release "Something Wicked This Way Comes". This is also the first part of a double album (the sequel will probably be out in 2008) and this is of course the second album with the singer Tim Owens. Actually I was disappointed by the last two Iced Earth's albums ("Horror Show" and "The Glorious Burden") and if I was expecting something good with the two new "Something Wicked" I have to confess that I was not so confident too… By luck, my "bad" feeling was wrong and all the fans of Iced Earth will probably be happy to hear that Jon Schaffer is back in business so be prepared for a big kick in your ass!

Jon Schaffer aka the "riff machine" is back in town my friends! His two last albums were not so transcending, not bad too but a bit average and of course it was a bit hard for us (the old fans) to do the transition and to listen to the band without Barlow (Tim Owens was the new singer on "The Glorious Burden"). But it seems that Jon Schaffer's inspiration is back and God, this "Framing Armageddon" is a great surprise for me! Well, I will not tell right now that it's the best album of the combo but for sure this is already a lot better. The reason of this statement comes from several points. First, the powerful and aggressive music of Iced Earth is finally back and yes "Framing Armageddon" is full of big and heavy killer riffs. The guitars soli aren't so important in the music even if they're good but "Framing Armageddon" is a matter of melodies. They're all impressive and extremely catchy and songs like "Something Wicked (Part 1)" or "Ten Thousand Strong" are pure Metal hits which will stay for a long time in your memories. The choruses of the songs never lack of rhythm and the melodies are always catchy.

"Framing Armageddon" is a concept (the songs are cut by some little nice musical interludes) album which will tell you a Sci-Fi story written by Schaffer himself. I won't talk a lot about it, the best thing for you is to listen to the songs and to read the lyrics to discover it but to sum-up but if you want to know who are the Grand Architect of the Universe and the Setians and what happened on Earth when the men began to become corrupted by their thirst of knowledge and power, it will be something for you. With these good lyrics and a perfect production, "Framing Armageddon" is a real rebirth for Iced Earth. The performance of the musicians is excellent and I think that Tim Owens finally found his place in the line-up of the band. For sure you have to like his very high vocals but his "normal" voice is nice too and fits perfectly to the alternation of slow ballads with dark (a bit progressive) tracks and blasting US Power songs! No doubt, "Framing Armageddon" is a good album.

If you like Iced Earth, I doubt that you'll be disappointed by the new release and if the upcoming album "Something Wicked - Part 2" has the same quality I can tell you that this trilogy will become a classic. Maybe that the albums like "Something Wicked This Way Comes" or "Burnt Offering" will stay the favorite Iced Earth's releases for the fans but I'm ready to bet some money on the fact that they will like "Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1)" too. The great Iced Earth is back, hail to Schaffer, Owens and the other members of the combo. Highly recommended if you like blasting thrashy but melodic Power Metal.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Iced Earth
Album: Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1)


 


written by Jeff | 22.09.2007



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Baz Anderson - 22.09.2007 at 14:40  
yes! this is my favourite Iced Earth album I must say.. everything finally comes together for the band with Tim singing, and for once Tim sounds like he fits somewhere - instead of being that Rob Halford impersonator and ex-Judas Priest singer, this albums feels like he has finally found a good home

you're right about the melodies - they are probably the best part of the album.. "Setian Massacre", "Ten Thousand Strong", "The Clouding", "Infiltrate and Assimilate" and "Framing Armageddon" are my favourites of the album.. you have just love the opening of "Ten Thousand Strong" or how epic the title track is!

it took a while for this to grow on me, but I am glad I gave it the opportunity.. I just hope the part II of this will be of the same quality or better
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.09.2007 at 14:56  
This is their best in years but still not as good as the ones with Matt Barlow on vocals (except for Horror Show cause that is crap) or the other guy.
My biggest problem with this one is that too many songs are mid tempo to balladesque
BrightNight - 22.09.2007 at 16:31  
I agree with you jeff. This album shows that Jon Schaffer is back in the way Iced Earth was doing in the older days. I love this album and think its one of the best in the collection. It took me some time to get used to Tims voice (who wouldnt after those years with a godly voice like Barlow's). Barlow cant be equalled but neither can Tim in his own way!

Tim Owens found Jon's music and his voice fits perfectly! The first album with Tim as singer (the glorious burden) was still written by Jon with barlows voice in the back of his Head so it was a uncertain for the most of us where this band was going.

But it can be clearly heard that the musicians are fitting perfectly togheter on this one.

Hopefully the second part in februari 2008 will be as good (Jon says its even better) till then ive enough pleasure listening this one!

Iced Fucking Earth is back
Bad English - 22.09.2007 at 17:53  
I WANNA this album, damn I wanna it

Good job Jeff
Callo - 22.09.2007 at 18:00  
This album is not far from a masterpiece. Best they've done since Burnt Offerings. And if someone still has the balls to diss Tim Owens after hearing this album, I say fuck you, 'cause here Ripper gives the best vocal efforts of his career, and boy how fine they are.

Let's hope Schaffer gives us another killer with Part 2, which is supposed to be more up-tempo and aggressive.

UP THE ICED!


BTW I really think you should do some fine tuning with the rating colors. "8", meaning "Very Good", typed in yellow/orange makes it look less than it is.
Harmonic - 22.09.2007 at 18:17  
Written by Callo on 22.09.2007 at 18:00

This album is not far from a masterpiece. Best they've done since Burnt Offerings. And if someone still has the balls to diss Tim Owens after hearing this album, I say fuck you, 'cause here Ripper gives the best vocal efforts of his career, and boy how fine they are.

Let's hope Schaffer gives us another killer with Part 2, which is supposed to be more up-tempo and aggressive.

UP THE ICED!


Wow, maybe I should give this album a chance after all. Iced Earth is great, but I gave up on them after Barlow... I'm glad to find out I was wrong!

Quote:

BTW I really think you should do some fine tuning with the rating colors. "8", meaning "Good", typed in yellow/orange makes it look less than it is.


I'll second that, I could never figure it out either. Orange looks like a warning.
Valentin B - 22.09.2007 at 18:44  
damn that ending of "framing armageddon"... i said in my rejected review that it's so heavy you'll throw "stormrider" and "violate" out the fucking window! and i mean it.. FRAAAAAMINGGG AARMAAAGEEEDOOOOOON!!!!
BlueMobius - 22.09.2007 at 18:45  
Hmm, sounds good. I was turned off to this band after the past few releases, but maybe I will give em another shot.
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.09.2007 at 19:03  
Written by Valentin B on 22.09.2007 at 18:44

damn that ending of "framing armageddon"... i said in my rejected review that it's so heavy you'll throw "stormrider" and "violate" out the fucking window! and i mean it.. FRAAAAAMINGGG AARMAAAGEEEDOOOOOON!!!!


Havy? Midtempo and ballads with one or two faster tracks. Strange concept of heavy you have
Valentin B - 22.09.2007 at 19:15  
noo, i meant the song
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.09.2007 at 19:16  
Written by Valentin B on 22.09.2007 at 19:15

noo, i meant the song


Ahaaaa now I see, though I do disagree.
Der Meister - 22.09.2007 at 19:45  
Ten Thousand Strong and Something Wicked (Part 1) are wicked blasting tracks that I already love, the rest of the lot aren't quite as memorable. I'll need to listen more to the whole thing.
Darkside Momo - 22.09.2007 at 22:07  
An excellent album, but much more progressive than evertething else Jon Shaffer has done before.
Really good work of composing, but there is a lack of anthemic heavy metal songs (2-3 on a 19-tracks album)
Whatever, it reflects so well the story that it's GREAT !
Battery - 23.09.2007 at 00:00  
This album just get better and better the more you listen to it. I really hope that all those who gave up on Iced Earth and Schaffer after Barlow left will give this album a try and change their mind!

Can't wait to see them live and get my hands on Part 2
insanity.peppers - 23.09.2007 at 02:20  
hmm maybe its worth checking out after all
Powerslave16 - 23.09.2007 at 03:42  
I absolutely love this album, and I think its their best in 10 years. Any fan of the original trilogy should enjoy this.

Some people are expression dissapointments due to its slower structure. I think it is brilliant, as the story calls for slower songs due to its complete sense of sadness and loss. I am willing to bet a healthy sum of money Part 2 will be faster (perhaps the song Framing Armageddon is a hint of what to come?) as it will be more focused on Set Abominae and the counterattack of the Setians.

Finally (thank God, finally) got the Alive in Athens DVD today. Thats what I will be watching for the next several hours.
Promonex - 23.09.2007 at 12:17  
I've been trying to let this grow on me for a while now, but somehow it just won't work. Granted, "Ten Thousand Strong" is an awesome song and it wouldn't work with any voice other than Ripper's, but somehow the rest of the album lacks of memorable moments. The songs are good while you listen to them, but after the album finishes you don't remember any of them except for 10k Strong. IMHO the last really good album by Schaffer was Demons & Wizards' debut in 2000. Re-using the motifs from the original Something Wicked album doesn't make this a second Something Wicked - at least not quality-wise.
PowerMetal - 23.09.2007 at 17:10  
This is what I love about Iced Earth. I love concept albums and two parters are even greater, so here's hoping part II can maintain the momentum of this new release.
dismaleuphony - 24.09.2007 at 11:34  
Outside of "Ten Thousand Strong" and "Something Wicked," this album is easy to listen but also easy to forget. I stand by what I posted in the Iced Earth thread, that there are too many mid-paced tracks with riffs I can barely recall. Tim's vocals have never been a problem for me; the songwriting is here. I'm already bored! "Ten Thousand Strong" will make it easily to my 2007's mix-CD tracklist, but that'll be the only thing I'll be listening to. A 6.5 from me. I don't believe Iced Earth is "back." They are just better than the terrible "Glorious Burden" release.
Storchillarn - 24.09.2007 at 23:13  
Really good review, you nailed most things in a concise way. The production could have been better and more "in your face" crispy but overall that's nothing I can complain about. I think Tim's vocals on "The Glorious Burden" was some of the best stuff I've heard in a long time. It topped this album on many parts but he really shines on Domino Decree, Framing Armageddon and The Clouding whereas the verse in "Retribution.." sounds more strained. Kick ass album!
Lucas - 29.09.2007 at 13:26  
This was the first time I heard Tim Owens sing, and DAMN. He sucks.

Seriously, I am deleting this album right away.
Harmonic - 29.09.2007 at 23:53  
Written by dismaleuphony on 24.09.2007 at 11:34

Outside of "Ten Thousand Strong" and "Something Wicked," this album is easy to listen but also easy to forget. I stand by what I posted in the Iced Earth thread, that there are too many mid-paced tracks with riffs I can barely recall. Tim's vocals have never been a problem for me; the songwriting is here. I'm already bored! "Ten Thousand Strong" will make it easily to my 2007's mix-CD tracklist, but that'll be the only thing I'll be listening to. A 6.5 from me. I don't believe Iced Earth is "back." They are just better than the terrible "Glorious Burden" release.


I'm right with you on this one. I just got the album tracks off Limewire and tried them out. I gave up about a half hour through. The music has no edge to it - nothing truly compelling or memorable. I actually don't much care for Ripper, either. He just doesn't cut it in IE. His voice reminds me of 80s glam metal - generic and boring. He was better as an impersonation of Rob Halford. Sure he can sing, but IE needs somebody distinctive like Barlow. The whole album sounds like Glorious Burden, but with more polish. Sadly, there's no point polishing something that doesn't shine much in the first place. I'm going to put on some Alive in Athens and leave it at that.
BreadGod - 30.09.2007 at 03:28  
Ever since listening to "The Glorious Burden", I have been hooked to these guys. I'll get this album for sure.
Harmonic - 30.09.2007 at 04:43  
Written by BreadGod on 30.09.2007 at 03:28

Ever since listening to "The Glorious Burden", I have been hooked to these guys. I'll get this album for sure.


Then take my advice and NEVER listen to Alive In Athens. If you ever find out how good Iced Earth used to be, you won't care for Framing Armageddon (or Glorious Burden) at all!

BTW you know you can add "Framing Armageddon" to your Wishlist, right? (If you really, really want it... )
BreadGod - 30.09.2007 at 06:50  
Written by Guest on 30.09.2007 at 04:43

Written by BreadGod on 30.09.2007 at 03:28

Ever since listening to "The Glorious Burden", I have been hooked to these guys. I'll get this album for sure.


Then take my advice and NEVER listen to Alive In Athens. If you ever find out how good Iced Earth used to be, you won't care for Framing Armageddon (or Glorious Burden) at all!

BTW you know you can add "Framing Armageddon" to your Wishlist, right? (If you really, really want it... )

Well, some time ago I did listen to a time when they had Matt Barlow on vocals. I didn't really like his vocals, considering the fact that I listened to Tim Owens before I listened to Matt Barlow. As for me, I'm going to eat lots of spaghetti!
Jeeers - 30.09.2007 at 14:43  
A boring album with very few good moments. As boring as The Glorious Burden. I think Tim Owens just isn't the right vocalist for Iced Earth.
Bad English - 01.10.2007 at 10:45  
finaly hear it I hear that thay some how inspirated of Blind Guardian 'Nighgtfall in Midlle Earth' those werry small parts and songs in this album somehow wa slike bG, but diference arehere was muisc, and I also hear lil Demons n Wizards sound and new iE sound in The Glorious Burden and The Horror Show days, this is interesting album, I dunno how vote
caffeinehead - 05.10.2007 at 05:28  
I miss Matt Barlow's voice. I've listened to this album numerous times, and I second what four or five people have said: aside from "Ten Thousand Strong" (and in my opinion, the Overture), there's just nothing that grabs me about the album. I absolutely LOVED Barlow's work with Iced Earth- he gave it that gruff edge that fit so perfectly. Owens' voice isn't bad, but it's not Iced Earth. Not only are the tracks mostly un-memorable, they're also lacking Barlow's prowess. I hope "Revelation Abomination" is better, but nothing will beat old Iced Earth.
Kal_Rhael - 10.11.2007 at 13:27  
Please no more complaining about Matt Barlow. I'm tired of it. it's been years now... please...just let it go... let it go... music isn't the end of the world, and if people can just accept that time brings change, Then maybe we could look into the future and not expect the same. That's the problem many bands face, especially Iced Earth, as they change their tune as they progress, the older fans become very disappointed. Iced Earth wasn't 'Better' in the past per se, they were just Different. That said, I Agree with the review and I believe this is the best Iced Earth album yet. I can't wait for the next.
Ereinion - 30.11.2007 at 14:05  
IMO this is the best heavy metal album of the year..... only if Judas Priest can beat them but i doubt they can do that.
Harmonic - 01.12.2007 at 21:57  
Written by Guest on 10.11.2007 at 13:27

Please no more complaining about Matt Barlow. I'm tired of it. it's been years now... please...just let it go... let it go...


It's not Matt Barlow we're complaining about...
Dangerboner - 03.01.2008 at 03:04  
I agree with what the majority of the people have said in regards to it being better than The Glorious Blowjob. The best moment of the album is when Ripper shrieks "FRAAAAAAAAAAMMMMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG ARRRRRRRRMAGEEEEEEEDDDOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN" in a super high voice at the end of the song.

Edit - oops, Cursed already said that. oh well, I agree
DoomGuard - 16.01.2008 at 07:06  
Own It, Listened to it

Loved it...Tim the Ripper owned this album with his vocals and if this isn't enough to make u appreciate his time with Iced Earth than ur not a true IE fan

This was an amazing album and i think Iced Earth would have done fine without Matt

But i'm still glad he's back
Demonmayonnaise - 04.03.2008 at 17:19  
Ive had this album but never really gave it a good listening to. I put it in the cd player last night, and it was awesome. Noth the best Ive heard, but pretty damn good.
IconMaiden - 20.04.2008 at 08:23  
initially gave it a 7, but changed to an eight. got better each time i gave it a good listen.
Remus - 27.07.2008 at 21:17  
Ok here goes....

I believe this album deserves an 8 of of 10. However i disagree with some parts of the review:

1) "blasting thrashy but melodic Power Metal" - I, like Marcel H, find that too many of the tracks are mid tempo and only a couple are really fast and thrashy. Granted, someone said that it's prob supposed to be like that as a result of it's sad nature and hopefully the next one will prob be faster.

2) I don't think Tim's voice "finally fits in with Iced Earth". It's not that he's bad. No no, in fact he's a terrific singer but the thing is he's best at shrieking! I'm sure Schaffer tells him how and what to sing but i feel that if he used the falsetto technique more it would've sounded a lot better!
Just liste to the awesomeness when he screams "Fraaaamiiiing Arrrrmaaageeeedoon!" . Ok this has already been said but so what.

3) I LOVE "Horror Show" so.. screw you guys, i'm going home

4) The album as a whole is indeed exquisite but i didn't find it "Instantly catchy". In fact, at first i couldn't get into it but as i played it more and more i started to see what it's all about. Still, tit took me some time to sing the chorouses in the shower.

So overall it definately deserves 8/10 and let's hope that the next installment in the saga is equally good or perhaps even better!
Nicko's Nose - 21.10.2008 at 07:12  
Originality: 8? That's a joke, right? Schaffer has been rehashing the same riffs since a while...

Its not a bad album at all, but its nothing special.
Zephoid - 08.12.2008 at 17:53  
I think that this album is one of the best Iced Earth albums existing.
Regarding The Ripper, I feel he did a great job in preserving the important image of Iced Earth. That being the Uplifting, crazed screams of classic Iced Earth. He didnt do a bad job of covering the low, growling type lyrics in this album, I think it was decently done.

If this album doesnt make you feel like running around screaming "Framing Armagedon" then you need to have another listen.

Many great things in the album 9/10
FariD AzadI - 19.12.2008 at 20:03  
I listen this album not only as a metal album....its a soundtrack....I follow the story.....jon wanted to tell his story by songs..and he did it....I like the story and I like the songs aouse the songs completly fit the lyrics.in other hand...the songs are great metal song...i go crazy when I listen 10000 strong,framing armageddon,something wicked part1,and others.

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