Iced Earth - The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2) review



Reviewer:
7.3

443 users:
7.31
Band: Iced Earth
Album: The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2)
Release date: September 2008


01. In Sacred Flames
02. Behold The Wicked Child
03. Minions Of The Watch
04. The Revealing
05. A Gift Or A Curse
06. Crown Of The Fallen
07. The Dimension Gauntlet
08. I Walk Alone
09. Harbinger Of Fate
10. Crucify The King
11. Sacrificial Kingdoms
12. Something Wicked (Part 3)
13. Divide Devour
14. Come What May
15. Epilogue


Finally, our dear Matt is back in Iced Earth. Wow when I think that some months ago only it was just like a myth, I'm really happy that the best singer that Iced Earth ever had is finally back with his family. Now, I'm sure you're all expecting a lot of the new album "The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2)", definitely it's been a long time that Matt haven't sing anything with the band and this is a real big event, probably one the biggest event of the Metal year 2008. Don't worry you'll not be disappointed by the release even if, I must say it, the last album "Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1)" doesn't suffer of any comparison with this release… With or without Matt Barlow, Iced Earth is still able to do good releases, not the most fantastic ones but really solid nonetheless.

If I have to compare the two "Something Wicked" part 1 and 2, I will tell you that both have good and negative points. First I think that I prefer the music of "Framing Armageddon" which is in general heavier than the one of "The Crucible Of Man" which clearly misses of big heavy riffs and anthems like with the songs "Something Wicked (Part 1)" or "Ten Thousand Strong". Unfortunately both albums have too many soft and mid-tempos songs but if it can be ok on "Framing Armageddon" in general, it's too poor on "The Crucible Of Man" which is only better, I think, when it comes to the vocals. Don't believe that I'm a fan-boy of Matt Barlow, sure I love his voice but if I have to be honest I think that the performance of Tim was also exceptional so really this is not a poor "X is better than Y". I just think that the voice of Matt Barlow fits perfectly to the music of the band and his performance here is just wonderful. About the music we have one more time really beautiful melodies like on "Crown Of The Fallen", however if I like the fact that the songs are all complex and deep I miss the big heavy riffs that we were able to hear on the old albums. Sure "The Crucible Of Man" is a good release with good songs but even if the riffs are not bad, the tempo is a bit too slow in general and the hits are missing. I think that "The Crucible Of Man" clearly lacks of rhythm but the performance of Matt Barlow save the album in my opinion. Let's say that we have good songs with big balls like "Divide And Devour" or "The Dimension Gauntlet" but they're not enough unfortunately… "The Crucible Of Man" features good melodies but I regret that it doesn't have the power of the previous album all in all it's a bit average and deceiving.

As you know now, Matt Barlow's return is not a joke. The guy (and I have seen him live twice this summer so I'm serious) is better than ever and I think that his influences will pay on the next album of the combo so we can expect the best for the future of Iced Earth. When you know that he is able to transcend the "soft" songs of "The Crucible Of Man" we can already expect the best definitely. "The Crucible Of Man" is perfectly produced and the cover is one more time fantastic, so now you just have to understand that this release is the epilogue of an long story and that Jon Schaffer wanted to do something epic (we even have some operatic choruses some time) instead of something violent. It's a bit sad for the old fans like me who like pure in your face hits but one more time I'm convinced that we will have great surprise in the future.

I'm maybe wrong but I'm convinced that "The Crucible Of Man" is not so violent because it has to be like that. After all this release is the following and the end of a story and it cannot be linear. Sure I'm a bit disappointed by the fact that the release clearly lack of heavy tracks but I like the songs featured on the album and Matt Barlow's return is all but a mistake. If in the future Jon Schaffer doesn't forget to re-create fast and thrashy songs even like "Something Wicked (Part 1)" (the song featured on the previous album) I can tell you that Iced Earth future will be a real hurricane.


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

Written by Jeff | 05.09.2008


 

Guest review by
ToMegaTherion
Rating:
8.0
The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2) is the most recent Iced Earth album, and is a follow on from their 2007 release Framing Armageddon. While the album may not hold much weight in comparison to some of the late 90s works, The Crucible of Man a vast improvement on other recent releases not least of all because of the return of Matt Barlow to the vocals position of the band. This album has many good points and some really good Iced Earth songs, but overall it fails to deliver at the level I have come to expect from the band. It is an album that takes some patience to get into, with the songs from start to finish sounding very formulaic. Sorry to use an old cliché there, but the sound has become very generic Iced Earth. This album especially fails to deliver on originality; however, the songs themselves remain catchy, with decent lyrics and riffs to keep Iced Earth fans fairly happy.

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published 28.10.2009 | Comments (1)


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 54   Visited by: 396 users
13.09.2008 - 06:00
Iced Angel
common guys ... give this album at least a 9 !!
It doesn't have to be HEAVY !! it's great ... pure melodic.
However, I liked the first part better
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13.09.2008 - 23:43
DoomGuard
i need this album...NEED I TELL YOU!!!
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15.09.2008 - 05:36
WorpeX
Written by CyGuy6587 on 05.09.2008 at 21:34

All i can say is meh, Pyramaze's new release shits all over Crucible of Man


Ya, that's exactly what I was thinking. : /
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15.09.2008 - 15:57
CyGuy6587
I've actually decided that after a few listens the new album is actually very good, not really a bad song on it, I take back what I said before
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17.09.2008 - 18:27
BrightNight
Written by Jeff on 11.09.2008 at 20:37

Hailsatan: Don't worry I know that it was not a bad message, it's ok really!

About the rating, well I wrote so many reviews that I don't give a lot of 10 and 9 now... I don't know if it comes from experience or something else but now I'm convinced that a 7 is not a bad rating.



Sure, a 7 is NOT a bad rating ....but a 7 is just average for me. On the Scale from 1 to 10, a 6 is " O.K"......and a 7 is average.
In my opinion we are not talking about an average album. So an 8 would better fit this album atleast, which means"Good".

Im not trying to push you to change the rating in any way ofcourse, dear jeff....
----
"So you children of the world, listen to what I say
If you want a better place to live in spread the words today
Show the world that love is still alive you must be brave
Or you children of today are Children of the Grave."
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25.09.2008 - 03:48
konstans
Account deleted
Iced Earth I saw them last night live in monreal they gave unbelievable show ICED EARTH ROCK anybody would like them my suggestion go see them live you will never regret
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27.09.2008 - 22:02
stygian
yeah saw them live in june, awesome show!! i like the new album very much, i just cant handle tim's voice, so im glad there is gonna be a box set containing both parts sung by Matt
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24.10.2008 - 11:21
Powerslavex
Alexskywalker
Great album an 8.5 for me but i preferd "Framing Armageddon" i'm sure many of you think i must be crazy but i also preferred tim's voice
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25.10.2008 - 20:58
Hourglass
Account deleted
I agree with Icon Maiden, because we can't say the problem is that it's too soft that's not a good reason to rate it 7, but the thing is that most of this songs don't change much through out the only songs that kind of stood out for me at least were "A Gift or A Course" and "Divide or Devour" but I only listened to it 3 times now but in my defense I'll say that previous Iced earth albums have gotten stuck in my head on the first listen. But this isn't bad but there is definitely room for improvement here.

I'm glad for Barlow's return he fits better in Iced Earth than Tim. (I like Tim as well but he doesn't sound evil enough for Iced Earth)
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16.11.2008 - 15:16
Metalbound7
This Album is not a letdown in anyways, maybe its different from other IE albums, is slower and less Heavy but still kick ass. Barlow vocals are Epic as always and even when the album is less fast and Heavy it still sounds really Evil and Obscure. IMO it deserves at least an 8.3
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16.11.2008 - 15:20
Metalbound7
Written by Angel_Lament on 12.09.2008 at 23:03

Well, Iced EArth Did a really Good Job in this ALbum, in my opinion
First of All, It fits The Epica (Something Wicked)
and I like The Middle-eastern Melodies, Special Vibe
The Vocals are awesome, cause MAtt BArlow is Back!!
The Music are FAntastic, The Songs are Epic (Except 1 or 2 songs), The Production is nice
About the songs, well, I Love the Intro track
and there are Great songs like "Behold the Wicked Child" "The Dimension Gauntlet" "I WAlk Alone" "Harbringer OF Fate" "Divide & Devour" and ofc "Something Wicked Pt. 3"
The Review is good, But I think The rate is too low
My RAte is 9


That's what im talking about. you explained all the reasons why this album really rocks and deserve a higher rate
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16.11.2008 - 15:29
Angel_Lament
Written by Metalbound7 on 16.11.2008 at 15:20

Written by Angel_Lament on 12.09.2008 at 23:03

Well, Iced EArth Did a really Good Job in this ALbum, in my opinion
First of All, It fits The Epica (Something Wicked)
and I like The Middle-eastern Melodies, Special Vibe
The Vocals are awesome, cause MAtt BArlow is Back!!
The Music are FAntastic, The Songs are Epic (Except 1 or 2 songs), The Production is nice
About the songs, well, I Love the Intro track
and there are Great songs like "Behold the Wicked Child" "The Dimension Gauntlet" "I WAlk Alone" "Harbringer OF Fate" "Divide & Devour" and ofc "Something Wicked Pt. 3"
The Review is good, But I think The rate is too low
My RAte is 9


That's what im talking about. you explained all the reasons why this album really rocks and deserve a higher rate


I do really love this album & listened to it many & many times....
Nice to see someone who has the same opinion
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20.11.2008 - 00:35
Hrothdane
This is a pretty good album, nothing amazing, but a solid album. Divide and Devour has become one of my favorite Iced Earth songs, and I really enjoy Behold the Wicked Child and Crucify the King too. I still think the story should have been condensed to 1 CD instead of 2, but thats just me.

Now that Matt is back, Schaffer is going to finally have someone helping him write songs again, so I have a good feeling the next album will be much stronger.
----
Despair is death, and I'm not interested in dying.

Member of the True Crusade against True Crusades
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16.12.2008 - 03:24
MétalNoir
Fils du Lys
Well, I asked this album for Christmas, but now, I'm not sure if I still want it so much... Half comments are negative, while the other half are critical acclaim... Anyway, I guess I'll make my own opinion after listening to it (well, if I do have it for X-mas...)
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Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....
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19.12.2008 - 20:08
FariD AzadI
This album continus the last one very well.....more melodies.....great feeling songs....and good ending.like others im happy that matt has returned to band.....like it....like it so much
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21.12.2008 - 18:25
MétalNoir
Fils du Lys
Well I bought it before x-mas since I kinda found out I was gonna have Framing Armageddon as a gift... Anyway, after listening twice to The Crucible of Man, I must admit there's a huge lack of heavy tracks on that album. I hope the first part will be faster... The album is not so bad, but when I listen to US Power Metal, I expect speed and epic feel, but these two things are almost absent in the Crucible. Barlow's voice is good enough on slow ballads, but much more efficient in the only fast song, Divide Devour, which is the one highlight of the album IMO. The strong points of the album are the concept and lyrics, though I don't entirely understand the story since I don't have the first part yet. The cover art and the CD itself are real cool and the booklet is cartoonish but is a good support to the story and lyrics. 7/10
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Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....
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04.01.2009 - 07:34
Keiheji
I felt at some point i had to reply to what most are saying in reference to this Album "not as heavy" or wishing it were "another night of the stormrider". I do agree to some extent, but you cant look at change as a negative thing either, especially with this album. Hell dragonforce made 4 albums that all sound that same. Great band, great talennt, yet proof enough that some bands need to get experimental and try something new.

After listening to this album for some time, I'd have to give it an 8.5/10. it's still Iced Earth all the way!
Though Tim did a fantastic job, Welcome back Matt!
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13.04.2009 - 09:12
Lord_Regnier
I dislike this album. Generic and totally uninspired. It's only boring chugga-chug track after track. By the way, many songs are ridiculously short. It's a matter of tastes, of course, but it's one of the most boring album I heard in 2008.

And Barlow sucks on many parts. Anyway, I always found him quite overrated. He's a decent singer, no more.
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"Why would we fear death, when life is so much more frightening?"
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20.06.2009 - 14:27
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
Good review. This album is pretty enjoyable.. but not remarkable.
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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/
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11.08.2009 - 06:26
Iced-Guardian
Account deleted
Written by CyGuy6587 on 05.09.2008 at 21:34

All i can say is meh, Pyramaze's new release shits all over Crucible of Man



ive listened to this album its ok sum songs are good others id rather just not listen to...and the new pyramaze album wasnt all that great either to be truthful...
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29.12.2009 - 00:53
DoomGuard
Tried the album out

amazing, just purely amazing, Come What May, Divide Devour, In Sacred Flames+Behold The Wicked Child, I Walk Alone and the Dimension Gauntlet

all amazing songs and the rest are equally great! Another solid Iced Earth album that is added to my collection
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29.12.2009 - 01:13
Holy Man
STEEL DEFENDER
So I'm confused about the Something Wicked... story. Is this the last portion of it, or is there more to come? Or are they going to do something different next album?
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LIGHT THE FUSE ON THAT VAGINAMITE!!!
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21.10.2011 - 21:19
terrorist
Come Waht May, Dive And Coquer, Harbinger of fate, I Walk Alone, Crucify The King, hey enough for me to consider this album really great. Especially Come Whay May the music and the lyrics are simple the best.
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Will the ones who live after our end
Worship the goddamn cross again?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnlG0h7YN_8&feature=related
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31.12.2016 - 02:47
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by FariD AzadI on 19.12.2008 at 20:08

This album continus the last one very well.....more melodies.....great feeling songs....and good ending.like others im happy that matt has returned to band.....like it....like it so much


problem whit those melodies are they are boring and generic
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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
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