Sunday, January 12, 2014

ICED EARTH: "Plagues Of Babylon"

Rating: RR
Label: Century Media 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The young beginner fan and or novice listener of the metal genre will probably enjoy this quite a lot? Everything from the art-cover and dodgy title (always include the word 'Plague' if possible) to the lyrics that deals with various diseases unleashed by evil rulers and emperors in order to control/destroy the planet and keep the masses on their knees, the perfect setting in which the U.S. Iced Earth band re-visit their heydays?

In fact, several parts and large segments of this metal saga will most definitely remind you of their bone crushing 1998's album, "Something Wicked This Way Comes", only worse, basically not as interesting, since it's all been done before. I'm not saying it's the complete disaster of an album or worthless piece of you-know-what.

However, the guitar shredding and crunchy rhythm guitar work aside, 'Plagues Of Babylon' feels like something the band's already recorded with much better result I may add. Stu Block is the capable, but rather blunt metal shouter, and I miss the finesse of previous singers. Simple elements of old that will merely remind you of better days is sadly not enough to please this particular reviewer. The first download single of the album, "Among The Living Dead" (feat. guest vocals Hansi K├╝rsch of Blind Guardian) one of few good tunes, and the country cover of "The Highwayman" (featuring Russell Allen and Michael Poulsen) is interesting to say the least. The rest is more of the poor Iron Maiden-ish metal as of lately and not like in the good old days. Meh.

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