Odd isn’t it, well what’s odd I hear you ask? Listen to the radio, what kind of songs do you hear? Mostly pop yes with some R&B thrown in, yet they as a subject matter rarely they deviate from the malaise of break ups, love, sex and ultimately finding that all in a club. Yet people sneer at other genres of music that dive much deeper into the human psyche, some artists allow people to escape into world of fantasy, some even give you a history lesson. So then why is it ok for kids to listen to say a Rhianna song over an Iron Maiden one? Who knows?
Anyway, this leads perfectly into a band that never shy’s away from giving that extra morsel of extra content, often giving listeners a history lesson in process that band, Iced Earth.
For over 30 years they’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, line up changes and the like. Yet, throughout Jon Schaffer has remained a pretty steadfast, forming incredible partnership’s with pretty uniquely talented vocalists and since 2011 that has been with Stu Block, one that shows no signs of halting.
Dissecting the latest installment, `Incorruptible’ which is album number 12 and from word go, you get what you expect and want from an Iced Earth album. A ridiculously belting opener, `Great Heathen Army’, begins with chanting and you could honestly imagine an army coming over the hill bellowing this out. The song contains all the elements of what Iced Earth do very well, fast galloping guitar attacks piercing through with military precision so certainly having Mr Block at your side is advantageous, he just delivers such powerful vocals that just makes you want to sing along although a warning label should be added especially when he hits especially high notes on this track.
3rd track in is `Raven Wing’, this track starts with in a more mellow tone, and it is a vehicle for showing off Stu’s range as a vocalist. His ability to bring the listener into the palm of his hands before launching into his heavier deeper power vocals is a definitely part of this song. This is definitely one for the live setting, which will definitely get the crowd singing.
Going from this to track 5 `Seven Headed Whore’ which ultimately takes all of the heavy elements of Iced Earth and rams into one audaciously fast paced song that for Iced Earth standards is ridiculously short at 3 minutes.
`Incorruptible’ is pretty much what you’d come to expect from an Iced Earth album, chock full of galloping riffs, screaming vocals that quite frankly in parts I’m sure are only audible for dogs and cats, searing solos and melodic passages. With their mixing elements of British Metal with US thrash Metal, Iced Earth have been around for 30 years yet with each passing album they are just getting better and better, aging like a fine wine or better still a fine single malt.
8/10- Iced Earth produce another immense album, the band is aging like fine single malt Whiskey.
Stand out tracks:
`Great Heathen Army’, `Raven Wing’ and `Seven Headed Whore’
1. Great Heathen Army
2. Black Flag
3. Raven Wing
4. The Veil
5. Seven Headed Whore
6. The Relic (Part 1)
7. Ghost Dance (Awaken The Ancestors)
10. Clear The Way (December 13, 1862)
Iced Earth online: