ICED EARTH – PLAGUES OF BABYLON – CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS – OUT NOW
Iced Earth made quite an impact with their previous record Dystopia, introducing Stu as the new vocalist for the US Heavy metallers. Stu had some big shoes to fill, but he managed. After the release Iced Earth did some massive touring and Stu showed that live he’s also more than capable to bear the burden of being frontman of this kick ass band.
The massive touring made the group even tighter, which makes it easier to create some new killer songs. As Stu stated: “I felt more relaxed this time out because I’m not the new kid anymore. When we first started writing Dystopia I felt a bit nervous, but with this second record for me both Jon and I knew what to expect from each other.”
Iced Earth is
Jon Schaffer – guitars
Stu Block – vocals
Troy Seele – guitars
Luke Appleton – bass
Jon Dette – drums
Plagues of Babylon
With Dystopia still having a lot of airplay in my car, I was looking forward to this new record. With a little jump of joy I open my inbox to see that the new album has arrived! With a lot of passion I hit the play button and let the epic ride begin.
Iced Earth kick off in a slow, gloomy, yet epic build-up. Call it the calm before the storm. It sounds nice and heavy. The opening track is a long ride giving us what Iced Earth is capable of this time around. It sounds like the guitars are a tad heavier than on the previous records. They made it feel a bit rougher. I like it rough. So no complaining from me. You know a song is good when ya neck need to swing along with the melody. Catchy choruses guided by melodic riffing. Put behind it is a powerful rhythm section and on top the stellar vocals from Stu. Iced Earth is really hitting the metal nail here with this great opener!
With the previous record Dystopia, which was killer, it sometimes felt as if the songs where not written for Stu, if you catch my drift. On this record it is more balanced. Stu got more room for helping out on the songs and it showed. Stu’s really kicking some ass on this record. With a lot of ease Stu switches between his darker lower voice and his high pitched screams. Still sounding as Barlow, but with this time around more of his own identity squeezed in these songs! Just what is needed with these power metal songs.
One of the better songs from this record is when Iced Earth slow down and blast out one hell of a ballad. ” If I Could See You ” . Call me sentimental, but damn I am a sucker for these power ballad beauties. Glad they put one on this record. No rest for the wicked though. There are enough killer riffs to cause your neck some serious whiplash.
This is an album which will grab you and will not let go!
Iced Earth showed they are still consistent in making killer records. Go buy and enjoy! It seems Plagues of Babylon will take over my car stereo for a while!
Score 4,5 out 5
“Plagues Of Babylon” tracklist:
1. Plagues Of Babylon
3. The Culling
4. Among The Living Dead
6. The End?
7. If I Could See You
11. Spirit Of The Times
Tekst Ronald van de Baan