Iced Earth - The Crucible Of Man - Something Wicked Pt. Ii
An extreme few metal bands have been as consistently relevant and impacting as Tampa's Iced Earth. For over two decades Jon Schaffer has managed to keep his pet project not only afloat but atop the pack, despite many changes in personnel and musical direction. I was excited to hear The Crucible Of Man because of the return of long-time vocalist Matt Barlow, who's intense performance helped make Horror Show one of my favorite records. Hell, I haven't even heard the prior part to this concept record, which featured Tim "Ripper" Owens behind the mic. Without that frame of reference, however, I still am more than pleased with Something Wicked Pt II.
The album opens on a symphonic note with "In Sacred Flames", an opener that actually holds it's own. The theme of the album surrounds Set Abominae, who is discovered to be the Antichrist. He is taught by an alien species known as the Setians to destroy humankind by any means neccesary. The rather dark, religious theme is propagated in full by awesome performances from the entire band throughout the span of the disc. "Behold The Wicked Child" catches quick fire as an opening song, and the triumphant return of Matt Barlow is something to behold."A Gift Or A Curse" will catch you offguard early with it's melodic, balladeering ways. The quick-hiting combo of "Crown of the Fallen" and "The Dimension Gauntlet" highlight the disc, as does the epic and beautifully written "Come What May".
It's no Horror Show in my book, but it shows that age and internal conflicts cannot slow Iced Earth down a bit. Very few complaints, other than some songs seem to drag a bit long and the overall flow is more dependent on several excellent tracks rather than a well-rounded bunch from start to finish. Still, you can't find much better than the better moments to be found on The Crucible Of Man. Like the fine wine cliche, here's a group who knows what it takes to keep things consistent.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.