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Iced Earth
Live In Ancient Kourion

Company: Century Media
Release: 2013
Genre: Power
Reviewer: EC

  • Rejuvenated and recharged



  • Jon Schaffer and company sound rejuvenated and recharged for "Live In Ancient Kourion". This was Schaffer's way of displaying his new singer Stu Block (Into Eternity) to the masses via CD, blu-ray, DVD, vinyl and digital downloading. In many ways Iced Earth have created some of the media magic that legends Iron Maiden use as their vital life force. Ten studio albums in nearly thirty years and box sets, EPS and three live releases seem to evidence the Tampa band as American icons albeit on a slightly smaller scale domestically.

    The band chose Cyprus as the venue for this rousing display of traditional metal might. The Americans are near Beatles hysteria for the Greeks, clearly evident on the band's previous gigs in Athens and the monumental live recording in 1999 ("Alive In Athens"). This combo release shows us nearly three hours of video footage packed into a DVD and blu-ray release. The audio is two CDs at nearly two and a half hours. Century Media have made this available as a deluxe three disc set with DVD and two CDs for less than twenty bucks.

    The Cyprus crowd are nuts for the rowdy stuff, "Pure Evil", "Angel's Holocaust", "When The Night Comes" and band moniker "Iced Earth" are clearly fan faves. Stu Block sounds very similar to Gene Adams and John Greely with those high notes and commanding control of falsetto on the older material. I think Stu does Barlow well, nailing the mid-register key on "The Hunter", "I Died For You" and "Burning Times". It's hard to duplicate the Tim Owens' material and songs like "Setian Massacre" and "Declaration Day" really sound odd with Block's rendition.

    Schaffer's triplets are in full force and Brent Smedley shines on the drums (check out his tempo changes on "Dante's Inferno"). I think the overall production of the album is less processed than "Alive In Athens" and sounds a bit more authentic overall. I can hear a few hiccups in parts and occasionally Schaffer drowns his counterpart Troy Steele. Overall this is a great introduction for Block and it is interesting to hear the older material on its fifth generation of vocalists. Who's to speculate the longevity of Schaffer and Block but with the 2012 "Dystopia" record and now this tremendous live album...well it seems to be a good fit considering age, energy level and a band that can count twenty plus members in its history. If the shoe fits wear it.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ICED EARTH
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Days of PurgatoryIced Earth
    1997
    Frank Hill9/30/2003
    DystopiaIced Earth
    2011
    Greg Watson10/23/2011
    Festivals of the WickedIced Earth
    2011
    Greg Watson8/5/2011
    Framing ArmageddonIced Earth
    2007
    Etiam2/8/2008
    Gettysburg DVDIced Earth
    2005
    Ken Pierce6/9/2005
    Live In Ancient KourionIced Earth
    2013
    Eric Compton5/10/2013
    Plagues of BabylonIced Earth
    2014
    Greg Watson2/21/2014
    The Crucible of ManIced Earth
    2008
    Etiam2/8/2010
    The Crucible of ManIced Earth
    2008
    Raising Iron1/13/2009
    The Glorious BurdenIced Earth
    2004
    Ken Pierce6/16/2004
    The Glorious BurdenIced Earth
    2004
    Eric Compton1/21/2004
    The Glorious BurdenIced Earth
    2003
    Anthony Burke12/11/2003
    The Reckoning EPIced Earth
    2003
    Frank Hill11/21/2003


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ICED EARTH
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    The Plagues EPIced Earth
    2013
    Greg Watson1/6/2014


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ICED EARTH
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Jon SchafferIced EarthGreg Watson2/7/2012
    Jon SchafferIced EarthKen Pierce9/14/2005
    Stu BlockIced EarthEric Compton and Greg Watson6/22/2017


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