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Iced Earth
Plagues of Babylon

Company: Century Media
Release: 2014
Genre: Power, traditional
Reviewer: ChaosLord

  • Returned with a vengeance



  • The Plagues of Babylon, the long awaited new release from power metallers Iced Earth is here. This album, for me a long time fan, was a make or break for this band and I can safely say that the band has exceeded my expectations with this album.

    The sound on this Plagues is incredible and Schaeffer and second guitarist Troy Seele sound angry, pissed off and have perfected their partnership. The guitar work on this album is fantastic and shows that the band is moving forward and harnessing some of their old sound again.

    Yet another concept album, Plagues focuses on a world infested by a zombie virus outbreak. With this concept, the band delivers great songs like "Democide", "The Culling" and "The End?". From start to finish, Plagues of Babylon is their best release since 2001's "Horror Show". The opening, epic, self-titled track kicks the album off at an amazing clip. The backing choral vocals on the second half of the chorus send chills through my spine. "Democide" is the track I've been looking for since Stu Block joined the band. It's a perfect vocal performance for showcasing his range. The scream at the end of the song is what metal vocals are all about. The track "Spirit of the Times" may be my favorite song on the album. A highlight is the cover version of "Highwayman". Schaeffer, Russell Allen of Symphony-X and Adrenaline Mob, Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian, and Michael Poulsen of Volbeat make up the metal version of country's Highwaymen. A great song in and of itself, hearing it given the metal makeover makes it even better. Russell Allen steals the vocal show. This is a great bonus end to the album. And if that weren't enough, stay tuned after that song goes off for a hilarious little blip at at the end.

    Iced Earth has returned with a vengeance and are poised to storm to the top of the metal world once again. Become infected by the Plagues of Babylon and make sure you snag this album.

    "You may take me but you'll never break my will. My soul is not for sale." --Lyrics from "Spirit of the Times" originally performed by Sons of Liberty.


    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    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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