F U L L . R E V I E W S


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. Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian does lead vocals on "Among the Living Dead". A highlight is the cover version of "Highwayman". Schaeffer, Stu, Russell Allen of Symphony-X and Adrenaline Mob, 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, Greg Watson6/22/2017


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