Well, I've always loved metal, as ya know, and Iced Earth, despite a far less than constant lineup, have
certainly lived up to that goal.......formed in Tampa in the mid-80's, Iced Earth were basically about guitarist Jon Schaffer, a Judas Priest/Iron Maiden style slammer (not a put down). Scaffer was the only constant in the band, there is no fucking way I am listing everyone who teamed up with him, although, interestingly and unlike alot of metal bands, they went through a myriad of vocalists which we WILL investigate......
"Night of the Stormrider" came out shortly after and utilized John Greely on vocals......it's got a conceptual theme, dealing with religion/apocalypse type things, but, I'll tell ya, this motherfucker rocks as well...."Pure Evil" and "Travel in Stygian" stand out, but a good old fashioned and overlooked slammer of metal, of which these guys did up on all their albums......slamming shit, no question.
Matthew Barlow took over vocal duties for 1995's, "Burnt Offerings".....I may like this as well as anything they did, it's really dark, gloomy, and heavy as fuck, somewhat innovative as it includes the really cool 16 minute "Dante's Inferno", as well as cool shit ala the title track and "Burning Oasis", this is a REALLY under appreciated slab of metal, and also came with (included here) a bonus disc with rough mixes various Iced Earth tunes, which is REALLY cool, it sounds like a fucking garage band trying to play Iced Earth tunes and works VERY well.....the "main" disc might be thier best/my fave effort, and the bonus disc really DOES work in this context....if you hate this kinda stuff, you're not going to like the set, but real metal-heads will thrill to the whole thing, including the (imo) very fine and fitting bonus disc.
Next we have the 2-disc "Days of Purgatory", which is interesting in that it features Barlow on vocals on some of the pre-Barlow tracks..... "Written on the Walls", for example, from their self titled debut, is given a complete overhaul , with a complete set of new lyrics and even a new title, "Cast in Stone"..... a BIT redundant, but not terribly so, myself I wouldn't have made it a 2 disc set,but if I had a brain I'd be licking off Drew Barrymore's tattoos....wait, did I do that one yesterday?
The THREE(!) disc "Alive in Athens" is more than a little excessive,
the band DID have some live chops, but THREE discs? I'm a metal fan, as you can see, but in general NOT a fan of live metal albums, they tend to go on a bit long, and this effort defines my complaint......if you're a fan, this is for you, if not, well......
Next, they released a 5-disc box set, "Dark Genesis"... while I do happen to have one, I'm not posting the whole thing here, as three discs are remasters of the first three albums......however, also included is the rare EP "Enter the Realm" (1999 and really very good), as well as a disc entitled "Tribute to the Gods" (Gods?) which contains cover versions of a bunch of tunes that apparently influenced the band.... it's not bad, but there are no real surprises here, AC-DC, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden.....you know how I feel about these things, the versions here are so close to the originals, for the most part, that imo there was not really a point in bothering.
Tim "Ripper" Owens, who would serve as Rob Halford's replacement on vocals in Judas Priest takes over singing duties on 2004's "The Glorious Burden", and imo, it's a good one, one of their better works actually....while often conceptual metal alabums fall flat, this one works, as it is themed around various battles and moments in military history....call me crazy, but I really like this one, I think perhaps Owens gave them a needed shot in the arm. The disc-length "Gettysburg" is nothing if not ambitious, and in my estimation, this is certainly the band's most overlooked work, many thought them to be past their peak, but do not miss this one.....a fine and seriously hard rocking, bone crushing 2 disc set.
"Framing Armageddon" is next in line, and takes the concepts sprouted on "Something Wicked" and expands
on them......a lot of instrumental guitar hijinx here, and this would be Ripper's farewell....still, all in all, this is not a bad effort either, these guys (or, more accurately, Schaffer), were a hell of a lot more ambitious than 90% of other metal bands of the day. Released in tandem was the EP "Overture of the Wicked", and features perhaps their best known tune "Ten Thousand Strong".
Enjoy these, there is some good stuff here.
ICED EARTH-01 Iced Earth/02 Written on the Wall/03 Colors/04 Curse the Sky/05 Life and Death/06
Solitude/07 Funeral/08 When the Night Falls
NIGHT OF THE STORMRIDER-01 Angels Holocaust/02 Stormrider/03 The Path I Choose/04 Before the Vision/05 Mystical End/06 Desert Rain/07 Pure Evil/08 Reaching the End/09 Travel In Stygian
BURNT OFFERINGS-01 Burnt Offerings/02 Last December/03 Diary/04 Brainwashed/05 Burning Oasis/06 Creator Failure/07 The Pierced Spirit/08 Dante's Inferno
THE DARK SAGA-01 Dark Saga/02 I Died For You/03 Violate/04 The Hunter/05 The Last Laugh/06 The Depths of Hell/07 Vengeance Is Mine/08 Scarred/09 Slave to the Dark/10 A Question of Heaven
DAYS OF PURGATORY DISC 1-01 Enter the Realm/02 Colors/03 Angels Holocaust/04 Stormrider/05 Winter Nights/06 Nightmares/07 Before the Vision/08 Pure Evil/09 Solitude/10 The Funeral/11 When the Night Falls
DAYS OF PURGATORY DISC 2-01 Burnt Offerings/02 Cast In Stone/03 Desert Rain/04 Brainwashed/05 Life and Death/06 Creator Failure/07 Reaching the End/08 Travel in Stygian/09 Dante's Inferno/10 Iced Earth
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES-01 Burning Times/02 Melancholy (Holy Martyr)/03
Disciples of the Lie/04 Watching Over Me/05 Stand Alone/06 Consequences/07 My Own Savior/08 Reaping Stone/09 1776/10 Blessed Are You/11 Prophecy/12 Birth of the Wicked/13 The Coming Curse
ALIVE IN ATHENS DISC 1-01 Burning Times/02 Vengeance Is Mine/03 Pure Evil/04 My Own Savior/05 Melancholy (Holy Martyr)/06 Dante's Inferno/07 The Hunter/08 Travel In Stygian/09 Slave to the Dark/10 A Question of Heaven
ALIVE IN ATHENS DISC 2-01 Dark Saga/02 The Last Laugh/03 Last December/04 Watching Over Me/05 Angels Holocaust/06 Stormrider/07 The Path I Choose/08 I Died For You/09 Prophecy/10 Birth of the Wicked/11 The Coming Curse/12 Iced Earth
ALIVE IN ATHENS DISC 3-01 Stand Alone/02 Cast In Stone/03 Desert Rain/04 Brainwashed/05 Disciples of the Lie/06 When the Night Falls/07 Diary/08 Blessed Are You/09 Violate
THE MELANCHOLY (EP) 01 Melancholy (Holy Martyr)/02 Shooting Star/03 Watching Over Me/04 Electric Funeral/05 I Died For You/06 The Ripper/07 Colors
TRIBUTE TO THE GODS-01 Creatures of the Night/02 Number of the Beast/03 Highway to Hell/04 Burning For You/05 God of Thunder/06 Screaming For Vengeance/07 Dead Babies/08 Cities on Flame (With Rock N Roll)/09 It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock N Roll)/10 Black Sabbath/11 Hallowed Be Thy Name
HORROR SHOW-01 Wolf/02 Damien/03 Jack/04 Ghost of Freedom/05 Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh's Curse)/06 Jekyll & Hyde/07 Dragon's Child/08 Transylvania/09 Frankenstein/10 Dracula/11 The Phantom Opera Ghost
THE GLORIOUS BURDEN DISC 1-01 The Star Spangled Banner/02 Declaration Day/03 When the Eagle Cries/04 Don't Tread on Me/05 Greenface/06 Atilla/07 Red Baron Blue Max/08 Hollow Man/09 Valley Forge/10 Waterloo/11 When the Eagle Cries Unplugged
THE GLORIOUS BURDEN DISC 2-01` The Devil to Pay/02 Hold at All Costs/03 High Water Mark
FRAMING ARMAGEDDON-01 Overture/02 Something Wicked (Part 1)/03 Invasion/04 Motivation of Man/05 Setian Massacre/06 A Charge to Keep/07 Reflections/08 Ten thousand Strong/09 Execution/10 Order of the Rose/11 Cataclysm/12 The Clouding/13 Infiltrate and Assimilate/14 Retribution Through the Ages/15 Something Wicked (Part 2)/16 The Domino Decree/17 Framing Armageddon/18 When Stars Collide (Born Is He)/19 The Awakening
OVERTURE OF THE WICKED-01 Ten Thousand Strong/02 Prophecy/03 Birth of the Wicked/04 The
Oh, and hey...these are all (or mostly, I forget) FLAC files.....some love them, some hate them, as I've said before, how I have them is how you get them....but they are a bit more work for me, as most of them need split....this is a rather large project, but it's cool, if you want an album that is split, download ALL parts and it will work fine, trust me......yeah, yeah, when I originally downloaded them I should have converted them, but the cold hard fact is I didn't.......so this is what you are getting....no bitching, there is a lot of good shit here, and if it's too much work for you to DL multiple parts or convert them (free converters are available online), then you are a bit too self-entitled.....we work each day, practically, to make a wide variety of music available to you, and it's not THAT much work to fix it up the way you prefer.......think about it, it's not that hard, and, hey, believe me, it's much more work for us than it is for you.......sorry to rant, but I do get tired of people bitching about the free music they get through me and my wonderful team of helpers......good shit here, take the extra five minutes and GET IT DONE......and of course, let me know what you think, or what you'd like to see here........as Brian likes to say "One Love"!