Welcome to the LOUDEST DOT COM ON THE PLANET!
KNAC.COM
LISTEN NOW!WATCH NOW! LOGIN JOIN
MAGAZINEON-AIRDOWNLOADSCHATBOARDSCONTESTSSTORE
Reviews

ICED EARTH Plagues Of Babylon

By Damian J. Cousins aka "The Maestro", Dallas Contributor
Friday, January 3, 2014 @ 3:47 PM


- advertisement -

- advertisement -
ICED EARTH
Plagues Of Babylon

Century Media Records





Some of you may think I’m crazy, but I was never really a big ICED EARTH fan. I thought the music was top-notch, but the vocals always killed it for me. And while they’ve had a more than capable who’s who of singers in the band, the vocals always seemed somewhat out of place, at least to me. Why that is I don’t know, but something was just off. Until Stu Block. Him I liked right away, and 2011’s Dystopia was a very good record in my opinion. So with that in mind, I was more than a bit curious as to what ICED EARTH could accomplish with him behind the mic for round two. And after my third listen, I can safely say that this new album, Plagues of Babylon, is every bit as good as its predecessor.

The title track “Plagues of Babylon” is the perfect way to open things up, Jon Schaffer and Troy Steele’s guitars setting the fire that burns white-hot for nearly eight minutes. Then “Democide” takes us on a galloping ride, Block’s voice barking out lyrics with fierce abandon as drummer Raphael Saini and bassist Luke Appleton provide the rumble upon which the dueling guitar leads soar. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the opening salvo on the upcoming tour, because these songs are made for it. I wasn’t sure where “The Culling” was going at first listen, but this one wound up growing on me by the next spin of the disc. First single “Among the Living Dead”, featuring guest vocals from Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN), is one of those tunes that clearly means business and the guitar runs late in it help to make it a sure-fire winner.

If it’s possible, Stu Block actually sings with more authority on this album. You can tell he’s grown a lot more comfortable, not that he wasn’t before, but he has definitely come into his own, and the results speak for themselves. “Resistance” is a perfect example of this, and he takes the mic with authority, especially late in the song. Another winner shows up in the form of “The End”, a seven-minute epic that’s almost like IRON MAIDEN on steroids. It’s extremely well-written, with good pacing and a great riff throughout. I can’t even do the solo justice; let’s just say it’s awesome and call it a day. Now, on “If I Could See You Now” and “Spirit of the Times” it feels like Block’s clean, ballad voice is even stronger than on Dystopia and these two songs are a great way to shake things up a bit. On “Cthulhu” the soft intro totally belies the ferocity of what’s to come, and was another favorite for me.

Really the only songs I wasn’t wild about were “Peacemaker” and “Parasite”; they were good, just not great. The album ends with a star-studded cover of “The Highwayman”, featuring Schaffer, Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X, ADRENALINE MOB), Block, and Michael Poulsen (VOLBEAT) singing in that order, each of them taking a verse, and it’s a fucking great version, I loved it! All told, Plagues of Babylon is the perfect follow-up to Dystopia, and I think that ICED EARTH fans are gonna go absolutely mental for this record. I’m really impressed and I’m not a die-hard, so there you go. I’m also pretty anxious to hear these songs live in Dallas come April, too.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


Please log in to view RANTS

If you don't have a username, click here to create an account!

Username: 
Password: 

Message: 
 
 

 





 Recent Reviews
UNLEASH THE ARCHERS, STRIKER, HELION PRIME In Houston, TX W/Photos!
CLUTCH, SEVENDUST In Houston, TX
KING KOBRA Sweden Rock Live
DREAM CHILD Until Death Do We Meet Again
SCORPIONS, QUEENSRYCHE In Tampa, FL With Photos!
HUMBLE PIE Live At The Ottawa CityFolk Festival
BEHEMOTH Album Listening Party In Los Angeles For I Loved You At Your Darkest
THE DEAD DAISIES, HOOKERS 'N BLOW In Ottawa, Canada With Photos!
DRAGONLORD Dominion
STONE BROKEN Ain't Always Easy
BRANT BJORK Mankind Woman
KORPIKLAANI Kulkija
BRAINSTORM Midnight Ghost
SLEAZY WAY OUT, INSUFFICIENT FUNDS In Ottawa, Canada
DEEP PURPLE, JUDAS PRIEST In Jacksonville, FL W/Photos!
HELLOWEEN In Worcester, MA With Photos!
RED TIGER Evolution
ALTER BRIDGE Live At The Royal Albert Hall Featuring The Parrallax Orchestra
CLUTCH Book Of Bad Decisions
ANGRA In Winter Park, FL With Photos!
TALES FROM THE PORN H.M.M.V.
CARRY THE STORM i/E
PIG DESTROYER Head Cage
SAXON Strong Arm Of The Law Reissue
THE DEAD DAISIES In Houston, TX Photo Gallery
ALICE IN CHAINS, BUSH, THE CULT, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS In Ridgefield, WA W/Photos!
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES STill Cyco Punk After All These Years
OPERATION:MINDCRIME, TILL DEATH DO US PART In Portland, OR With Photos!
TNT XIII
DC4 Atomic Highway
CAL JAM '18 POP UP In Los Angeles With Photos!
SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, ANNTHRAX, TESTAMENT And NAPALM DEATH In Ridgefield, WA With Photos!
JIZZY PEARL OF LOVE/HATE All You Need Is Soul
NIGHT DEMON Live Darkness
RAVENSCROFT Rebel
NASHVILLE PUSSY Pleased To Eat You
QUIET RIOT In Houston Photo Gallery
WARRANT, STEELHEART In Houston Photo Gallery





HOME | MAGAZINE | ON-AIR | DOWNLOADS | CHAT | BOARDS | CONTESTS | STORE | HELP

©2018 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News