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ICED EARTH Incorruptible

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Friday, June 16, 2017 @ 7:49 AM


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ICED EARTH
Incorruptible

2017 Century Media Records




“Open up your spirit, begin to trust yourself. I will help raise you, from deepest pits of hell…”

Incorruptible is ICED EARTH’s twelfth studio album. The lineup this time is the same as Plagues Of Babylon (2014): Jon Schaffer (Guitar), Stu Block (Vocals), Luke Appleton (Bass), except for the addition of new guitarist Jake Dreyer (ex-WHITE WIZZARD) and the return of drummer Bret Smedley, who did not play on Plagues Of Babylon.

The historical anthem “Great Heathen Army” kicks the album off with its epic intro, setting the war drums ablaze, and transporting the listener into the Viking invasion of England in 865 AD. This is an immense opening track, highlighted by killer riffs, fiery guitar leads, beastly double bass drumming and wicked vocals from Stu Block. A lyric video was made for the song and can be viewed right HERE. The pirate-themed “Black Flag” is a favorite on the album, featuring harmony guitars and vocals and an excellent chorus of “We spit on our hands, hoist the black flag and begin to slit throats!”

The band slows things down with the acoustic-tinged ballad “Raven Wing”, which features some fantastic riffing from Schaffer, and a lofty chorus near the end. Mid-tempo track “The Veil” is for me a mostly disappointing track (with a chorus that somehow bears an uncanny resemblance to LOVERBOY’s “When It’s Over”). This is the only song that doesn’t do much for me on the album. But that’s okay, because every song before and after this is first rate.

“Seven Headed Whore” is a short, yet brutal track based on the whore of Babylon from the book of Revelation, and is an allegory for the state of politics in the world. It is probably the most straight-ahead, punishing track on the album, and features Stu Block simply devastating the earth with his vocals. “The Relic (Part 1)” is a catchy and riff-heavy track that keeps the tempo flowing. I really like this song, as well as instrumental “Ghost Dance (Awaken The Ancestors)”, which features a nice lead guitar from Dreyer and has a haunting quality to it. I feel certain that “Brothers” will become a setlist staple for ICED EARTH for a while to come. “Brothers standing side by side, our bond will never falter…”. “Defiance” is also an anthem of strength and unity and one of the best tracks on the album for me. But they saved the best for last…

The final song (and longest at 9:30), is “Clear The Way (December 13, 1862)”. Jon Schaffer previously composed the excellent Gettysburg trilogy on The Glorious Burden (2004). Now, he goes back seven months to December 1862 to bring us this ode to the Irish who fought in the Battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War. The Irish were known for their tenacity and bravery in battle, resorting to hand-to-hand combat if their rifles failed them. “Intrepid sons with heads held high, go where glory awaits you. Your absolution under fire, if the Lord above takes you…”. There are moments in this song that gave me goosebumps, and the entire track is excellent overall.

Lyric videos for several tracks were posted to Youtube including “Raven Wing”, “Seven Headed Whore”, “Great Heathen Army” and “Clear The Way”, so search for those to see and hear more from this album. The album cover finds Set Abominae strapped to a wheel for torture and burning. He doesn’t look too sad about it, as you would expect! He’s still biding his time before decimating the human race!

Without a doubt, ICED EARTH is simply on fire on this album. It is easily my favorite of the Stu Block-fronted albums thus far. Those fans still yearning for the Matt Barlow days should enjoy this album, which harkens back to that era a great deal. The production and mix is among the best that ICED EARTH has ever released, as this album sounds incredible. Incorruptible contains 10 songs, and is nearly an hour in length. It will be released worldwide on Century Media Records on June 16th in a variety of formats: Digital, CD, and expanded vinyl sets.

5.0 Out Of 5.0

Grab your copy of Incorruptible in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.


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