Monday, 19 June 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Iced Earth - "Incorruptible"

 By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/06/2017
Label: Century Media Records


This is the kind of album that Judas Priest should be making- and used to make. “Incorruptible” is a great metal album, it delivers on every level, with every band member excelling in their field. Time for me to get hold of the back catalogue as well, as “Incorruptible” has converted me to being a fan of the band. After nearly thirty years of albums, Iced Earth are deadlier than ever.

“Incorruptible” CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. “Great Heathen Army”
02. “Black Flag”
03. “Raven Wing”
04. “The Veil”
05. “Seven Headed Whore”
06. “The Relic (Part 1)”
07. “Ghost Dance (Awaken The Ancestors)”
08. “Brothers”
09. “Defiance”
10. “Clear The Way (December 13th, 1862)

The Review:

Back with their twelfth album, Iced Earth are something of an American metal institution. Yes, the line up album to album often changed, but with Jon Schaffer at the helm the band has been viewed as perhaps akin to the US version of Iron Maiden in terms of scope and ambition. I have to be honest here, I have never really got into the band until now. I bought “Something Wicked This Way Comes” some years ago but could not get into it. On the strength of Tim “Ripper” Owens involvement, I got hold of the deluxe edition of “The Glorious Burden...” same thing. Maybe I didn't persevere enough, maybe I was expecting something different; whatever the reasons I didn't get it. Until now.

“Incorruptible” is a hugely enjoyable record. It is uncategorisable, other than to say that this is metal. Proper metal. Screaming vocals. Shredding guitars. Massive drums. Rumbling bass. Songs about heathen hordes, piracy, history, brotherhood, nature... they are all here.

The opener “Great Heathen Army” is epic in sound and delivery, but equally is straight to the point in that it goes for the throat and does not let go. Stirring stuff, for sure, as is “Black Flag” (nowt to do with the hardcore punk band- Rollins fronted or otherwise). Changing pace, “Raven Wing” is sublime- it has some undefinable quality that makes for a classic track. It's not a hard rocker or a ballad, but is perhaps a distant cousin to a track like Accept'sPrincess of the Dawn”. Have a listen and you may understand where I am coming from.

There are vicious head bangers such as “Seven Headed Whore” and “Defiance” epic trad metal like “The Relic (Part 1”), an instrumental (“Ghost Dance..”.), trad power balladry with a metal heart (“Brothers”) and a suitably epic closer in the form of “Clear The Way (December 13th 1862)”. The production is never less than state of the art, the musicianship superlative. More important is that the songs deliver as well.

This is the kind of album that Judas Priest should be making- and used to make. “Incorruptible” is a great metal album, it delivers on every level, with every band member excelling in their field. Time for me to get hold of the back catalogue as well, as “Incorruptible” has converted me to being a fan of the band. After nearly thirty years of albums, Iced Earth are deadlier than ever.


“Incorruptible” is available everywhere now


FFO: Judas Priest, Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden, Nevermore


Band info: facebook

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