Review: Iced Earth

Iced Earth
“The Blessed And The Damned”
(Century Media)

A greatest hits package from Iced Earth. The band has a 15+ year history, much of which is documented in the linear notes by the main visionary behind the band, rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer. An extensive time-line that touches upon the major events of his personal and professional career are chronicled to give the listener a better scope of the time and effort that has gone into Iced Earth.  The two disc, 22 track set features a healthily mix of the bands eight full-length albums. The band plays metal for the metal purist.  A mix of thrash and power metal with a fierce allegiance to the European school of metallic process and vocals. The band has featured a few different singers, and that can be tangibly felt when listening to a career spanning release such as this (especially with the cheese factor on some of the overly “metal” lyrics). Iced Earth may not have attained superstar status in the mainstream world or record sales, but they have made their mark with endless touring and a dedication to their craft that has kept them releasing albums. This is an obvious good score for an Iced Earth fan, but even better for the kid who likes the traditional power metal but hasn’t given this band a spin. And the cover art can be flipped to show devils or angels. Very metal.