October 22nd 2011


Review by: Metal Mom

There is nothing better than doing a CD review and discovering another great band to add to my collection. Its always fantastic to listen and hear a band that has put their efforts into making a CD worth listening to.

In 1985, a street tough kid by the name of Jon Schaffer had the drive to create a band to make his heroes, Judas Priest, Kiss, and Iron Maiden proud. In 1990 they released their first debut album, and have never looked back since. Their previous 9 albums are all considered to be masterpieces of metal. And now I truly understand and appreciate this.

These american metal icons have now just released their 10 album, called Dystopia. The 10 songs on this CD explore the nightmarish Orwellian world of the future. Its not a concept album but it is inspired by dystopian themes and movies. This CD is also the first one with their new vocalist Stu Block (Into Eternity). Dystopia runs the gamut of poignant ballads along with some bone crushing riffs, and lets not forget the stratospheric vocals with the chilling lyrics. This album is not for the faint of heart. You will also notice the return of Set Abominae, the mascot for ICED EARTH.

This band from Tampa, Florida consists of Jon Schaffer (rhythm/lead guitar + vocals), Troy Seele (lead guitar), Brent Smedley (drums), and Stu Block (lead vocals). The recording, mixing and mastering was done by Jim Morris at the Morrisound Studio in Florida. Jim Morris and Jon Schaffer were the ones who produced Dystopia. The artwork for this Cd was done by Nathan Perry and Felipe Machado Franco.

The vocals by Stu whether they are low, traditional or just belting it out are exemplary, and Jon gives the band its trademark sound, drums are masterfully distinctive, harmonic sound of the bass just pulls each and every song together. This is a CD that you can put on anytime and listen to. The 2nd track, “Anthem” is one that’s very epic. “End of Innocence” was written for Blocks mother. This CD takes you through the whole 45:12 minutes without thinking , I will switch it to the next song. There are no fillers, each and every song is well thought out, well constructed. The 45 minutes went way to fast for me, but I just kept playing it over and over, its very catchy. I understand why they are called American Metal Icons, they have a reputation for crafting exceptionally well made music.

Keep your eyes open for the most extensive and far reaching world tour in ICED EARTH history.