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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Iced Earth, The Glorious Burden


    I don't think there are many albums that combine War History, and Metal as well as The Glorious Burden from Iced Earth.  From the opening instrumental Star Spangled Banner, to the heavy Hold At All Costs, this is without a doubt one of the best albums not just in Iced Earth's discography, but in Metal.

     The first thing this album has going for it is the amazing vocals.  With the great Ripper Owens joining this band after his time with Judas Priest he brings the same amazing vocal work from that band into Iced Earth.  Not only does he show the high voice he had when in Judas Priest, he also has a deeper range to the point where some times he sounds like James Hetfield from Metallica.  The guy has a good range giving the album many directions to go vocally.  The backing vocals on the album are to be admired as well.  With the backing vocals sounding very haunting, it truly gives you a feeling of horror of what it is like to be in the middle of battle.  One of the best songs that demonstrates this is The Devil to Pay.  The chorus in that song is very chilling and gives a great effect of war.

      The music on this album is very well composed and flows very well.  Guitar player Jon Schaffer composes some real heavy rhythm guitar while delivering amazing melodic duel lead guitar on the album.  The 2 songs that demonstrates this best from my perspective are Declaration Day and Hold at All Costs.  Both have great heavy guitar while giving us some great melodic leads that are almost, if not just as good as, Iron Maiden songs.

Lyrically this one of my favorite albums ever.  Almost every song on the album is about a specific battle or event in war history.  Declaration Day being about the beginning of the American Revolution, and Waterloo being about the Battle of Waterloo you basically get a history lesson in the form of some awesome music.  The biggest highlight though is the final three songs that are about each day of the Battle of Gettysburg.  This section operates like a concept record telling the story of the events of all three days of one of the bloodiest battles fought on American Soil.  Big Props to Jon Schaffer on not only composing great music, but also writing some of the best lyrics I have seen.

If you are a history lover you should get this record, if you are a metal head you should get this record, and if you are both then you need this record.  With great lyrics and brilliant composition, this is an album that is all power and no filler.  The Glorious Burden is available on Itunes, but I actually recommend getting a physical copy of this record if possible.  The artwork is amazing and when you have and album like this, a physical copy does it justice.  Click on some of the links below to preview some songs, and if you like them buy them, and the rest of the album.  (Hold At All Costs)  (Declaration Day)

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