Already six years since the arrival of Stu Block, Iced Earth
returns very confident for their twelfth studio album. After an energetic Dystopia
, reviving the skeptical fans, although weakened by a predictable musical structure and followed by a slower Plagues of Babylon
, mitigating the fans, but containing very good songs, the group made the fans salivate with a very well calculated promotion for their new album, without a concept this time; Incorruptible
After several announcements on Facebook and unveiling of songs that did not announce anything extraordinary, their album is finally out and it is time to look at its value.
The anxiety that some fans shared in listening to the unveiled tracks is unfortunately true throughout the album.
The lyrics are for the most part fairly simple writing and ordinary vocal melodies. Stu's high pitch however is still superb, varied and judiciously placed at strategic locations in the pieces. The vocals are nevertheless very well worked, the vocal lines trying to be the least homogeneous between the pieces to ensure a greater richness in the album. It is only the musical and vocal structure that weakens the work done.
Unlike the bass which has always been a support sound in the band, the drums have always distinguished themselves by interesting compositions, except on this album where it seems to have lost its signature to the detriment of its only mission which is to support singing and guitars.
As for the guitars, the solos are not out of the ordinary, but are placed in the right places to enhance the pieces. The music lines of Jon Schaffer, meanwhile, are bland. We are entitled to a typical Jon, but Jon without spark of creativity and seems to have chosen the law of least effort.
, the structure of the albums has been oriented towards a Pop structure. The advantage is that it can go for a wider audience and allows a higher speed of composition. Its fault is its predictability, its lack of creativity and its very narrow yoke. This structure leaves almost no place for the surprises that the band hid in its tracks, it is already a long time ago (Travel in Stygian, When the Night
Falls, Dantes Inferno
As you can imagine, I found the album flat, without real surprise and with a real lack of vision. Incorruptible
has been corrupted to linearity. We feel the passion and the will through the album, but lack of creativity is lacking. Far
from it the idea of requiring Iced Earth
a masterpiece, because all their albums have had splendid pieces and weaker pieces, but have something in their teeth and not get bored would not have been too much demanded.
however has some positives aspects! To start with the cover that represents the burning sound of the album. It is very well mixed, no instrument tramples its neighbor. It is well dosed between energetic and mid-tempo. I personally was surprised by Raven
Wing (with his mesmerizing lyrics surely inspired by the trickster character in many mythologies). Seven
is very aggressive and different from other titles with a nod to Slayer
for sure! We feel Stu's Death Metal
touch. Sculpted for live performances! And
last and not the least; Clear the Way (December
13th, 1862) which tells of the battle of Fredericksburg when the last assault of the federalists crushed the valiant Irish brigade. This piece concludes the album perfectly. The vocal melodies, very important on this piece, are catchy and of a unique color until now in the register of Stu.
To conclude, I will say that the album proves still not to be tempted with pre ordering albums. This album has some good points that will set fire in live. However, the album as a whole remains flat and boring. It is aimed at a category of fans more open to linearity and all that the group offers. For the other category that demands a constant awakening and which is at the same time more demanding, take the time to listen to it before buying.