Jon Schaffer is one of the most underrated rhythm guitarists in metal and Iced Earth
's 2007 LP "Framing Armageddon
" is another fine example of his musical genius.
Although there are a number of guests featured on this album, Schaffer is the main musician providing all of the rhythm / bass / acoustic parts as well as most of the lead work.
Songs like "Something Wicked", "The Domino Decree
", and the excellent "Framing Armageddon
" feature Schaffer at his best in this regard.
The main problem with this album perhaps lies in the concept itself : it's a metal opera of sorts aimed at the demise of mankind in a most pessimistic and depressing manner. Power
metal, it can be argued, hinges more on uplifting messages and themes.
The best song "Ten
Thousand Strong" rousingly thumps its chest in that vein.
It's the rest of the songs ; however, especially during the first half of the album up to the ballad-like "The Clouding", that both musically and thematically, sound repetitive and uninspiring. In fact, the interludes then become much needed breaks from this monotony of Melancholy
The second half of the album is where almost all of the best songs are at, thus one can make an argument that at sixy-nine minutes, "Framing Armageddon
" is perhaps too long for it's own good.
Still, if you love Jon Schaffer's sound and style of playing, you will definitely not be disappointed throughout this metallic trip. Ripper
Owens also must be commended for his vocal work on such a monumental opus. He has definitely found his own voice on this recording as well as successfully taking on the task of evoking the proper emotions outlined in the storyline.
Between these two artists, the result of "Framing Armageddon
" is a very strong and solid piece of heavy power metal.