Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1) review
|Album:||Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1)|
|Release date:||September 2007|
02. Something Wicked (Part 1)
04. Motivation Of Man
05. Setian Massacre
06. A Charge To Keep
08. Ten Thousand Strong
10. Order Of The Rose
12. The Clouding
13. Infiltrate And Assimilate
14. Retribution Through The Ages
15. Something Wicked (Part 2)
16. The Domino Decree
17. Framing Armageddon
18. When Stars Collide (Born Is He)
19. The Awakening
20. The Coming Curse [Japanese bonus]
Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1) is a conceptual album which continues the storyline of the famous Iced Earth's 1998 release "Something Wicked This Way Comes". This is also the first part of a double album (the sequel will probably be out in 2008) and this is of course the second album with the singer Tim Owens. Actually I was disappointed by the last two Iced Earth's albums ("Horror Show" and "The Glorious Burden") and if I was expecting something good with the two new "Something Wicked" I have to confess that I was not so confident too… By luck, my "bad" feeling was wrong and all the fans of Iced Earth will probably be happy to hear that Jon Schaffer is back in business so be prepared for a big kick in your ass!
Jon Schaffer aka the "riff machine" is back in town my friends! His two last albums were not so transcending, not bad too but a bit average and of course it was a bit hard for us (the old fans) to do the transition and to listen to the band without Barlow (Tim Owens was the new singer on "The Glorious Burden"). But it seems that Jon Schaffer's inspiration is back and God, this "Framing Armageddon" is a great surprise for me! Well, I will not tell right now that it's the best album of the combo but for sure this is already a lot better. The reason of this statement comes from several points. First, the powerful and aggressive music of Iced Earth is finally back and yes "Framing Armageddon" is full of big and heavy killer riffs. The guitars soli aren't so important in the music even if they're good but "Framing Armageddon" is a matter of melodies. They're all impressive and extremely catchy and songs like "Something Wicked (Part 1)" or "Ten Thousand Strong" are pure Metal hits which will stay for a long time in your memories. The choruses of the songs never lack of rhythm and the melodies are always catchy.
"Framing Armageddon" is a concept (the songs are cut by some little nice musical interludes) album which will tell you a Sci-Fi story written by Schaffer himself. I won't talk a lot about it, the best thing for you is to listen to the songs and to read the lyrics to discover it but to sum-up but if you want to know who are the Grand Architect of the Universe and the Setians and what happened on Earth when the men began to become corrupted by their thirst of knowledge and power, it will be something for you. With these good lyrics and a perfect production, "Framing Armageddon" is a real rebirth for Iced Earth. The performance of the musicians is excellent and I think that Tim Owens finally found his place in the line-up of the band. For sure you have to like his very high vocals but his "normal" voice is nice too and fits perfectly to the alternation of slow ballads with dark (a bit progressive) tracks and blasting US Power songs! No doubt, "Framing Armageddon" is a good album.
If you like Iced Earth, I doubt that you'll be disappointed by the new release and if the upcoming album "Something Wicked - Part 2" has the same quality I can tell you that this trilogy will become a classic. Maybe that the albums like "Something Wicked This Way Comes" or "Burnt Offering" will stay the favorite Iced Earth's releases for the fans but I'm ready to bet some money on the fact that they will like "Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1)" too. The great Iced Earth is back, hail to Schaffer, Owens and the other members of the combo. Highly recommended if you like blasting thrashy but melodic Power Metal.
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