Rating:
8.0
Iced Earth - The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2)
5 September 2008


01. In Sacred Flames
02. Behold The Wicked Child
03. Minions Of The Watch
04. The Revealing
05. A Gift Or A Curse
06. Crown Of The Fallen
07. The Dimension Gauntlet
08. I Walk Alone
09. Harbinger Of Fate
10. Crucify The King
11. Sacrificial Kingdoms
12. Something Wicked (Part 3)
13. Divide Devour
14. Come What May
15. Epilogue


The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2) is the most recent Iced Earth album, and is a follow on from their 2007 release Framing Armageddon. While the album may not hold much weight in comparison to some of the late 90s works, The Crucible of Man a vast improvement on other recent releases not least of all because of the return of Matt Barlow to the vocals position of the band. This album has many good points and some really good Iced Earth songs, but overall it fails to deliver at the level I have come to expect from the band. It is an album that takes some patience to get into, with the songs from start to finish sounding very formulaic. Sorry to use an old cliché there, but the sound has become very generic Iced Earth. This album especially fails to deliver on originality; however, the songs themselves remain catchy, with decent lyrics and riffs to keep Iced Earth fans fairly happy.

The Crucible of Man is an improvement on other recent releases from Iced Earth. The return of Matt Barlow certainly is one cause of this, and as a flow on effect Matt's return also appears to have reinvigorated and woken up Jon Schaffer for at least some songs. One current band member not to be underestimated from the last two albums is Troy Seele whose performance on the album is very clean accurate and precise in execution. His solos seem fairly generic and unspectacular, but they fit the music very well, adding to the atmosphere in music that is written primarily for the vocalist to take absolute command of the sound not the guitarist. The return of Brent Smedley on drums is also a welcome one, he is a consistent and reliable drummer his style compliments the Iced Earth sound very nicely.

While there are some signs of life on The Crucible of Man, with some good songs catchy riffs and intricate vocal melodies; there is one major area of concern. That is with the Iced Earth sound especially on recent albums appearing to become formulaic and fairly 'cliché'. The music is good but unsurprising; most fans would have known what to expect from this album, and it delivered as expected. It is a problem that Jon Schaffer needs to address on their next album.

The Crucible of Man is an album worth getting if you like Power or Heavy metal, if somewhat unspectacular. It has some good points but is overall, very cliché and formulaic, Iced Earth fans will find some good songs on the album, with perhaps four or five songs that make the album one of some level of quality; But, many of the songs are sloppy in composition and seem like they have been slapped together hastily to get part two of the Something Wicked series out of the studio, to the detriment of the overall quality.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 10


Band profile: Iced Earth
Album: The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2)


 


written by ToMegaTherion | 28.10.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Jeff

Rating:
7.3
Finally, our dear Matt is back in Iced Earth. Wow when I think that some months ago only it was just like a myth, I'm really happy that the best singer that Iced Earth ever had is finally back with his family. Now, I'm sure you're all expecting a lot of the new album "The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked - Part 2)", definitely it's been a long time that Matt haven't sing anything with the band and this is a real big event, probably one the biggest event of the Metal year 2008. Don't worry you'll not be disappointed by the release even if, I must say it, the last album "Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked - Part 1)" doesn't suffer of any comparison with this release… With or without Matt Barlow, Iced Earth is still able to do good releases, not the most fantastic ones but really solid nonetheless.

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published 05.09.2008 | Comments (53)



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