Tag Archives: matt barlow

PiercingMetal Spotlights: Iced Earth

Even though we got into this band a little later than we would have liked to we feel that we began our own interest in them at a very crucial point in their career. The band is Traditional Power Metal and is the brainchild of guitarist Jon Schaffer. The musician is very passionate about his beliefs and ideals and this reflects in the bands music. His love of history and science fiction found him being able to deliver his fans some really unique albums and this made our own adventures in supporting the band a lot more fun. The band has had a number of lineup changes since their inception but this is all in accordance with what Jon’s overall vision is for the body of work he is doing. They have a lot of great stuff and we’ve been glad to support it. To learn what we have said about them you can just click the logo below to launch the query of all Iced Earth content on PiercingMetal.com – we hope you like it.

Logo - Iced Earth
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Iced Earth @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (10/16/2008)

Iced Earth was not only making a triumphant return to the concert stages of NYC but was also celebrating the return of vocalist Matt Barlow. This was earth shattering news for the Metal Legions and as result offered the band a packed house at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square this evening. The opening slot was held by Into Eternity and we were on point to bring you into the action. Scroll past the logo below to be taken to article.

Logo - Iced Earth

Artist: Iced Earth
Venue: Nokia Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Into Eternity and Saviors
Date: 10/16/2008
Label: SPV Records

New York City has definitely got a lock on being the place for Metal, especially when one reviews not only the passed few weeks but also the upcoming events that we are to be treated to. I don’t say this lightly because it was only a week ago that I was at B.B. King’s for legendary guitarist Uli Jon Roth and last night was Kamelot at the same venue. Tonight would continue the musical adventuring for many as the one and only Iced Earth was set to perform at what appeared to be a completely packed room. The band’s visionary founder Jon Schaffer had recently delivered to the fans a two part prequel to his “Something Wicked” storyline and presented “Framing Armageddon” as the first chapter which featured Tim “Ripper” Owens on vocals. The recording was a pummeling one but no touring would be done until the storyline was completed and with this decision Schaffer shocked the Metal world by dismissing Owens and replacing him with former Iced Earth vocal master Matt Barlow. The second chapter of the prequel would be called “The Crucible of Man” and would feature Matt’s voice and also show the return of former Iced Earth drummer Brent Smedley. The tour would also take Into Eternity out on the road with them and I was very happy for this hard working band that I had seen in opening slots more times than I could easily recall. If you missed out on this amazing night, here are some of its highlights. The show would begin with a band called Saviors and based on a hectic itinerary for the evening would find my not catching a single note of them. I’ve not heard the name before this evening so assume that they are a new band and will probably be someone I will catch as an opener on one of the many shows that I plan on attending. I made it in just in time to see Into Eternity take the stage.
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“Alive In Athens – The DVD” by Iced Earth

Artist: Iced Earth
Title: “Alive In Athens – The DVD”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 10/31/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Join me for a little Heavy Metal time travel as we go back to the year 1999 to find Iced Earth as they record their first concert performance ever. The album would be done in Athens, Greece in front of a comfortable but still sizable audience and be called “Alive In Athens”. If you are one of the many Metal bangers that own the triple CD set already, then you are well-aware about this concert and just how excellent it was in capturing the best songs that Iced Earth had to offer the world at that time. The recording found the band in tip-top shape and holding a solid footing in their quest for Heavy Metal dominance. Our return from this trip to 2006 will lead us to the news of an old archive being discovered and inside this would be a long forgotten filming of this concert. The footage would be raw and was shot by a three member video team present at the event. Conversion to a more reliable format using the technology available was a smart thought and the decision to share this with the legions of Iced Earth fans became an immediate one. The audio was given some remaster treatment and soon it was ready to be unleashed on the public. It was a great find for Metal as fans everywhere are scooping up bootlegs at conventions and people are posting their own recordings on mediums like MySpace or YouTube. As a concert itself there are moments in the film that make you feel as though you are watching from the balconies while others place you on the stage looking out to the crowd. There are no dynamic effects and instead it’s just a sparsely decorated stage with the band members doling out the Metal in excellent fashion. The three cameras do a great job and while some might balk at the limited amount of videographers at least we got something from this monumental show.
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“Horror Show” by Iced Earth

Artist: Iced Earth
Title: “Horror Show”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 6/26/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Focusing their energies on the mysterious and the macrabre, Jon Schaffer and company deliver the evil with the album ”Horror Show”. The theme the group follows for this one is “monsters”, and each track on the release is about one particular member of the Legions Of Darkness. It’s an interesting idea; very well-written and becomes an audio version of “Famous Monsters Of Filmland” when you observe it as a whole. Songs like “Dracula” and “Damien” are perhaps the album’s best tracks, each bringing you into the mind of the horrific character that it showcases. Musically, the album is very strong and finds Matt Barlow belting out the vocals like a banshee (this would be his last recording with the group). Rounding out the lineup for the recording with Schaffer and Barlow is Richard Christy (drums), Larry Tanowski (guitar) and Steve DiGiorgio (bass). It’s a talented line of defense against these spirits and with “Horror Show” the group allows even the new listener a chance to enjoy their brand of Metal with little background on them. While the band had been around for a few years, I found myself missing the boat on them until this release. Overall, Iced Earth delivers some of the best traditional-styled Metal I have heard in a long time. Outside of the tracks cited above (which are my particular favorites), I leaned strongly on “The Phantom Opera Ghost”. The track showcases the talents of Yunhui Percifield, who plays the part of Christine during the song. “Wolf” and “Jack” are also interesting and bring you stories about the Wolf- Man and Jack The Ripper, in case you did not figure that part out.
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