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Review: Iced Earth - Plagues of Babylon
Iced Earth
www.icedearth.com
Plagues of Babylon

Label: Century Media
Year released: 2014
Duration: 62:03
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: January 11, 2014
Reviewed by: Edward T. Head
Readers Rating
for:
Plagues of Babylon

Rated 4.15/5 (83%) (20 Votes)
Review


Plagues of Babylon marks the official return of Iced Earth to the forefront of American Heavy Metal. Sure, Dystopia had its moments, and helped make up (a little bit at least) for the string of lackluster releases, but Plagues of Babylon is simply better in every way. It would seem that re-visiting all the classic material for Live from Ancient Kourion has lit a spark. Schaeffer's songwriting is sharper this go-'round, harkening back to the Something Wicked days, and many of the older Iron Maiden-isms have returned (check out the intro of "The End?" – pure Maiden).

Stu Block has certainly also brought a renewed vigor to the Iced Earth camp, with an obvious enthusiasm that's hard not to like. His performances on the speedy "Among the Living Dead" and the ballad, "If I Could See You" (with its obvious nod to the Iced Earth classic, "Watching Over Me"), are proof positive that Block was the right choice to replace Matt Barlow.

On the negative side, the western-themed "Peacemaker" leaves something to be desired, with rather cheesy lyrics about a saloon fight. A few of the choruses are also a little flat, lacking a strong hook. But, for the most part, Plagues of Babylon is solid and memorable, and will please any Iced Earth fan longing for the band's better days. While not perfect, it's the best album, overall, Schaeffer and co. have released in years.

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