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Review: Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Iced Earth
Something Wicked This Way Comes

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 1998
Duration: 61:53
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: September 18, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.03/5 (80.67%) (89 Votes)

Fifth album in the Iced Earth discography, "Something Wicked" is sometimes called Iced earth's best album, and on the other hand is claimed to suck royally by other fans. So all fanboying aside, is this any good? I have to come down on the side of good, though this is far from classic.

A lot of attention seems to get paid to the 'schizophrenic' nature of this album. In other words: not all the songs sound alike. There seems to be a contingent of Iced Earth fans who are convinced they are a thrash band, and any deviation from hard and fast just gets them all in a tizzy. But IE have never been a Thrash band, just a very heavy traditional metal band, and I don't see any difference between this album stylistically and "Night Of The Stormrider", or "The Glorious Burden" for that matter. In fact it is amazing how Jon Schaefer has not progressed at all as a songwriter, in that the riffs on this CD are utterly interchangable with any other Iced Earth CD. This album alternates between heavy riff-attacks like the fine opener "Burning Times", the thrashy "Disciples Of The Lie", "Stand Alone", the stupid but heavy "My Own Savior" and the engaging instrumental "1776". Between these songs are the ballads: "Melancholy" - a decent tune, but a Jesus-blowjob song to be avoided. The sappy "Watching Over Me", the boring "Consequences" and the bland "Blessed Are You." "Reaping Stone" is the only decent slow song on here. The problem with Jon's ballads is they all sound the same: acoustic verse, then heavy riffs for the chorus, over and over again. The formula gets old fast.

The 'Trilogy' that closes out the album is the best part, as these three songs don't follow the formula. They are more epic and progressive, with more intricate arrangements than the rest of the songs. The nine-minute closer "The Coming Curse" is especially cool, with greats riffs and a killer chorus. The guitar sound is really heavy and sharp, and Jon's rhythm playing is spot on. He didn't play any of the leads on here, and I have to say that's fine, as the leads aren't any good anyway. Matt Barlow sounds like shit, as usual, but I have gotten used to him to the point where he doesn't distract me.

This is as solid an album as any Iced Earth disc. People will try and tell you that this-or-that IE album is the best and the rest of them blow goats, but the truth is they are almost all the same: good, solid metal albums. If you want innovation and experimental music, look elsewhere. But if you like Iced Earth then this is an enjoyable CD to add to the collection.

More about Iced Earth...
Review: Alive In Athens (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Alive In Athens (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Alive in Athens (reviewed by Sirliftsalot48)
Review: Burnt Offerings (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Dystopia (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Enter the Realm (2019 reissue) (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Framing Armageddon (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Framing Armageddon (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Horror Show (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Horror Show (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Horror Show (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Horror Show Tour (St. Paul, MN) (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Horror Show tour (Montreal) (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Incorruptible (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Night Of The Stormrider (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Overture of the Wicked (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Plagues of Babylon (reviewed by Edward T. Head)
Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: The Crucible of Man (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: The Crucible of Man (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Dark Saga (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: The Glorious Burden (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Glorious Burden (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Tribute to the Gods (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Interview with guitarist Jon Schaffer on December 21, 2013 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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