Line-up:

Jon Schaffer - rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Randy Shawver - lead guitars

Gene Adam - vocals

Dave Abell - bass guitar

Mike McGill - drums

Additional info:

Recorded at Morrisound Recording Studios – Tampa, Florida.

Produced by Tom Morris and Jon Schaffer.

Mastered at Fullersound Studios, Miami, Florida.

Year: 1991

Label: Century Media

Background:

Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida. They were formed in 1984 under the name The Rose, then Purgatory by guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer and original drummer Greg Seymour. The band has released a total of 12 studio albums. Iced Earth is the debut studio album by the band. Iced Earth takes elements of power metal, thrash metal, and heavy metal to make a new sound that is instantaneously associated with them.


The Good:

Jon Schaffer's terrific rhythm guitar work and Randy Shawver's lead guitar work are definitely the two most impressive performances on the album.

The unique songwriting that incorporates keyboard, acoustic passages, time changes, and fast-paced guitar makes this album one that is progressive, dark, heavy, melodic, and fast.

The emphasis on thrash metal fits the more raw production of this album making the style of this album a natural fit for this record.

The Bad:

Gene Adam is a terrible power metal vocalist who is incapable of singing the higher notes, which is why he sticks out like a sore thumb on this record. At times his unbearable high pitched wailing is unbearable and makes certain tracks not as enjoyable.


Favorite Tracks:

Track 8: When The Night Falls

This epic 9-minute closer begins with a nice melodic soft guitar opening to get the listener's attention. Schaffer yet again shows off more of his impressive variations in terrific guitar riffs that this track is immersed in. I love the dark moodiness of that is on display during this track. The guitar solos are also extremely well put together and add to an already masterful track. In my opinion, "When the Night Falls" is one of the band's best tracks.

Track 5. Life And Death

This song begins with a very soft and moody opening that utilizes a very audible bass and a lighter guitar riff. The intricate solos are also a nice touch as well. It only lasts for a small portion of the track though as Iced Earth begins their riff fest yet again. The guitar solos are well placed and well written as I have come to expect from this album. This is probably the most diverse and epic track up to this point.

Track 3. Colors

Iced Earth shows their excellence with this brilliant track. At this point, it is clear that Jon Schaffer is a monster on the guitar because he is the driving rhythm to every song. Again, Iced Earth utilizes more "gallop" riffs that are played at really fast speeds. This song also has a sudden shift to a more progressive approach near the middle of the track. The guitar solo on this track is absolutely fantastic and is probably my favorite part of the whole song. This is yet another very strong track to continue this album's momentum.


Rating Scale:

1: Garbage

1.5: Awful

2: Bad

2.5: So-So

3: Decent

3.5: Good

4: Great

4.5 Excellent

5: Perfect

Verdict:

Iced Earth's debut definitely showed off what Iced Earth was capable of doing in the world of heavy metal. The variation in songwriting from track to track keeps this album fresh after multiple listens. Overall, Iced Earth is a good album despite Gene Adam's poor vocal performance.

Rating: 3.5/5