Jon Schaffer - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Larry Tarnowski - Lead Guitar
Matt Barlow - Lead Vocals
James MacDonough - Bass Guitar
Recorded at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, Florida.
Produced and Engineered by Jim Morris.
Album Length: 61:56
Genre: US Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Label: Century Media
Iced Earth's fifth album is yet another fantastic release from the band. It combines the heaviness of the band's third album Burnt Offerings with the softer melodious side of their fourth album The Dark Saga. This combination of the emotional and heavy sides of the band's sound makes Something Wicked This Way Comes one of the band's most well-constructed albums.
The performances on this album are fantastic. Matt Barlow is a very confident vocalist who basically sounds perfect on every track. He can sound soulful and beautiful for the slower songs with more feeling and he can sound very aggressive when he needs to. Jon Schaffer is terrific on the rhythm guitar and his backing vocals are fantastic.
The songwriting is among Iced Earth's best. Schaffer continues to show the terrific variation in his songwriting by putting together Iced Earth's most varied album when it comes to the musical style of this album. The mix of both heavy and melodic tracks keeps the listener entertained throughout the entire album. The "Something Wicked" trilogy that finishes the album contains some of Iced Earth's best conceptual songwriting that the band has ever done.
The originality of this album is something that is often overlooked. It is heavier than its predecessor The Dark Saga, but it is also very melodic at times as well. This great mix of soft and heavy moments keeps this album fresh.
This is an extremely well-produced album. The sound quality is simply fantastic. The instruments all sound great and the album sounds just as heavy as it should. Barlow's vocals also sound fantastic.
I would have to really nitpick to find things that I dislike about this album as a whole.
Track 1: Burning Times
Track 2: Melancholy (Holy Martyr)
Track 4: Watching Over Me
Track 5: Stand Alone
Something Wicked Trilogy:
Track 11: Prophecy
Track 12: Birth of the Wicked
Track 13: The Coming Curse
Something Wicked This Way Comes is an album that has a lot of Iced Earth's best material. The album has an excellent mix of both melodic and heavy tracks. Matt Barlow gives one of my favorite vocal performances that he has ever done and Schaffer's songwriting and rhythm guitar work are fantastic as well. Something Wicked This Way Comes is a perfect power metal album.