Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon

1. Overture
2. Something Wicked (Part 1)
3. Invasion
4. Motivation of Man
5. Setian Massacre
6. A Charge to Keep
7. Reflections
8. Ten Thousand Strong
9. Execution
10. Order of the Rose
11. Cataclysm
12. The Clouding
13. Infiltrate and Assimilate
14. Retribution Through the Ages
15. Something Wicked (Part 2)
16. The Domino Decree
17. Framing Armageddon
18. When Stars Collide (Born is He)
19. The Awakening

Jon Schaffer - Rhythm, Bass, and Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tim Owens - Lead Vocals
Brent Smedley - Drums

Gettysburg (1863) 2005
The Glorious Burden 2004
Tribute to the Gods 2002
Horror Show 2001
Something Wicked This Way Comes 1998
The Dark Saga 1996
Burnt Offerings 1995
Night of the Stormrider 1992
Iced Earth 1991

Recording info:
Recorded at Soaring Eagle Sound - Indiana, USA. February and March 2007
Produced by Jim Morris and Jon Schaffer
Engineered by Jim Morris

Troy Seele - Lead Guitar
Dennis Hayes - Bass Guitar


Understand one thing about heavy metal, the most eighties rear view mirror people see this as gold since it is very reminiscent of the eighties metal with it’s chord rythms and heavy beats and simple melodies and drumlins and also with a slightly dated sound. Iced Earth though, they sound a bit fresher then the regular eighties-wannabe but it is still rooted there but with a thematic album and some sidesteps, not many but a few like the powerful choirs in some of the choruses, that is really the strong point of the album these choruses; they are powerful and really good and they pull you into the right mood. But Schaffer and his fellows can’t really keep interest over the verses that are the absolute opposite to the choruses, they are really dull and boring as well as uninteresting.

The album through, song by song you only wait for the choruses and laugh at the times when Owens’ voice become almost as nasal as the king of nasality, Ozzy Osbourne. Still, it never reaches that level but in a few songs it is dangerously close, I must say that I miss Barlow, not that he was such an amazing singer but he brought another character and prevented in some extent the band from being a lullaby-band which I feel they are with this album. This album may be as dull as watching paint dry or reading the phone book, luckily it never gets bad just boring.

There would be some songs I could hail as better then the rest but they all feel so much the same and I just forget the entire thing every time I listen to the album, it goes in through the left ear and out of the right. I just can not see the point why Gibson signed an endorsement deal with Jon Shaffer, he can not write interesting music. I love the theme with the doomsday thing and the comparison of man spreading like a virus it is high class. “Never trust the motives of man” Owens also sings and I can’t do anything but agree with the man who I secretly dream of replacing with Matt Barlow on this album, how cool isn’t that?

Not very you say, then you are as boring as this record. A cool thing with this album is otherwise the many songs, it is an impressive tracklist unfortunately none of them really stands out from the gray mass of tracks, too bad on such a fine theme.

I guess there is only one thing to say: better luck next time.


I’m not suprised that Iced Earth sounds like this. It’s been going in this direction all the time since the early thrash metal albums in the early 90’s. From their humble thrash the transission into the grand and magnificent power metal of today has made itself more and more obvious. Their change of vocalist from Gene Adam and John Greely into Matt Barlow, who still is the vocalist that’s been in the band the longest, resulted in a more straight heavy/power metal with lots of heaviness instead of the speedy thrash metal from earlier days. Then Schaffer changed Barlow into the occasional vocalist of Judas Priest the nail in the coffin was in it’s place. This gave the band a genuine power metal vocalist, not one of that heavy pitch Barlow sung with, and the music envolved into the grand and epic music of today inspired by symphy orchestras and choirs. Quite obvious is that Schaffer has matured from the loud and screamy music of his teenage years into something deeper and more musical and impressing that the world will remember him for – after all, he has become grey haired and reached the respectable age of 40+.

So, how does the new album from Iced Earth stand the comparasion of the previous albums? It’s okay. Doubtless a good album, grand, interesting theme and lyrics, good vocals and well written music throughout the entire album. The magnificent refrains is backed up by a well sorted army of instruments playing bridges and inputs all over and never seems to end, that is until the refrains are over.

The music isn’t ingenious nor interesting. The feeling you get of it is that it’s melancholic; as if you’ve heard it before and almost is copied from other directions. Schaffer repeats old Iced Earth music, freshes it up and then removes the old, monotonous bass and adds inspirations from bands that’s grand and magnificent.

Iced Earth in the 2000s makes heavy, epic creations inspired from film themes and classical composers, but the only thing that feels as something own is the lyrics. The rest is good, but poor and unimaginative, This is defenitely something to listen to, but in the long you probably gasp more from it than you rock to it!

official website

Label - SPV
Three similar bands - Iron Maiden/Helloween/Iron Savior
Rating: HHHHHHH Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
Rating: HHHHHHH Reviewer: Caj Källmalm