artist : Iced Earth
genre : Power/Thrash Metal
year : 2011
Power metal juggernauts Iced Earth have just dropped something more powerful than what had destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To simplify things for people with low IQ, Dystopia, the band’s tenth record is nothing short of power metal magic that can even breathe life into a corpse if played at the right volume.
Screw your intros, and Dystopia anyways does not have one. So if you cannot proceed ahead without an intro then put your finger into your butt-hole and sit tight. Rest of us are about to experience something more than what we know about this American act. Album opener is the self-titled track, clearing the dust through some drums and guitars to begin with and then races ahead with blazing speed. But not before a hell lot of meaningful melody is rendered to the songs.
They thrash it big along with their high voltage genre on Boiling Point, Equilibrium and Days of Rage. Not every band can compose an Anthem, and just when you think we aren’t going to slow down here, the second track itself is a reminder of which out and out genre oriented band we’re listening to. Extensive twin guitar work back-to-back on Anguish of Youth, V and Dark City. The solos on Dark City and Equilibrium will reinforce your belief in love.
Towards the end there is End of Innocence, which acts like a harness for the album. It is exactly opposite of what was being announced by Iced Earth till now, with no thrash spots. Unhurried, yet peacefully carved, it has been included so there is no reason for a critic like me to say anything the band doesn’t want to hear.
Bonus tracks are included maybe because they do not fit in the flow of an album or to reduce the actual track list but Soylent Green and Iron Will belong here. Off the two, Soylent Green is still a less strong track but Iron Will covers it up. Time for a song that is more advanced, more self-satisfied and more metal than the rest. It’s time for Tragedy and Triumph, a song that is over seven and a half minutes long, imbibes everything the instruments have to offer and is a big reason why Dystopia is going to be kept in mind.
With no comparisons to anyone, Stu Block‘s place cannot be taken on Dystopia. The man is out to conquer all he can, and that includes old-Iced Earth fans as well. What he does particularly on Boiling Point and Equilibrium can tear the cobwebs in your ear. Be careful. He has a range higher than what you hear on this album, and on Dystopia he is supported well by vocalist Jon Schaffer (also handles guitar and keyboard duties) who along with guitarist Troy Seele are seen engaging in some serious power metal ritual that will leave you spellbound. Drum duties by Brent Smedley and bass guitarist Freddie Vidales had to match up and horns up to them as well.
Hear the new Iced Earth album a little more closely and you’ll find yourself exhaling so much of authentic music. This can’t be a mere coincidence, and even if it is, the coincidence is called Dystopia.
Rating : 4.5/5