The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Part 2)
Now here was a sight for sore eyes (and hears) a Florida based band who has been paying their dues for many years on the metal scene. Iced Earth are one of the best American metal bands that originated in Tampa Florida back in the early nineties under the original band name Purgatory. Jon Schaffer being the founder, songwriter and rhythm guitarist has kept the band going through thick and thin. Members have come and gone (and come back again) but through it all the band has still kept it's core sound, which drew inspiration from thrash, progressive and power metal along side the new wave of British heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Lyrically the songs revolve around fantasy, science fiction, horror and true history as well. All finely crafted and intelligently written by Schaffer himself. Vocalist Matt Barlow is back again (taking the lead after Tim "Ripper" Owens departed) to add his powerful pipes to Schaffer's larger than life songs. However, the most exciting aspect is Jacksonville's very own Brent Smedley who is once more behind the drums to give Iced Earth his massive double bass skin pounding attack. I used to hang out with Brent a few years ago when he and his brother Kent were in a local band here called Prodigy. He was a fantastic drummer then and he is nothing short of phenomenal now. He has been back with Iced Earth since the last album, "Framing Armageddon" but it's still cool to have someone I know in such a great metal band. This is metal they way I like it, great guitar riffs and songs that have the imagination and power to make you feel invincible as the metal maelstorm rolls over you and takes you up in it's fury.
- Craig Harvey