Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Favorite Albums: Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes

Continuing with my trend of listening to my foundation of my metal tastes, I'm going to look at the partner (in my mind) to Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Iced Earth; seen this way because I bought them both at the same time, around five years ago.

Now I've already gone into this album a bit, with my comparison of the two spin-off albums, the Something Wicked Series, but that was only a basic look at the last three songs, that make up the original 'Something Wicked' story. In this, I'll go more in-depth about the entire album.
First, the album is broken into two parts, the first ten tracks make up the 'album proper,' the stand alone songs, with no story throughout them, just random songs. The second part is the Birth Of The Wicked series, and that begins on track 11 and goes to the end of the album (track 13). I'll go into each separately.
The first few tracks are my favorites on the album, they are all good but some are better. Most of the songs touch on some ulterior motive, either by damning someone or group within the song ("Disciples Of The Lie" and "Melancholy (Holy Martyr)"), or are very heart-throbbing ("Watching Over Me" and "Blessed Are You"). All of the songs are very heavy and a great blend of Jon Schaffer's superb guitar and lyrical writing and Matthew Barlow's (the 'voice' of Iced Earth) amazing vocals.

The concept mini-album at the end is not as good as the rest of the album. It still holds water compared some of the band's other releases, it's just not up to par with the first ten tracks. It tells the story (at least the beginning half) of the herald of the end of the human race, Set Abominae, and the circumstances leading up to his birth. In this version of the story, humans are a new species on Earth and are slowly destroying the ancient race, in the new version the humans are from space. In order to stem this, the ancients transform into humans and use their power to see into the future and set about the chain of events that would lead to the birth of Set Abominae, the being that is destined to destroy the humans and restore his people to power. The story ends shortly after his birth, with the listener able to determine his/her own ending. I like this more then the new dobule album version (see above) as it is simpler and it leaves more to the imagination. But to each their own.

This was my first power metal I heard (not knowing that Manowar was power metal at the time) and it set the bar high for other bands.

Track Listing
  1. Burning Times
  2. Melancholy (Holy Martyr)
  3. Disciples Of The Lie
  4. Watching Over Me
  5. Stand Alone
  6. Consequences
  7. My Own Savior
  8. Reaping Stone
  9. 1776
  10. Blessed Are You
  11. Something Wicked Part 1 - Prophecy
  12. Something Wicked Part 2 - Birth Of The Wicked
  13. Something Wicked Part 3 - Coming Curse


Unknown said...

Killer album from a bad ass band.

headbanger_71369 said...

Great perspective here, on what is also one of my favorite metal albums. Actually, one of the last Iced Earth albums I actually collected, should have been 1st! Can you send me some links to the backstory behind the 'Birth of the Wicked'? Don't know if I ever read up on it properly...

The Klepto said...

I don't know where I got that information originally, as it was over a year ago, but here is the Wikipedia page of the story:
It does include what was added with the latest two albums, but those are more an a 'directors cut' to the original tracks.