Iced Earth Dystopia

Iced EarthDystopia
Tampa, FL-based Iced Earth's sound cannot be confused with that of any other act. They combine the drama and epic scale of power metal with the energy and grinding power of thrash and traditional heavy metal. Their strong aesthetic identity has given Iced Earth strength and sticking power; Dystopia is their tenth studio album. They are also a volatile band known for line-up changes, with Jon Schaffer the only consistent member since 1984. Recently, the band underwent some major changes again, in the departure of long-time vocalist Matt Barlow. New singer Stu Block does a great job assuming the role and his rich, dynamic voice suits Iced Earth's sound well. Despite his efforts, however, the album definitely feels as though things came together haphazardly. Listening to Dystopia, the band's rock-solid commitment to their performance and style shines through. It is also clear that this consistency is what makes the album good. And it is simply that: good. Dystopia is a solid offering from an experienced group doing exactly what's expected: writing powerful anthems of personal freedom and ballads of fantasy-tinged romance. "Dark City" is powerful and haunting, and closer "Tragedy and Triumph" has an infectious riff structure, catchy chorus and undeniably strong march in the rhythm. Iced Earth have produced something good and satisfying. From this band though, listeners expect something transcendent. (Century Media)