Iced Earth - The Glorious Burden

Year of Release: 2004
Label: SPV
Catalog Number: 2147483647
Format: CD
Total Time: 78:49:00

Even though this double CD is entitled The Glorious Burden, this really is only the title of the first of the two discs. This first part contains an intro ("The Star-Spangled Banner") and nine full tracks (not counting the bonus track, the acoustic version of "When The Eagle Cries"). The songs are connected by the theme "war" and are all very recognizable Iced Earth tracks: Predictable but enjoyable riffs, double-bass drumming, good guitar-solos and some acoustic sounds here and there (the 9/11-inspired "When The Eagle Cries"). In short: it is Iced Earth as we know them. During the first few turns I felt vocalist Tim Owens sounded a bit too much like Halford (I honestly had never heard him before) but after a while I found his wide range fits the powermetal of Iced Earth very well. Best songs of disc one for me are "The Reckoning," "Hollow Man" and "Waterloo."

The second disc is labeled Gettysburg and indeed deserves its separate location in the package because this 32 minute song - divided in three movements - is in a whole different league than the tracks on disc one. Writer Jon Schaffer has tried to write an epic that brings the listener into the midst of the historical Civil War battle. And for me he has succeeded in doing that, combining the sounds of Iced Earth with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and here and there some Civil War sound effects. Accompanied by liner notes in the booklet to explain which moments of the battle and feelings of people involved (e.g. General Lee) are being expressed during the song, Gettysburg does take you back in time and indeed manages to make you feel part of the experience. It is obvious that Schaffer took care in writing this song in a historical context, and that is perhaps the most refreshing part of it. Surprisingly, while I think the music on Gettysburg is more enjoyable than on disc one, I can't stop from wondering what this epic track would have sounded like with a different singer. Even though I like Owens a lot on the more "traditional" Iced Earth songs on the first disc, and even though he does manage to set the moods of Gettysburg, I still think there are singers out there who would have fitted this song better.

Overall, this two-disc package to me is an "Iced Earth 2.0." Perhaps not as surprising or progressive as the buzz had made me expect, but definitely a worthwile purchase and of course a must-have for Iced Earth fans. The package is completed with beautiful artwork from front to back. Considering the majority of the songs is about American wars and events, I think the songs dealing with other topics (Attila the Hun, for example) are a bit out of place, but that's only a minor complaint.

[This review originally appeared February 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Disc One: Star Spangled Banner (01:15) / Declaration Day (05:01) / When The Eagle Cries (04:09) / The Reckoning (Don't Tread On (04:58) / Greenface (03:04) / Attila (05:38) / Red Baron / Blue Max (04:06) / Hollow Man (04:27) / Valley Forge (04:48) / Waterloo (05:51) / When The Eagle Cries (Unplugge (03:36)

Disc Two: Gettysburg 1863: The Devil To Pay (12:14) / Hold At All Costs (07:08) / High Water Mark (12:35)

Tim "Ripper" Owens - Vocals
Jon Schaffer ? Guitars
Ralph Santolla ? Guitars
James MacDonough ? Bass
Richard Christy ? Drums

Iced Earth (1991)
Night Of The Stormrider (1992)
Burnt Offerings (1995)
The Dark Saga (1996)
Days Of Purgatory (1997/2003)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1998)
The Melancholy EP (1999/2001)
Alive In Athens (1999)
Horror Show (2001)
Tribute To The Gods (2002)
The Reckoning (EP) (2004)
Glorious Burden (2004)
The Blessed And The Damned (2004)
Overture Of The Wicked (2007)
Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part 1) (2007)
The Crucible Of Man - Something Wicked Part 2 (2008)
The Plagues EP (2013)
Live In Ancient Kourion (2013)
Plagues Of Babylon (2014)
Incorruptible (2017)

Alive In Athens (DVD) (2007)
Gettysburg (1863) (DVD) (2005)
Live In Ancient Kourion (2013)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Erik Van Geel
Artist website:
Hits: 928
Language: english


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