Iced Earth
Days of Purgatory


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mekkalayakay USER (11 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 15 replies | 5,624 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


John Schaffer:
"....In this collection you will hear songs that were written in a time span from 1986 to 1994. So for some of you this will be a stroll down memory lane and for you newer fans you will hear some classic I.E. re-mixed, re-sung and on a few tunes, bass and drums re-done. All of these older songs, in my opinion, are better than what was originally released..."

"...the idea to use the word purgatory in the title...works for two reasons. 1.) It was the original name of the band from 1984-1989. 2.) It also symbolizes the many years of "suffering" and "paying dues" we have endured to get where we are now. And though we have a long road ahead of us things are definitely on the upswing...."

"....In the eyes of this artist Iced Earth and metal music are a life long commitment and we're not budging, we are metal and we're proud of it. Yes, Iced Earth will mature and we will grow, but you can count on us being ever faithful to ourselves and our art, and for this I'm sure you will always be satisfied as the listening audience. Iced Earth will always play what we believe in. Fuck Trends and Fuck Posers!!!"[/i][/quote]

John Schaffer basically sums it up in his quote. Days of Purgatory is a collection of Iced Earth songs that have already been done on the self-titled and Night of the Stormrider albums'. The songs on Days of Purgatory are re-done and sung by Matt Barlow, the new vocalist for Iced Earth (at the time)

Biography of the Band
[url]http://www.icedearth.de/eng/bio.php[/url]

The Review:
Note: I do not own the self-titled album, but I do own Night of the Stormrider. I like the originals of NotS better than the remixed, re-sung ones, and I am going to try and keep this out of the reviews for the songs a bit

1. Enter the Realm - This is the intro. Very good guitar work through here. It's very melodic, and leads into the first song. It's short, but very good. Mix of acoustic and electric guitars. Nothing distorted though. Overall, I love this intro, and especially how it leads into the next song. 5/5

2. Colors - Starts off heavy, being led in from the intro. I love the verse in this song. The guitar riff is nice. This song is a bit different from most lyrics Iced Earth has ever done. It opens up talking about walking alone in NY city, with gangs all over. This was an original song off of the self-titled album. This song has a nice bridge. Very gallopy. I really like the re-done versions of these songs, but I have not heard the originals, so I don't have any respect for them yet, but I will purchase that CD one day. This is an overall good song. Very different from the typical IE song. 4/5

3. Angels Holocaust - The opening track off of Night of the Stormrider. The intro had to grow on me. I never used to like it. It's a choir, singing over powerful guitar chords. It starts out a bit slow in the verse, with an acoustic guitar, and an electric in the background. I love the lyrics in this song. 1:50, a very nice short guitar solo that I always enjoy hearing. Eventually, it gets faster into a thrash-like song. A lot of Iced Earth's earlier stuff mixed thrash with Power metal, and I enjoyed it very much. There is a very nice, memorable solo in this song. ;) Many of the songs off of Night of the Stormrider have them. 4/5

4. Stormrider - One of my favorite Iced Earth songs. Ever. The intro is amazing, and it leads into a thrashy guitar verse, with nice vocals. In the chorus, screaming, "Fight on! Grab On! Stormrider! Stormrider!", which sticks out quite a bit. I like the original much better. The vocals just aren't as good with Barlow, in my opinion. This song also has one of my favorite Iced Earth solos in it. The solo guitarist for that/this album was amazing. Not completely in technicality, but in writing. I love this song. 5/5

5. Winter Nights - I always thought this song had kind of an "off" intro. Almost sounds like they are playing the wrong note on the guitar. The verse is typical Iced Earth. Barlow's vocals are amazing in this song. Especially his high pitched screams, because you hardly ever hear him do those. I was never a big fan of the chorus in this song. It slows down a bit, and just doesn't fit too much to me. Overall, still a good song. 3.5/5

6. Nightmares - This song has a very classical intro. Sounds like something from the seventies. Maybe I'm thinking Maiden, but it's badass, and I love it. I love the vocals in this song, because they pan them left and right every time he sings, so it has an effect like two people are singing. Very typical, easy verse in this song, but the panning left and right makes it. I love it. The chorus, again, typical good Iced Earth. I'm not impressed with the lyrics in the chorus, but I can't blaim Barlow for those. 3.8/5

7. Pure Evil - This is another song off of NotS. Good song. Starts off with a nice intro, and the drummer does a very good job working the toms. Blends well. The verse in this song is awesome. Thrashy. Barlow does a lot better in this cover, in my opinion. The verse repeats a few times. There is a very creative, unique solo in this song. Another thing I like about Iced Earth; the tempo changes. So many. I love it. Pure Evil is a good song, with some nice song-writing, along with just about any early Iced Earth song. 4/5

8. Solitude - An acoustic piece done by John Schaffer. Such a beautful song. Repetitive, but so beautiful. I think this was a song he wrote in the late 80's. I'm not sure if it got onto the self-titled album or not. But this is no doubt, one of my favorite simplistic acoustic guitar pieces. 5/5

9. When the Night Falls - The intro is a bit of a current day Iced Earth sounding intro. Slower, and more melodic sounding. It soon gets faster and more thrashy, like the early Iced Earth I love. I love the vocals in this song too. Early Iced Earth had the best guitar work. Then it all slows down at one point, to have a pre-chorus. The chorus in this song is very melodic. Overall, 3.8/5

10. Desert Rain - Besides Stormrider, one of my other favorite Iced Earth songs. The intro is simple, and amazing, along with the first verse. And I love the 16th notes on the high hat to go along with it. I am not a big fan of Barlow's version, again, on this song, but overall, the song is amazing. Barlow does an outstanding job on this, but I'm still a bigger fan of the original. Great, great written solo in this song. Lyrics are very well done. This, in my opinion, is one of the highlights of Iced Earth's career. This is one of those songs that they should be known by. Chorus in this song is very memorable 5/5.

11. The Funeral - This is an instrumental Another older-sounding intro, like it came out of the wrong time. I love the intro/verse in this song. Also different than typical Iced Earth. Seems to have a type of a theme to it. But this song definately sounds like it came out of the wrong time. Parts of it sound like Maiden-Metallica fusion, in my opinion. Great song. 4.8/10

12. Cast in Stone - Probably my favorite track on this album. I don't know how good the original is, but this is definately another one of my favorite IE songs. Very awesome intro, with a guitar solo type thing. I heard Barlow changed all the lyrics on this album. Barlow also did an amazing job singing this. Sings a lot higher pitched than normal in this song. The verse is very thrash like, along with the pre-chorus. Lots of changes in tempo, and mood in this song. Definately awesome. 5/5

13. Reaching the End - The second to last song on NotS. Iced Earth's short songs are very well written and beautiful. This is more of an intro, but it doesn't lead into the next song. Very beautiful. 4.5/10, but only due to Barlow. His vocals are shaky, and just not as well done as the original.

14. Travel in Stygian - This song is often a favorite of hardcore Iced Earth songs. It is definately in my top 5 songs by Iced Earth. Very off sounding intro, but the first verse is amazing. Mixes power metal with thrash very very well. I do not, however, like Barlow's vocals on this song :-/. He changed it a bit, and it just doesn't fit as well as the original. Definately an awesome track, with the most beautiful closing piano outro you will ever hear. 4.8/10, because of Barlow's vocals again.

15. Iced Earth - The title track. This song is way, way, way different than all Iced Earth songs I've ever heard. Again, the intro sounds like it's out of the early 80's. This band was just out of place, but with their newer material, they do fine. Weirdest chorus I have ever heard, especially by Iced Earth. It's like a chant, with low toms in the background. The bass going back between two notes. I've never listened to this song a whole lot, don't know why. Backing vocals in this song are also neat. Definately a good song though. 4/5

Conclusion: I really like this album, even with how much I dislike Barlow on the NotS redo's. I am a one of a kind Iced Earth fan. I find that Dark Saga and Something Wicked This Way Comes are IE's most repetitive, and worst albums. Most fans seem to think they are the best. I am a fan of their older stuff. So much better written songs, guitar, and overall, just fun to listen to. Iced Earth is one of my favorite bands, and this album is not bad at all, being one of the Other albums, which includes IE's EP's and live album.

Overall Rating: A good solid 4/5

Thanks for all you guys who took the time to read my review. Haven't done one in ages

-Mekkalayakay



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
August 6th 2004



3553 Comments


I only have Something Wicked.....and the greatest hits. I've downloaded a few tracks, too, and from what I've heard, I think Horror Show is the best album. I bought Something Wicked on everybody else's recommendations, and wasn't that impressed with most of it. Burning Times was excellent, and Watching Over Me is great once you get over the cheesy lyrics, but the rest is just kind of....meh.

I've never heard most of the stuff here (I've heard the title track of Stormrider, but that's about it), so I must make a note to check it out, now that I've found another IE fan who doesn't like SWTWC all that much. :thumb:

Having said that, I love Matthew Barlow's vocals. The version of Stormrider I have is the one off this album. What's the old guy like?

Bartender
Emeritus
August 6th 2004



826 Comments


Matthew Barlow is the old guy now

Good review, mekka, though I'm not a great fan of Iced Earth. Very detailed, and well written.

Per Ardua Ad Astra
August 6th 2004



106 Comments


I have 'Something wicked...' and i love Barlow's voice. It would be interesting to hear the other vocalist.
Nice review, Mekk.

Mekkalayakay
August 6th 2004



167 Comments


[QUOTE=Bartender]Matthew Barlow is the old guy now [/QUOTE]

[Quote=Mekkalayakay]The songs on Days of Purgatory are re-done and sung by Matt Barlow, the new vocalist for Iced Earth (at the time)
[/quote]

:p Sorry if I came off unclear.


'

And to everybody else, I am a much bigger fan of Iced Earth's early-mid nineties stuff. Anything after this album and Burnt Offerings, I didn't like as much, although Horror Show was a big bump up from Dark Saga and Something Wicked (in my opinion, but most people think the opposite in my opinions of IE, so don't take my word for it)

I only liked Barlow on Burnt Offerings. Anything after, his vocals are ok, but the songwriting just went kind of "ughh" to me. In other words, it's not Barlow that messed it up for me, but the rest of the band. Schaffer.

So for those of you that aren't very big fans of Iced Earth, go check out their first three albums, Iced Earth, Night of the Stormrider, and Burnt Offerings. They are my favorite, and their sound was different back then. Not the same guitar riffs, and a lot faster. It was a mix of thrash and power metal.

Distorted Vision
August 6th 2004



184 Comments


How come there seems to be only 15 songs, but in the personnel there's 21 mentioned?

Mekkalayakay
August 6th 2004



167 Comments


I didn't notice that. Strange. But there are only 15 songs. :thumb:



unless there's some extremely rare version out there...

Iai
Emeritus
August 6th 2004



3553 Comments


[QUOTE=Mekkalayakay]unless there's some extremely rare version out there...[/QUOTE]

You obviously aren't familiar with Century Media. There's ALWAYS at least 3 copies of each album released, with different bonus tracks on each. Exploiting the fiercly loyal metal market, and of course, exploiting this alpha male tendency to try and prove they're better than everyone around them because they were dumb enough to buy all 3 copies.

Century Media have got a fantastic roster, but MAN their business practices piss me off.

Thor
February 10th 2006



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just got this album today, and wow. I'm loving it. Every song is solid, and Barlow's vocals are top notch.

I disagree with your rating of "Winter Nights" though. I think that's one of the album's best tracks.This Message Edited On 02.10.06

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

eug008
March 1st 2006



97 Comments


yup winter nights is one of my favourite tracks by iced earth

Stormrider
March 4th 2006



55 Comments


Thor, you got the 2 disc version right ? Because the one disc is rather stupid if you ask me.

I need to get this album. I've only heard 2 of the DoP version songs.

Thor
March 4th 2006



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I only had the one disc version, and I thought it was pretty sweet.

Stormrider
March 4th 2006



55 Comments


Oh ok then. Its because the one disc version cuts out on a lot of the stuff. Oh well...

Thor
April 25th 2006



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Winter Nights is better than sex.

Stormrider
May 5th 2006



55 Comments


"We come into the skies, see the moonlit night"

Oh my how i love that part

Thor
May 11th 2006



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well the entire clean part is one, if not the best thing Iced Earth has ever done IMO.
"Don't give up! Don't you ever give up!"



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