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Iced Earth Albums: Worst to First

Feel free to tell me how shit my taste is.
12Iced Earth
The Crucible of Man

The first half of this record may be the single most generic collection of songs they’ve ever written. Second half picks up a little, but at that point it’s too late. It’s such a shame how bland this is, because Matt Barlow really puts on a career performance here.

Best Track: Sacrificial Kingdoms
Classification: Scorched Earth
11Iced Earth
Framing Armageddon

Something Wicked Part 1: Framing Armageddon
The drop in quality from their previous record is simply inexcusable. Not even Ripper Owens could save this boring ass album. It isn’t god-awful, but it really doesn’t need to be listened to. What a fucking waste.

Best Track: The Domino Decree
Classification: Warm Earth
10Iced Earth
Plagues of Babylon

I don’t think this record is as bad as people make it out to be. Is it generic? Sure. Is it forgettable? Sure. Does it suck a fat dick? Not even close. Unlike the Something Wicked parts 1 and 2, I never felt like this record was deliberately wasting my time. I also have to give props to that Highwayman cover that has no reason being as good as it is.

Best Track: Parasite
Classification: Room-Temp Earth
9Iced Earth
Iced Earth

This one definitely falls in line with PoB. While it isn’t trash by any means, it just simply isn’t very memorable outside of the occasional sick riff. Since it’s the debut I’ll go easy on it.

Best Track: Colors
Classification: Nippy Earth
8Iced Earth

This is about as by-the-numbers as Iced Earth has ever been. Thankfully, their by-the-numbers formula is pretty solid. Incorruptible may not house any surprises, but does deliver an overall solid package.

Best Track: Seven Headed Whore
Classification: Chilly Earth
7Iced Earth
Burnt Offerings

Here’s a popular opinion I’m sure everyone will agree with. Super stoked that nobody thinks this is their magnum opus or anything, or else I’d be in trouble.
I’ve given this record so many chances; but as much as I want to “get it”, I simply don’t think I can. Burnt Offerings is bookended by two of their all-time greatest tracks, but everything in between is comedically unremarkable. I’m amazed that after my 6th listen I STILL can’t remember a single thing about tracks 2-7. Luckily, the best tracks are the longest ones, and the overall atmosphere on the album is pretty great.

Best Track: Dante’s Inferno
Classification: Cold Earth
6Iced Earth
The Dark Saga

I’d say this is the first record where Iced Earth found their sound. Their earlier stuff definitely bordered more on a traditional metal/thrash sound, but this one is more of a straightforward power metal record. I personally gravitate towards their more melodic material, so I find this one quite satisfying.

Best Track: The Hunter
Classification: Cold Earth
5Iced Earth

After the ludicrously bloated 2 part Something Wicked project, Dystopia is a breath of fresh air. The return to shorter, more immediate songs, and shortened running time is really what the band had been missing out on since Horror Show. New vocalist Stu Block does an excellent job with the material here, and the duds are few and far between. A rock solid return to form, and definitely one of my favorites.

Best Track: End of Innocence
Classification: Frigid Earth
4Iced Earth
Night of the Stormrider

At first I had the same issue with this record as I did with Burnt Offerings. Thankfully, the repeated listens actually paid off, and I consider this a borderline masterpiece. What the record lacks in catchy hooks, it more than makes up for with tasty riffs and thick atmospherics. Good shit.

Best Track: Travel In Stygian
Classification: Frigid Earth
3Iced Earth
Something Wicked This Way Comes

It was at this moment when I decided that I was an Iced Earth fan. SWTWC takes all the elements that worked from the previous 4 records, and cranks them up to 11. While their thrash roots are still present, they never overshadow or take away from their newly acquired sense of melody. For me, this began their 3 album winning streak of classic material, which only got better after each release.

Best Track: Disciples of the Lie
Classification: Iced Earth
2Iced Earth
Horror Show

Pretty sure this record was meticulously designed for me to love. A power metal concept record based upon classic Universal monster movies of the 30’s and 40’s? Yeah, I’ll fuckin take that. Top to bottom masterpiece, and easily one of my favorite power metal records.

Best Track: Damien
Classification: Iced Earth
1Iced Earth
The Glorious Burden

I was kind of shitting my pants going into this one. Two discs? 80 minutes? No Chris Barlow? Not a horror film concept record? Yeah, this is gonna suck cock through a coffee straw.
I have never been more happy to be wrong in my entire life. Not only does TGB match Horror Show in terms of quality, it fuckin’ eclipses it. While I give a great amount of credit to the songwriting, the thing that really pushed me over the edge was Ripper Owens. That fucker gives 110% on every track, and I’d argue fits the band even better than Barlow. The fact that Ripper’s talent was completely wasted on the following record is an affront to God, and is completely unforgivable. Thankfully, I will always have this one to return to.

Best Track: The Devil to Pay/Hold At All Costs/High Water Mark
Classification: Iced Earth
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