I was 14 years old when Iced Earth’s “Night of the Stormrider” (1992) was released, my first introduction to this band that has since waved the flag of heavy metal with its 10 studio albums that followed. But “Incorruptible” may be its best yet. Guitarist and mastermind Jon Schaffer has assembled a powerhouse lineup, with returning drummer Brent Smedley, guitarist Jake Dreyer (White Wizard, Kobra and the Lotus), bassist Luke Appleton (2013-present) and the incredible vocal talents of Stu Block (ex-Into Eternity).
This time, Iced Earth lays any “concept” to rest for the time being, instead compiling 10 individual songs with no relation to one and other—expect all of them being executed to near heavy metal perfection. From opener “The Great Heathen Army,” to sailing the high seas “with barrels of rum” on “Black Flags,” thrashing away on the Judas Priest/Testament-inspired “Seven Headed Whore,” or channeling the inner spirit of Iron Maiden and In Flames on “Ghost Dance (Awaken the Ancestors),” “Incorruptible” has IT ALL. With so much to offer lyrically and musically, the replay ability of this album is off the charts. And speaking of, the album debuted at #42 in the U.S.
Though “Incorruptible” draws heavily on the glory days of early ’90’s metal, I would recommend this in a heartbeat to any fan of heavy music. I haven’t personally stopped listening to this album since its release on June 16, 2017! I’m now anxious to go back and check out any of Iced Earth’s discography I may have missed over the years. Is it this damn good?!
Released June 16, 2017, Century Media Records