Iced Earth are my favorite band, and it seems they can do no wrong. They top themselves every time. Something Wicked, Pt. 1 to me is probably their best yet with it's rich and metaphorical storyline, the bombastic sound effects and atmosphere, and best of all, Jon Schaffer's impeccable rhythms. I absolutely love Tim Owens' vocals, and I find it frustrating that it's become such a big deal to the point where fans are focusing more on who was a better frontman than the music itself. After all, it is Schaffer who started and runs the band, and he is what makes Iced Earth what it is.
This new single is a valued entry in my extensive Iced Earth library, but in all honesty, it's simply because it has their name on the front. Don't get me wrong, "I Walk Alone" is an incredible track, and Barlow sounds better than ever. But the remaining two exist solely to show us how much better of a singer Barlow is than Owens, which I think is unfair and redundant, much like the revamped, Owens-fronted "Wicked" trilogy on the "Overture of the Wicked" EP last year.
Owens and Barlow are two completely different artists, and in comparing them we are losing sight of the incredible music they front.
As I said, though, "I Walk Among You" is a beautiful track, and makes me thirst for "Something Wicked Part 2" even more. It's going to be an incredible album, and I am very happy Barlow is back with my favorite band, if anything just to shut people up so we can focus on why we listen to Iced Earth in the first place.