- Audio CD (Oct. 7 2003)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: EP, Import
- Label: Steamhammer
- ASIN: B0000DIN05
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
|1. The Reckoning (Don't Tread On Me)|
|2. When The Eagle Cries (Unplugged)|
|3. Valley Forge - Fade Out Version|
|4. Hollow Man|
Iced Earth has never been much of a band to release singles and EPs, instead focusing more on their albums. However, in late 2003, the band released its second EP, The Reckoning. However, there was a slight twist. Legendary vocalist Matt Barlow had just left the band. The vocalist who propelled the band to such high heights was no longer among them. Fortunately, the band got a new vocalist - Tim "Ripper" Owens, formerly Halford's replacement in Judas Priest. Having hated Judas Priest's Ripper era, I had doubts that Owens would do well in Iced Earth. Were these doubts well-founded or not? Read on for my review of The Reckoning EP.
This is a good EP, however every song from it is also available on the Glorious Burden album, which the band released not long afterwards. The title track is one of the finest tracks from this new era of the band, as is Valley Forge. The unplugged version of When The Eagle Cries is also nice (just so there's no confusion, this unplugged version of the album IS available on the European Tour edition of the album.) Like I said, this is an excellent EP, but why not just shell out the extra few bucks and get the album instead?
Unlike the band's previous EP, Melancholy, this one IS readily available in America (as of June 4, 2004.) Most major retailers of CDs carry it, so if you want to make the purchase, you shouldn't have a lot of trouble coming across it.
In the end, this is a very good EP, but it just isn't necessary since all of these songs are also available on the album. Take my advice - the album may cost a little more, but it's well worth it to shell out the extra cash and buy it instead.
The Reckoning: Its horrible. The vocals are almsot earspllitting, Tim just ruins the expiernce. The guitar riffs are cheesy and unoriginal.
When the Eagle Cries: This is the worse song on the EP. For one thing, the vocals seem to be written by a twelve year old, the music is worthless, and its about two years two late. Jon does a horrible job trying to be patriotic.
Valley Forge: This song is ok, I like the intro to the song, but once it gets to the chorus it just goes downhill. The music is decent, but the vocals are horrible.
Hollow Man: This is my favorite song from the EP. The bass line is pretty good, and I like the way Tim sings this song. The verse and chorus's are both great, its a pretty good song.
For those of you sceptical about the future of The Glorious Burden, dont worry. Ive heard the album several times, and it is probably the their best CD next to Night of the Stormrider. I would definately recomend buying it.
The upside: The band is still good. The songs aren't the same without Matt's vocals, and I hate the way-overdone, 80s-style vocals that Ripper has, but it's not enough to kill Schaffer's great work. The new Iced Earth lyrical material will surely not appeal to the European crowd that loves the band so, as Europeans despise American pride (it does get annoying when people boast about being American), but if they concentrate on the music, they'll like it enough. I'm looking forward to a good album by Iced Earth.
BTW: I gave this 3 stars for 1) the bad vocals and 2) the fact that I really don't like EPs.
Enter 2003 and the acquisition of a new lead singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens. Jon Schaffer's ego has ballooned along with his Republicanism, and I'm afraid to say its had an adverse effect on his music. The single/ep/whatever starts with "The Reckoning" a typical Iced Earth heavy song of old. Tim just can not cut it compared to his predeccesor, even if he has the pipes to do so he is up to his old tricks that he should have given up after being booted out of Priest (harsh shrieking, little else). As someone who has the potential to develop his voice to better effect, it is probably ultimately Jon Schaffer who took over the reigns from Glenn Tipton as far as controlling what Tim can and cannot sing. There are also better songs off the new album that should have been selected as the single. "Red Baron/Blue Max" is not only one of the sole songs off the new album that there is a contribution from Ripper, but it is also likely the best new Iced Earth song. Shame that it wasn't this song selected as the new single. "When the Eagle Cries" is probably the worst Iced Earth ballad EVER, and it is not the Jingoism that makes it so ("Ghost of Freedom" was still a good song).Read more ›