Sound — 10
Well first off, I came into this EP With very high hopes and high expectations, so when I got my pre-ordered CD In the mail, in the next 30 second I was listening to the first song, "Ten Thousand Strong". A Great song that starts of right in your face with some heavy riffs and the signature screams of The Ripper. the song has virtually no low points, Jon's sound is a bit different on this EP, in a good way, I read he is using a baritone guitar on some songs. there is also a Complete re-recorded version of the something wicked trilogy, The Prophecy, Birth Of The Wicked, and The Coming Curse, where Jon uses a Baritone guitar and beefs up the sound, some of the riffs are different and there new Lead Guitarist, Tim Mills, redid all the solos, and I must say, the new solos I actually like better, they have a more smooth sound I think. and of course, Tim Owens re-did all the vocals, and did every word of those songs justice, he kept the emotion and atmosphere of the original while still keeping his Presence in there.
Lyrics — 10
I've always been a big fan on Jon Schaffers lyrics, he always kept me right there and into the story in a very vivid way. and as most of you know, the next 2 albums are continuing the "Something Wicked..." storyline, so all the songs will flow together lyrically. "Ten Thousand Strong" sees Jon Schaffer still doing and excellent job writing in the way only he can, they keep you interested and wondering what the hell happens next in the story! I think the something wicked was a fantastic story and if "Ten Thousand Strong" is a hint of things to come, then it will be very good, beyond that even. they lyrics flow smoothly behind The Rippers vocals and maintain the classic Iced Earth style there, No Iced Earth fan should be dissapointed.
Overall Impression — 10
Excellent, fantastic, amazing, great, astounding, tremendous, I love the new single and the re-recorded version of the "Something Wicked" Trilogy, even though I always identify that song with barlow, Ripper does it more than justice. This EP is worth the mere $7.99 I paid and then some, if your an Iced Earth fan, or just love good 'ol heavy metal, you will not be dissapointed. Since Barlow left, Iced Earth fans who grew up as him being the Iced Earth singer might feel a little bit more at home this time with Jon Schaffer returning to the dark fantasy style of writing.