Sound — 7
Nearly three years have passed since Iced Earth's last album, The Glorious Burden. However, it's been almost nine years ever since the infernal story of Set Abominae, an Antichrist that has managed to conquer the covers of at least three albums. I'm not really sure if it's really him in this single's cover, it looks too human to be him. Anyhow, this single has one unreleased song and re-recordings of the three Something Wicked saga songs from Something Wicked This Way Comes. This single sounds a lot like The Glorious Burden. The new track sounds like it could have been taken directly from that album. The remakes are what I bought this in the first place, they're a good indication of how they're sound has changed since Barlow left. I'll do the "analyze-each-song" thing now, because the changes are really diverse: 01. Ten Thousand Strong - to tell you the truth, I really like how it begins; it really showcases Owens' voice. As I said earlier, it sounds just like most GB songs, so I won't go into detail. This song will be released on the upcoming two albums, I can't remember which one. 02. Prophecy - one of the major changes that the remakes make is the heavy use of delay and echo and a little chorus for the clean guitar parts. Also, the bass drums sound a lot more clicky and stand out a lot more. The heavier parts of the song sound lighter and the clean ones have much more distortion. I like Owens' voice the most on this song, it fits it the best out of all three. The riff at 2:45-2:52 sound better than the original, but the rest sounds much worse, it's all palm-muted and just sounds a lot worse. 03. Birth Of The Wicked - another change is that Schaffer's guitar tone is much more sharp and less chunky, and sounds very, very dry. However, the lead parts are louder and clearer than the original. A nice remake, with a nice touch from Ripper, the only part I dislike is Schaffer's dry tone. 04. The Coming Curse - the pendulum transition is still there, but the piano intro is completely gone. The guitar parts in the song are a fourth lower, the first notes you hear are open PMed Eb's. A lot of the guitar parts have been palm-mutified, and the overall sound is not as dynamic as the Barlow version. Something I forgot to mention is that all of the solos are, for the most part, reworked and with effects. They sound nice, but the originals will be missed.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics all deal with the prophecy of the coming of Set Abominae, they are unchanged from the originals. Barlow's lower voice and harsh screams had more feeling than Owens' high-pitched screams and middle-pitched grumbles. Mr. Tim also has chorus on his voice in every song chorus, Glorious Burden style. The vocals and melodies still manage to create an atmosphere, but in different places than the originals. Ripper tried as hard as he could, I think he tried harder than on GB; Jon must've grown him some balls or something.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm not blown away by the awesomeness of the songs, because they don't really bring anything new to the stage. Remaking them was pretty pointless, in my opinion, but if the new albums sound like these songs do, it should be sweet. Now those are a lot of words for such a small single, but I feel the need to defend Barlow's vocals, who is now in Pyramaze, to the death. Enjoy, kids; it's really not so bad, but very different from nine years ago.