Overture Of The Wicked review by Iced Earth

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  • Released: Jun 5, 2007
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.8 (20 votes)
Iced Earth: Overture Of The Wicked

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.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ICED EARTH IS KING... ive heard the EP too and some songs are not as good as the originals
    love Iced Earth, but they were so much better with Barlow. Owens is a great singer, but Barlow was so much more fitting and had more emotion. Gonna check this out still.
    new song rules!old songs sound cool...Rippers vocals are wicked!!!! but originals are better I Remember hearing prophecy for first time,and when that heavy riff kicks in.it blew my mind such a insane riff....but they took it out in the new version? Iced Earth needs to come too Australia.....
    Everyone knows Barlow is the best for Iced Earth, but he left along time ago, Owens is in and he does a Fantastic Job, its time to move on people! Barlow is in back in music now, he is in Pyramaze so check them out.
    dark manor
    Hey, To be honest. It seems too different. I liked how John brought the bone crushing rhythms and the whole "destiny. Damned nation. Sacrifice" sort of thing to the band. I must say that the line up on "Something Wicked Comes This Way" was the best. Its a shame that ripper came. No doubt, he is a good vocalist, but I think that he just doesnt have what it takes for Iced Earth. Matt Barlow was perfect for the part.
    To the second reviewer: Yes it's him on the cover... Who else would be holding Set's staff? (Haha and yeah, as you can probably tell from my name, I'm a huge Iced Earth fan)
    This isn't Iced Earth's first EP... i have The Reckoning EP sitting in my closet, and not since then have I been this disappointed in an Iced Earth release. Bring back Barlow!
    KVX10 KING V
    I just picked this album up yesturday, and it is hard, heavy. Its a great EP, and Im glad Schaffer has gone back to his old style of picking. However, I never figured this out, but why does he no longer use BC rich guitars, he had an amazing Ignitor.
    the spiker
    Sick of these newbies saying "Bring back barlow." Ya think they will fire ripper just for you? Face it, Barlow is off doing something else with Pyramaze and IE has Ripper, so can it. Each singer has their strengths and weaknesses so if you don't like it, then keep it to your self. Great EP, love the Coming Curse with that Baritone Guitar rockin' up the joint. Lots of new technical stuff, very great, I cannot wait for the full album.
    the spiker wrote: Sick of these newbies saying "Bring back barlow." Ya think they will fire ripper just for you?
    Funny thing is...Matt re-joined the band since everyone was demanding him back, so yeah he did fire tim just for us =P anywho that aside i wasnt too fond of the EP, not coz of tim since i do actully like his style, i just think that the something wicked trilogy should have been left be since these versions ruined it =/ but framing armageddon kicks ass!
    I can't stand hearing Owen's rape the Something Wicked trilogy... 10,000 Strong is ****ing brutal though!