It was in summer 1989 when a demo tape arrived at my mailbox with music of a band that was a newcomer from Tampa at the time – Iced Earth. The name of their demo was ‘Enter the Realm’ and in times without YouTube, Facebook and others, I had no idea of what to expect more than that Iced Earth plays powerful metal.
So, putting the tape in the tape deck, press ‘Start’ and listen. What came out of the speakers was enthralling. Each of the five songs is a timeless metal anthem that still spreads its fascination after 31 years.
The demo was the springboard for Iced Earth to ink a deal with Century Media, the beginning of a long-lasting cooperation. The first product of this collaboration was Iced Earth’s debut album, simply entitled ‘Iced Earth’. Base for the debut have been the songs from the demo tape plus a few new ones.
30 years after having premiered, Iced Earth re-issue the album as an anniversary edition, remastered by no less than Zeuss (Overkill, Queensrÿche). What fascinates already on Iced Earth’s debut are the galloping rhythms, the thundering riffs and the vocal by Gene Adam. The album and its eight tracks are the blueproint for Iced Earth’s success. Always loud and heavy, Jon Schaffer and bandmates have always a good sense for well-crafted melodies too and although being with their music certainly not off the shelves, the quintet can reach a wider fanbase with their debut.
From the majestic opener ‘Iced Earth’ to epic closer ‘When the Night Falls, the latter being a nine minutes metal treat, it is great heavy metal that paved the way for the band for a great career. Also the fact that Iced Earth disbanded for two years after having released the sophomore album could stop Schaffer in following his musical vision with ‘Burnt Offerings’, being the glorious return with one of the best metal singer behind the mic – Matt Barlow.
Fans of powefully performed metal do have the debut already as a part of their collection. However, the remastered version let these classics shine even brighter, or darker if you will.
- Iced Earth
- Written on the Wall
- Curse the Sky
- Life and Death
- When the Night Falls
Label: Century Media
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: December 18th, 2020