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Iced Earth | Tribute to the Gods | review | metal | Lollipop

Iced Earth

Tribute to the Gods (Century Media)
by Scott Hefflon

This here's a cover album and thus must be judged by accuracy and personal flair within the "confines" of such classic hard rock/metal tunes. Some swagger (AC/DC's "Highway to Hell"), some crank metal loud'n'proud (Maiden's "Number of the Beast" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" as well as Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance," which never sounded so heavy, as awful as the verses have always been), and some bow before the alter of hard rock (Blue Oyster Cult x2, Alice Cooper, and Kiss x2). While better covers exist for most of these songs, this was probably a lot of fun to record (and so accurately! Various tones and nuance are spot-on, and that shit ain't easy, ya know?), and, to be honest, it's pretty damn cool. For those who don't know Iced Earth, Matthew Barlow sounds like Kiss' Paul Stanley, only more over-dramatic metal (slow parts to tunes like Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" and Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name" are really tough to pull off without sounding goofy and, well, Barlow sounds better than most, like that good cover band that plays at the bar down the street every Thursday night), and guitarist Jon Schaffer is pretty obviously near-obsessive about getting the notes as well as the inflection and tone right. My fave is BÖC's "Burning for You" cuz the beginning licks and fills are so warm. And Kiss doesn't do covers or sound this good.
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