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Iced Earth | The Blessed and the Damned | review | metal | Lollipop

Iced Earth

The Blessed and the Damned (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff

Celebrating a productive 10-release relationship that reaches back to 1991, Century Media round it off with a two CD best-of, closing the book (for now?) on their relationship with Iced Earth, given that Jon has taken his attitude and revolving line-up o'er to SPV for the conceivable future. Bloody nice package here, with the music coming alive as remastered, and with a nifty reversible cover that gives you angels or devils, depending on your mood. The booklet is beautiful. Although perhaps a track by track analysis would've been preferred, we get an album by album analysis consisting of a brief bit from admirably writerly ex-CM employee Loana dP Valencia, and then for each, a quote from Jon. Then there are the lyrics to each song, all presented in a nice parchment look book. Also included, a 10-point timeline leading up to Jon getting his record deal. Track-wise, the label knew what they were doing, and with 23 tracks to work with and no hits, it wasn't hard to gather the hooky anthems, the live favorites, the title tracks, and please most fans (although for most fans, what does this really provide - something to read? A track list or a sequence to briefly ponder and debate?). Missing, really, are only the covers, demos, and The Glorious Burden material (those who don't know about this label stuff are actually questioning that fact), with every studio album and even the live record getting sampled.

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