Iced Earth-Framing Armageddon Album Review

Following up my favorite Iced Earth album of all time, Something Wicked This Way Comes was not an easy task and although the band has come close, they have not topped that infinitely awesome album. Framing Armageddon just might do that. If I had to use just two words to describe this album it would epic and heavy.

Guitarist Jon Schaffer includes signature Iced Earth riffing style and tone which we all know and love and Tim “Ripper” Owens is in top form and sounds the best he has in years. Iced Earth always has had a way of painting a vivid picture through their concept albums as they do on Framing Armageddon but one of the disks many merits is that each track, on it’s own is great as well.

The production is crisp and clean and even the bass, which seems to be shoved in the back of the mix on most metal albums, is clear and vibrant. Despite line up changes over the years, Iced Earth always includes top notch musicians and this line up is no exception. It is very apparent that each member has a passion and talent for the band and is always refreshing to hear that come through on the album.

The guitar tone is razor sharp, the leads are technical but not just for the sake of being technical, the drums if not a ferocious, pummeling attack are tastefully done, the bass as I said before, actually shines on this album much more than other metal releases and, “Ripper” sounds as good if not better than he did on the Judas Priest album Jugulator. My personal favorite track is A Charge to Keep, which features some excellent rhythm guitar, great lyrics and a very catchy, epic chorus.

From melodic acoustic passages such as Reflections to the thrash metal assault of the title track, Iced Earth is firing on all cylinders and has made a note worthy album this time around. While this album hasn’t grown on me as much as Something Wicked This Way Comes, I also have to consider the fact that I have been listening to that album for years now and just recently heard Framing Armageddon. This is definitely an album that gets better with every spin as you notice more of the subtleties that make it so complex and interesting.

If you are a fan of Iced Earth, then you can expect all of the things that you love about the band and much more. If you are not familiar with Iced Earth then I see no reason why Framing Armageddon isn’t a great introduction. Framing Armageddon is quickly becoming one of my favorite releases of 2007 and if you give it a few listens, it may become one of yours too. 8/10

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