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Dark Saga

81 customer reviews

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The Dark Saga
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Audio CD, July 23, 1996
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$8.28 $2.84
Vinyl, Import, March 16, 2010
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 23, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Century Media
  • ASIN: B000005HN1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,926 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By The Hunter on May 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have been into heavy metal for almost 20 years now. In fact in the mid-to-late 1980's, I rarely listened to anything else. During that time, I listened to bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, Accept, Iron Maiden, and Helloween.
Around 1990, the heavy metal scene as I knew it faded to glam metal. Not only that, bands such as Metallica and Anthrax changed their style and I slowly lost interest. Of course, Metal never died but it was harder to find because many radio stations stopped dedicating time for Metal.
Then my friend turned me on to this album. It was a re-birth. Believe me, if you were into Metal in the mid-80's and are disgusted with the music scene nowadays give this album a try. I think you will not be disappointed. In fact, you may find yourself buying other Iced Earth albums (like myself) and complete the collection.
Unfortunately even with my best attempt, I can't convert how good the music is to words. Simply stated, there are NO bad songs on this album! If you like "speed" metal, you probably will love Violate; it is concentrated energy. "Dark Saga" is another highly addictive song; the first time I listened to this song, I didn't have time to listen to the rest of the album, because I kept playing the song over and over again! The best way that I can describe "Dark Saga" is grinding bass guitar that is complemented very well with forceful-in-your-face vocals. In a "Question Of Heaven", the vocals are just as forceful, but even more incrediable. The vocals span several octives throughout the song.
The lyrics are trully a masterpiece because all of the songs are related to each and tell one complete story! It is trully rare when an artist does this.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on November 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Compared to its predecessor Burnt Offerings, The Dark Saga is a less experimental entry into Iced Earth's catalogue. Musically, it is simpler (but not simplistic), more melodic, and it concentrates heavily on emotion. Has Iced Earth gone soft? Definitely not. This is one of their finest and most mature works of songwriting, but it maintains all of Iced Earth's trademark heaviness and power, a quality enhanced by the best production qualities to date.
The Dark Saga is a concept album based on the comic book "Spawn." If you are thinking, "Hey, that's cheesy!" let me stress that the band handles this extremely well. Firstly, Spawn was a very mature story, dealing with the ambiguities of good & evil, religion, and lost love. Secondly, the lyrics remain strictly poetic and obscure without falling into the trap where narration supersedes good poetry. (It's a problem that besets most concept works.) To truly appreciate the emotional impact of the album, however, one requires some familiarity with the comic book. However, in an abstract sense it may be easy to appreciate the emotions and conflicts involved. I haven't read Spawn myself in YEARS, but I always liked it.
Jon Schaffer (a monster of a rhythm player) uses more guitar harmonies (a la Iron Maiden) than ever, which weave a melodic finesse through the album. "Hunter" and "Slave to the Dark" are heavy songs, but the harmonized guitar lines lend them a very melodic inflection. Matt Barlow's incredible vocals are more passionate than ever before. Listening to "I Died For You" and "A Question of Heaven," it's impossible not to think he's a soulful performer. "Violate" is one of the few tracks where The Dark Saga enters pure thrash. The pulverizing guitars fit well with the gruesome lyric.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Greg Hasbrouck on November 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
My first experience with Iced Earth was with their latest release, "Something Wicked". And while I absolutely love that CD, I was a little skeptical about checking out some of their earlier releases. Part of the reason for my skepticism was due to reviews I had read here. Reviews that claimed that the guitar work on this CD was very basic, that this CD sounded like Metallica, and that this was Iced Earth's most basic CD. Don't believe it.
First off, anything that Matthew Barlow sings on is worth owning. Barlow has quickly become my favorite vocalist. He is simply amazing. Based on this alone, any comparisons to Metallica, are off the mark. Metallica's sound is defined by Hettfield's voice, which I like. However, to compare Hettfield to Barlow as vocalists would be flat out silly.
As for the CD, it kicks off with the killer title track, Dark Saga, and never lets up. Although the entire CD is awesome, songs worth noting are "I Died For You", "The Hunter", and the trilogy that closes the CD, especially "A Question of Heaven".
It would be unfair to not point out the brilliant songwriting abilities of John Schaeffer. His music and lyrics are consistently poinnant and touching.
I sincerely hope that Shaeffer and Barlow stick together for many years, as Barlow's voice is the perfect medium for Schaeffer's lyrics.
By the way, I didn't notice in any of the other reviews that I read, that this CD seems to be a loosely tied concept album. Not in the traditional sense of Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime, where all the songs directly flow into one another, but rather that all the songs seem to be about the same character and circumstances.
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