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Vinyl, Import, March 16, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1996’s conceptual The Dark Saga is the fourth studio album by American Power Metal/Heavy Metal band Iced Earth; it was their second album with Matt Barlow singing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kingcrimsonprog
A classic and beautiful album that I've enjoyed for many years. Alas, my CD is finally no longer playable, so I've decided to pick up a digital copy.Published 11 months ago by Randy Butler
great product at a great price with super fast delivery! Thanks!!!!Published 11 months ago by ernesto j. cuellar jr.
ICED EARTH's DARK SAGA is one of the greatest, coolest HEAVY METAL albums recorded in the 90's!!!! In fact, ICED EARTH may be the BEST HEAVY METAL band from the 90's with their... Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by Fluminense Rio
When I originally reviewed this cd, I was entirely too hard on Iced Earth. That was when I thought 3 stars was a good rating. To me it seems that amazon. Read morePublished on February 29, 2012 by Craig Hamilton
This cd i bougth to give to a friend, he is a great fan of Iced Earth and Spawn too; so the Dark Saga was an excellent giftPublished on November 11, 2011 by Pablo Davila
First of all im very strict to my reviews and ratings. I don't rate with 4 and 5 stars any album, only the albums that deserve to be rated so high. well this is an album like this. Read morePublished on March 19, 2011 by KOURKOULOS NIKOS