Iced Earth - The Glorious Burden (2004)Release ID: 3593

Iced Earth - The Glorious Burden (2004) Cover
MartinDavey87 MartinDavey87 / August 18, 2023 / Comments 0 / 0

Eight albums into their career, and Iced Earth’s output was proving to be very hit-or-miss with me. Sure, they’d released some absolute masterpieces, such as their self-titled debut, its follow-up ‘Night of the Stormrider’ and 1998’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, but they’d also put out some very sub-par stinkers, such as ‘The Dark Saga’ and ‘Horror Show’. And so, with their ninth studio album, 2003’s ‘The Glorious Burden’, the rollercoaster ride continues, as the American power metal quintet once again are on top form.

Most notable here is the addition of new vocalist ‘The Ripper’ Tim Owens. Recently ousted from Judas Priest, this was a huge score for Iced Earth after the departure of long-time singer Matt Barlow. Owens’ powerful voice is not only a great fit for the group without copying his predecessor, but it sounds like it sparked a few creative juices for band leader Jon Schaffer, who was probably as motivated by the new recruit as he was by his passion of the albums theme; military history.

Musically, this is classic Iced Earth and very typical power metal; lots of fast guitars and harmonies, galloping bass lines and rich orchestrations. But the song-writing is solid and very inspired, and Tim Owens’ vocals are absolutely perfect for this band, replacing Barlow with ease and really giving this album an identity of its own.

With highlights including ‘Declaration Day’, ‘The Reckoning (Don’t Tread On Me)’, ‘Greenface’, ‘Attila’ and the epic three-part ‘Gettysburg (1863)’, this is a banger of an album that furthers Iced Earth’s erratic discography, but shows that when the right pieces fall into place, this band rocks seriously hard.


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The Glorious Burden
The Guardians

Power Metal (conventional)

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