'Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part 1)'
is the first part of what could easily be Jon Schaffer and Iced
Earth's magnum opus. He began the story almost 10 years ago with
the closing three songs on the 'Something Wicked this Way Comes" from
1998. Fan's have been crying for the complete story ever since, a
thrilling Sci-Fi story about the Setians, who are the Earth's
most ancient culture, and wisest, most peaceful race in existence.
The trilogy was re-recorded and released
earlier this year on the 'Overture of the Wicked' single, and made
Iced Earth fan's from around the World ready for the complete
story abut the Setians and Set Abominae...
Ripper Owens might not have convinced all fan's
on the last Iced Earth album 'The Glorious Burden', and some
the songs were clearly not written with his voice in mind. Now he's
a fully integrated part of the band and the sound, and he delivers
his best performance ever, exploring new and untested territories;
he is covering more melancholic, dark and aggressive areas, and he
masters them all with ease.
Riff-master Jon Schaffer has created a concept
album that isn't quite as aggressive and bombastic as most of their
earlier albums, the focus this time is on a very strong melody and
epic parts. This means that the choirs sound bigger and catchier,
some of the parts might even sound a bit cheesy to some hard core
Iced Earth fans, but I like the direction this album takes the
The album kicks off with a calm intro before we
are thrown straight into the very typical riff smasher "Something
Wicked Part 1", which turns out to be one the hardest songs on the
album. As the album progresses it becomes clear that Iced Earth
has had a stronger eye for the finer details and facet's of the
music, which leads to an album with a lot of depth.
It's clear from the opening sequences, who's at
work here, but he is really challenging his fan's here, because this
album needs a few more spins than usual to fully sink in. This album
might split the fan's: those, who love the new melodic and epic
direction and those, who misses the thrash metal riffs of older
days. I think this is one of the best power metal albums of 2007,
and can't wait to listen to the original once it's released (without
the awful voice-overs, which made me deduct a few point in my
Part 2 'Revelation Abomination (Something
Wicked Part 2)' will be released in 2008, and the story picks up
with the birth of Set Abominae, the Setians' prophet.
But until the story is concluded enjoy the first part of this very
entertaining musical journey told by Jon Schaffer.