Iced Earth – Incorruptible


The beloved to the Greek audience Iced Earth has nothing to prove to anyone with their 12th release, “Incorruptible”. In this album you will listen to what you have loved about this band. 100% pure heavy/power metal, full of riffs and powerful vocals. You will listen about historic battles with the most appropriate atmosphere created by Schaffer. From the opening track “Great Heathen Army” to the epic “Clear The Way (December 13h, 1862)”, the album has a perfectly instrumental unity and the band’s experience and playing connection is notable. Special mention should be made to the new guitarist, Jake Dreyer, who accompanies the songs with beautiful solos and melodies that fit harmonically with Schaffer’s songs.

The album starts with the powerful “Great Heathen Army”, or otherwise known as The Great Viking Army. The song impressively begins with a demonized cry “Valhallaaaa” by Stu Block. Lyrically, the song refers to a clash of Scandinavian warriors (from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Estonia) where under a unified command managed to invade the four Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that constituted England in 865 AD and taking revenge on the death of Legendary Viking King, Ragnar “Lothbrok” Sigurdsson. Powerful composition with the necessary rotation in the narrative voice of Stu Block. His screaming falsetto along with the dramatic mid-range singing seems perfect for the songs of Schaffer.

The melodic “Black Flag” explores the pirate world and starts off with the well-known marching rhythm of Schaffer and Dreyer’s guitar melodies that bind perfectly along with the heroic voice of Stu Block. You will sing fiercely “We live out our last day with barrels of rum, black powder and the clash of the blades” and you will be obsessed by the “in your face” unique singing way of the chorus by Stu Block. Then follows the strong mid tempo “Raven Wings” which in my opinion is the best composition of the album, full of intense emotion and undeniable catchiness. The way Stu sings is riveting and his dramatic interpretation is what makes the song stand out. The song can be placed easily next to “Melancholy (Holy Martyr)” and “I Died For You” which are similar compositions. Somewhere in the middle-end of the song it gets faster and a beautiful melodic solo by Jack Dryer is delivered.
Personally speaking, “The Veil” didn’t impress me, although Stu Block’s pure clean voice tries to give something different, it’s still a mediocre composition.
The beat goes up again and I think that the fastest track on the album, “Seven Headed Whore”, is one of the best thrashy songs with Stu Block on the mic. A three-minute dynamite song which Schaffer’s triplets (way of guitar playing) are strongly reminiscent of the song “Violate” from “Dark Saga”. Stu Block’s vocal performance on this track is impressive and the song will provide you the ideal soundtrack for head banging that you’ve been waiting from an Iced Earth album.
The folk elements of the orchestral “Ghost Dance (Awakens the Ancestors)” didn’t move me, as well as the Manowar-style lyrically song “Brothers” that goes unnoticed. “Defiance” is another song that stands out with its gorgeous aggressive melodies. This is the hymn choruses we want to listen from Iced Earth!
In the end, there is the epic composition for the Fredericksburg battle during the American Civil War. A huge song with several melodies reminding Iron Maiden and an imposing atmosphere. From the top moments of the album with its long duration being the only drawback.

Musically, the last album of Iced Earth could be between “The Dark Saga” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. It doesn’t touch the abovementioned albums as it lacks originality, but contains songs that are hard to forget (such as “Black Flag”, “Raven Wings”, “Defiance”, “Seven Headed Whore”, “Clear Water”). In this album the band keeps all the trademarks and presents their best effort for several years.