There is no doubt about it…Iced Earth seems and is rejuvenated! They are seriously back with a vengeance with Stu Block behind the mic and all things indicate that they have found the right frontman after Barlow’s (second) departure. In addition, Jon Schaffer has found his good old inspiration with the latest studio effort “Dystopia” thus surprising us all (I am sure that he even managed to surprise himself as he didn’t expect such a global positive feedback). “Live in Ancient Kourion” was recorded in Cyprus and most specifically in a magnificent ancient theatre. From my perspective, it is the highlight and the end of an overall spectacular year for Iced Earth.
The Cypriot fans absolutely adore Iced Earth (it seems to run in the Greek blood) and their reactions are frenzied throughout the show…even when the band lays down a couple of not so well-known numbers. The set list covers Iced earth’s entire career and I am so glad that they injected lots of songs from “Dystopia” not only because it was the respective tour but due to the fact that it is a killer record…that’s the most important thing!
The camera views could be better as there are moments when the cameraman…loses the real star of the moment (eg. during a guitar solo) while the sound is clearly retouched in the studio…well, if someone knows a live album by a big band that is pure and not reworked in the studio, Rockpages offers a free lunch at a luxurious restaurant to the lucky one.
Personally, I believe that “Live in Ancient Kourion” is a more qualitative product than “Alive in Athens” (although the atmosphere in Athens was far more electric and crazy). Having said that everybody should check some excerpts of the DVD if not watch the whole thing. The one thing that worries me is the fact that wherever Iced Earth decides to record a live album. That country almost immediately asks for the intervention of IMF…