This is a really interesting release for all the Iced Earth fans out there but also to the all the US Metal aficionados around the world. Schaffer unearths 5 tracks from the Purgatory era; this was his first band that he started back in the mid 80s. And not only this, but he rerecords those demos with an old-school line up that includes many familiar names from the Iced Earth extended family. Most specifically, on “Purgatory” participate such names as Jim Morris (famous Iced Earth producer), Gene Adam (first Iced Earth singer), Mark Prator (drummer on “Dark Saga), Bill Owen (original Purgatory bassist) and Ruben Drake (from Demons & Wizards). Family business or what…?
Some titles of this EP –like “Dracula” and “Burning Oasis”- will definitely ring a bell as we have encountered them on Iced Earth albums but in reality they have absolutely nothing to do with those songs although some musical parts have been used from Schaffer. From a musical standpoint this is a pure sample of early US sound with the speed/thrash outbursts that Schaffer has perfected and trademarked throughout the years. Don’t expect any groundbreaking results here but the truth is that you will be greatly surprised by Adam’s vocal performances as he is much improved compared to his dreadful Iced Earth presence on the debut album.
All in all, this is an EP for all the die hard fans of Iced Earth out there. Is it a must have purchase? Not really…but it’s definitely worth checking out even only for nostalgic reasons per se.
Highlight: Brilliant cover sleeve that absolutely captures the essence of the 5 songs.