Iced Earth

Iced Earth

Alive in Athens

Century Media

Anyone remember the ’80s, the era where any internationally acclaimed metal band was required to put out a live double-album? Well, it seems those times are being resurrected, however minor an extent, with Iced Earth’s Alive In Athens , a double-disc set that’s doubtless as crazed as anything the ’80s pumped out (the Scorpions’ Live Worldwide , anyone?).

And anyone familiar with Iced Earth knows that these American tech-thrashers are absolutely huge in Europe, so it comes as no surprise that Alive In Athens was recorded before an audience of 6,000 – yes, 6,000 ; but, alas, such is the way in Europe, the Land Privy to All Things Metal. I mean, during every song , all those crazy Greeks sing the chorus word-for-word. At times, such solidarity is almost goosebump-inducing: Few live records approach the proverbial “live experience” (much less the metal-in-a-stadium variety) the way Alive In Athens does.

The band itself? Often lamely likened to Iron Maiden if only for the technical riffing (Maiden’s much cleaner), Iced Earth falls somewhere between early Metal Church and any quintessential NWOBHM band, albeit with a distinct character that’s over-the-top in all respects. From the scorch-your-shorts leads of Larry Tarnowski to frontman Matthew Barlow’s acute sense of drama and everything else in between, Iced Earth is not only a class act, the band was plying the power metal trade years before it became trendy.

Still confused about all the fuss? Peep Alive In Athens and then we’ll talk.

Century Media, 1453-A 14th St., Suite 324, Santa Monica, CA 90404; http://www.centurymedia.com

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