Iced Earth – The Glorious Burden (2004)
Tim “Ripper” Owens’ stint with power thrashers Iced Earth also deserves a complete re-evaluation and – similar to his time in Priest – his vocals were pitched to perfection.
Taking over from Matt Barlow, who quit in 2001, the “Ripper” hit the ground running on 2004’s The Glorious Burden, a military history lesson set to music and a gloriously stunning example of Tim Owens’ range and power – just give “The Reckoning” a spin to experience Owens delivering some earth-shattering, spine-tingling vocals!
2007’s Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1 followed and it was equally as accomplished but the “Ripper” found himself ousted in favour of a returning Matt Barlow for the following years, Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 2. A strange situation that served no real purpose as Barlow departed for a second time soon after!
We digress, it’s The Glorious Burden which is our main focus here and it’s arguably Iced Earth’s finest moment, with the dark thrash of old jettisoned in favour of a power metal stomp throughout the battlefields of history. And, with Owens’ as our narrator, you can consider Iced Earth’s 8th album an unequivocal triumph of intelligent, bravura metal.
As quickly became evident, Tim “Ripper” Owens’ voice was perfect for Iced Earth and they were mad to let him go.
Also recommended: The aforementioned Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1 is well worth checking out.