Ripper Owens

Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon Review

Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon Review

“No one can begrudge you for being a little skeptical of a release by American power metal institution Iced Earth in 2014. Following the departure of Matt Barlow post-9/11, and the entry of one-trick-pony and professional Rob Halford impersonator Ripper Owens, the band has spit out terrible record after mediocre tripe. With the entry of Stu Block, formerly of Into EternityIced Earth was poised for a big comeback in the form of Dystopia — but even that fell short. The record was plodding, mediocre at best, and Block didn’t feel like part of the crew.” So, can our heroes right the ship with Plagues of Babylon? Or are they… plague ridden?

Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon (Vinyl Mix) Review

Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon (Vinyl Mix) Review

Iced Earth is a bonafide heavy metal institution, and part of their long staying power and general widespread appeal has got to be attributed to their fearless leader and head riff master Jon Schaffer, whose strong work ethic, unwavering live free or die attitude, and keen sense of aesthetics, has kept this machine rolling for over the last two decades. With his tried and true formula of power, thrash, and lyrical armageddon, Schaffer has churned out a number of genre leading staples, ranging from 1995’s Burnt Offerings, with all of its dark imagery and heavy riffing, to 1998’s Something Wicked this Way Comes, whose last three songs became the basis for the multi-record Something Wicked Saga, an epic fantasy about the rise and fall of man.

Angry Metal Guy and ‘Ripper’ Owens Are… Beefin’?

Angry Metal Guy and ‘Ripper’ Owens Are… Beefin’?

Yesterday, I discovered that I’m on Twitter. And so I took to Twitter and made some pretty lame updates, as I’m wont to do. I tweeted YouTube videos that I think are better than the new Ihsahn record (Helloween‘s “Mr. Torture,” Dr. Dre‘s “Deeeez Nuts,” and Meat Loaf‘s epic “Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are“). Then I started listening to Iced Earth.

Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned Review

Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned Review

Charred Walls of the Damned has two distinct honors from the get-go: not only is it the longest band name EVER, but it’s also the first thing in which excellent drummer Richard Christy has surfaced in since going to the Howard Stern show and leaving American power metallers Iced Earth in the dust. I think everyone was wondering when he was going to jump back into metal, myself included. It’s hard to imagine that the former Death and Iced Earth drummer was just going to leave everything behind. Given his background it was only a matter of time. And not just his background: homeboy has contacts, too! He brings with him the mighty Jason Suecof, mostly known for his production (Trivium, Luna Mortis, God Forbid and so on), but who is also a fucking wicked ass guitar player (seriously, dude can shred). On bass, of course, is the mighty Steve DiGiorgio who played with Christy in Iced Earth and Death. How can this project possibly lose?