Album of the Year 2017 – Number 27

Welcome to day 4 of my ‘Album of the Year 2017 top 30 countdown’.

Heartened by the response that I have had so far to my posts in this series, I feel so enthused to continue. So, thanks to everyone who has read, shared or commented so far, even at this early stage in proceedings. Keep it coming and in return, I’ll keep this epic labour of love going over the coming month or so. Deal?

As always, if you have missed any of the previous posts in this series, links can be found at the bottom of this post along with links to the entire countdowns from previous years.

Unusually for me, that’s all the introduction I really want to give today and so, on that note, I’ll just let my pick at number 27 do the rest of the talking.

Enjoy!

Number 27

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Iced Earth
Incorruptible
Century Media Records

“The accompanying press release sees the ever-confident and bullish Shafer referring to this album as one of their strongest and whilst I approached this hyperbole with caution, I now must agree with him…

What I like about this album so much is that it manages to blend powerful riffs and heavy music with plenty of melody and strong choruses to make the music truly memorable and rather addictive. Add in to the mix a sense of theatrics, drama and storytelling for which Iced Earth have become known and synonymous and suddenly things start to stack up in the right way.

…this has to be the most consistent record from Iced Earth for a significant number of years. In fact, as I alluded to earlier, this is without doubt their best release since ‘The Glorious Burden’ and it pushes the likes of ‘Horror Show’ and ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ as one of their best ever releases. In short, ‘Incorruptible’ is unmistakably the sound of Iced Earth firing on all cylinders and I love it.”

Read the full review here.

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Iced Earth never disappoints me. They may have suffered with line-up instability over the past few years and this might have led to a few releases that haven’t fully ignited the metal world. However, to say that any of their records have been poor would be unfair. But finally, after well over a decade, Iced Earth have delivered something approaching their best. And, as we all know, when Iced Earth are at the top of their game, they are a force to be reckoned with. Enter ‘Incorruptible’ to prove my point most eloquently.

‘Incorruptible’ is easily the most hungry-sounding Iced Earth album for some time and it is certainly the most varied, powerful and focused release since ‘The Glorious Burden’, maybe even longer. Speedy thrash, mid-tempo stompers, emotionally-charged ballads and a good old Schaffer epic – they are all present and correct on this album, making it a thoroughly engrossing and absorbing listening experience.

As always, Jon Schaffer’s riffs are out of the top drawer but this time, the lead work or newbie guitarist Jake Dreyer (Witherfall) more than adequately supports them. And so do the melodies which are some of the most consistently memorable since the American’s watershed moment, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’. Not only that but vocalist Stu Block sounds more composed and commanding than ever; blessed with a great voice, he has really grown into this role and made it his own.

However, in similar fashion to yesterday’s choice at no.28, the best thing about ‘Incorruptible’ is that every time I listen to it, I am reminded in no uncertain terms of all the reasons why I fell in love with Iced Earth in the first place. I grin, I headbang and I air-guitar…frequently.

If you missed either of my 2017 ‘honourable mentions’ posts, here they are should you be interested:

Album of the Year 2017 – honourable mentions Part 1
Album of the Year 2017 – honourable mentions Part 2

Previous posts in my 2017 Top 30 countdown:

Album of the Year 2017 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 30

And from previous years:

Album of the Year 2016
Album of the Year 2015
Album of the Year 2014
Album of the Year 2013
Album of the Year 2012

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