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stormruller, January 13th, 2012

This is how I can describe this amazing release of "Dystopia". This cd is their best release since their 2001 release, "Horror Show". Their albums released with Tim "Ripper" Owens and their comeback cd with Matt Barlow released 3 years ago were okay releases, but this new cd is back to the glory days Iced Earth. New vocalist Stu Block (ex-Into Eternity) had the courage to replace great vocalists such as Ripper and Barlow and more than handling such amazing vocals, I can say that this guy has the aggressive vocals of Barlow plus the amazing screams from Ripper, so let's just hope for no more line-up changes here Mr. Schaffer, Stu is the perfect vocalist for Iced Earth.

As for Stu, we should talk more about this guy. Once I had read that he was going to be the new Iced Earth vocalist, I looked into some Into Eternity music and I really couldn't see this guy handling the vocals for Iced Earth as he didn't have the same vocal lines as Matt Barlow has and this is why some Iced Earth fans complained about Tim "Ripper" Owens once he arrived in the band. Just after their ep with the song "Dante's Inferno" re-recorded, I realized that he was the one to handle the vocals and couldn't be more wrong after listening to this amazing cd.

There is not only one single song that you could describe as not a good song. My least favorite is the final and longest song, "Tragedy And Triumph", but this doesn't mean this song is not good, it's just the least from a great cd. All the other songs are amazing, but I have to mention stand out songs such as the title track "Dystopia", the short songs "Boiling Point" and "Days Of Rage", the power ballads "Anguish Of Youth" and "End Of Innocence", and mid-tempo songs "Anthem" and "V". Hold on, I've almost mentioned all the songs as stand out songs. I just didn't mentioned "Dark City" and "Equilibrium", which are strong songs, too. Okay, I can say these two are stand out songs as well.

There is one song that I need to say more about on this cd, and that song is "Anguish Of Youth". Can I say that this is the song of the year? It's hard to say that, but I keep listening to this song over and over again. This power ballad is the song I've wanted to listen to again recorded by Iced Earth and reminds me a lot power ballads released by the band in the past such as "Watching Over Me" and "I Died For You".

I could give a 10 out of 10 for this release, but I'll take some points off not for the music, but because the cd only has 10 songs and is 45 minutes long. I wanted to listen to more amazing songs with Mr. Schaffer and Stu Block. I'm already waiting for a new Iced Earth cd and it was very nice to read that the band will be playing near my town in Brazil next March. I won't miss this concert, for sure.

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