The funny thing about metal music is that we have extremely passionate fans. You typically don’t get our type of fans with other genres. I’ve never heard of anyone coming out of a concert hall yelling “,I got so fucked up in the pit tonight! Best CELINE DION show ever!!!” (Morgan’s note: “I would.”)
That being said, while most metal bands have these rabid fans, there are certain bands who seem to have an even more passionate type of fan. Bands like IRON MAIDEN, MANOWAR, and even ICED EARTH have these fans. Fans who love absolutely everything the band puts out. Fans who, when asked, cannot tell you a single song they don’t like, but can rattle off 200 song titles when you ask them for their top favorite song. They have the logos, lyrics, and album covers tattooed on their bodies. They are like Juggalos, except they’re actually human, and you don’t necessarily have to cross the street when you see them walking towards you.
When I was asked to do a Deep Cuts on ICED EARTH, I felt two giant waves hit me. The first was “Well, this is awesome! I don’t get to talk about ICED EARTH enough.” The second wave that hit me was more like a “well, I pretty much love everything they’ve put out, as do their fans. What the fuck am I gonna write about”? After much consideration, writing, editing, rewriting, and reconsidering, I decided to just say screw it and write about my top favorite ICED EARTH songs, regardless if they were the band’s big hits or if they went under the radar. It seemed like the obvious choice.
1. “Watching Over Me” From Something Wicked This Way Comes. This was just a good song to me for the longest time, but honestly, after a really tragic moment in my personal life, it became an amazing song to me. A few years ago, I lost one of my best friends, and during the whole mourning process, this one song popped into my head. Out of nowhere, “Watching Over Me” just came to me. The slow, melancholic rhythm played in my head. Barlow’s lyrics spoke to me. It actually helped me quite a bit. I’ve heard similar from others, which just goes to show the power of a well written song.
2. “Ten Thousand Strong” From Live In Ancient Kourion. But wait, wasn’t there a studio version of this on Framing Armageddon? Yes, I absolutely love Ripper’s original rendition of this song, however I find this particular performance to be my favorite. Stu Block’s vocals kill it on this one. It’s this live album where Stu proves to us that he is the perfect blend of Barlow and Ripper, while still having his own style, and on this particular song, he definitely outdid the original, especially with that ending wail.
3. “Damien” From Horror Show. My 3rd pick was by far, the hardest one. I had it narrowed down to 4 songs from the Horror Show album, which goes to show you just how highly I think of this record right there. Some of this song’s lyrics are taken right from the horror classic The Omen, a favorite of mine as a kid. A perfect blend of an eerie horror mood, and the famous Barlow era ICED EARTH sound. (For the record, I had it narrowed down to “Damien”, “Dragon’s Child”, “Dracula”, and “The Phantom Opera Ghost” for the final pick, all from the “Horror Show” album.)