Iced Earth, Early Man, Dirge, Septer | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Iced Earth, Early Man, Dirge, Septer All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Fri., Nov. 14, 6:15 p.m. 2008

Inside a healthy percentage of metal artists is a frustrated fantasy writer struggling to get out, and the one inside Iced Earth guitarist and bandleader Jon Schaffer is near the top of the heap. As the primary songwriter for this power-metal powerhouse—they specialize in an even bigger version of the classic NWOBHM sound—he crafts sprawling worlds and epic tales to match the music’s ambitions. A lot of fans were turned off when former Rob Halford stand-in Tim “Ripper” Owens replaced Matt Barlow on vocals in 2003, but Schaffer continued to turn out heavy work—I love the half-hour “Gettysburg (1863)” trilogy that closes 2004’s The Glorious Burden. Late last year Barlow, having recovered from whatever prompted him to go into law enforcement after 9/11, returned to the fold in time to record The Crucible of Man (SPV), the third and final album in Schaffer’s “Something Wicked” series, in which protagonist Set Abominae (a mishmash of every satanic-majesty archetype from LaVey to LaHaye) finds himself overcome by his own intensity. Early Man, Dirge, and Septer open. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $25

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