ICED EARTH conquered the WORLD with ALIVE IN ATHENS in the '90s

By Gino Alache - February 16, 2021

(Rockum)- Iced Earth produces one of the most convincing live albums of the '90s.

Alive in Athens crushes with the same monumental energy as Iron Maiden's Live After Death and Blind Guardian's Tokyo Tales, quite a lofty feat. With a visual approach akin to the "Eddie marketing campaign" of Maiden, Iced Earth has thrust themselves into the proverbial power metal spotlight with a destructively catchy sound to back it up.

Live, Matt Barlow's soaring vocals pierce with studio-like quality, while the guitar pairing of Jon Schaffer and Larry Tarnowski echoes back to the glory days of a previously mentioned British supergroup. Not to be missed either is bassist James McDonough, who, while not flashy, certainly is the glue of the band's tighter-than-thou power metal sound.

Iced Earth staples like "Dark Saga," "Stormrider," "Last December," and "Pure Evil" are included, along with newer cuts from the last album, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Iced Earth is quite adept at wielding the energy of the crowd (similar to Blind Guardian) to their advantage.

They use it to give the live sound a burst of energy that entraps the listener, leaving them at the bands mercy.

Alive in Athens was recorded on the nights of January 23rd and January 24th in Athens, Greece. Iced Earth was the only band who played at the Rodon Club those nights, and they performed in front of sold-out crowds both nights.

Iced Earth did not want to make a standard, run-of-the-mill live album; they wanted to make something truly special for the fans to own. Thus, they played two vastly different sets each night, as part of a plan to release a live package with the majority of their catalog on it. The finished product will be a three CD set, containing at least three hours of music. For those interested in vinyl, there will be a five-disc boxed set available. In the U.S., a shortened two CD version will be sold in stores due to cost restrictions.

However, the full three CD version will still be available through Century Media mailorder. The band recommends all fans who want the original and complete version to order it rather than buying the two CD version.

Disc 1:
Burning Times (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Vengeance is Mine (The Dark Saga)
Pure Evil (Night of the Stormrider)
My Own Savior (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Melancholy (Holy Martyr) (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Dante’s Inferno (Burnt Offerings)
The Hunter (The Dark Saga)
Travel In Stygian (Night of the Stormrider)
Slave to the Dark (The Dark Saga)
A Question of Heaven (The Dark Saga)

Disc 2:
Dark Saga (The Dark Saga)
The Last Laugh (The Dark Saga)
Last December (Burnt Offerings)
Watching Over Me (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Angels Holocaust (Night of the Stormrider)
Stormrider (Night of the Stormrider)
The Path I Choose (Night of the Stormrider)
I Died for You (The Dark Saga)
Prophecy (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Birth of the Wicked (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
The Coming Curse (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Iced Earth (Iced Earth)

Disc 3:
Stand Alone (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Cast in Stone (Days of Purgatory)
Desert Rain (Night of the Stormrider)
Brainwashed (Burnt Offerings)
Disciples of the Lie (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
When the Night Falls (Iced Earth)
Diary (Burnt Offerings)
Blessed Are You (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Violate (The Dark Saga)

Jon Schaffer | Guitars, Backing Vocals
Matt Barlow | Lead Vocals
James MacDonough | Bass Guitar
Larry Tarnowski | Guitars
Brent Smedley | Drums
Rick Risberg | Keyboards
Additional Information:
Recorded at The Rodon in Athens, Greece on January 23rd and 24th, 1999.
Produced by Jon Schaffer and Jim Morris.
Engineered by Jim Morris.
Mixed at Morrisound Studios, Tampa Florida.

Artwork by Axel Hermann, Danny Miki, and Travis Smith. Iced Earth logo designed by Jon Schaffer.

Additional information on this release including guest musicians can be found in the jackets and sleeves accompanying the officially released CD/vinyl copies.


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