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Iced Earth – 'Enter The Realm: Reissue' EP Review


1. Enter The Realm

2. Colors

3. Nightmares

4. To Curse The Sky

5. Solitude

6. Iced Earth

Today I am reviewing something a little bit different. Rather than some brand new music, this is a re-release of some thirty-year old Metal from Iced Earth, a band who never quite smashed the big time, but who have been consistently making good music for those thirty years.

'Enter The Realm' was Iced Earth’s original demo from 1989, and to celebrate their thirty year history, it’s been dusted off, remastered and released on vinyl, CD and all the normal digital outlets. And a very welcome addition to their available library it is.

Strictly speaking, there is nothing new here - as four of these six tracks appeared on the band’s debut album that was released a year later, and 'Enter The Realm' and 'Nightmares' appeared on a later album. However, most of these were altered and reworked to a greater or lesser extent before appearing on other albums, which makes this a fascinating snapshot of where the band were at the time.

Not having a copy of the original demo release, I don’t know how well that was mixed/mastered, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality on this release, as it doesn’t sound cheap or thin like a lot of demos do – instead feeling almost as full and expansive as a professionally recorded album.

I ought to talk about the songs themselves – and to be fair, they are all pretty good. 'Enter The Realm' and 'Solitude' are short, mood-setting instrumentals, breaking up the traditional Iced Earth style Metal across the rest of the EP, which works very well indeed. Of the remaining songs, 'Iced Earth' is pretty good, 'Nightmares' is not bad, but for me, the two that make the EP worthwhile are 'Colors' and 'To Curse The Sky', which are great.

On the whole, this EP is great for the die-hard Iced Earth fans (who have probably already bought it), as it gives a snapshot of a band in their earliest moments. If you are a casual listener, then it may open the doors to the band for you, but you’ll probably find that you end up gravitating towards their full albums, as there’s nothing on this EP that isn’t arguably done a lot better elsewhere in their catalogue.

In short, it’s an interesting curio, but not likely to be a repeat player.

Review - Michael Braunton

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