Released: 1995, Century Media Records
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of MASTER OF PUPPETS, POWERSLAVE or SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
Well, this is it, the “lost” Iced Earth album, if not from a fan’s perspective, then certainly from John Schaffer’s. Personally, I have seen the band live three times and they have yet to play a song off this album. It’s a shame because there is some awesome metal to be found here. That’s as far as I’ll go to contextualize the album as most fans will certainly know the story behind this album anyway.
Musically, BURNT OFFERINGS is arguably IE’s heaviest, thrashiest album ever; certainly more so than the more power metal-influenced albums to follow. If you read other reviews of this album you definitely notice that most fans that don’t like Iced Earth, tend to appreciate this album, and I can see why as the band rarely wrote a song as heavy as the first three tracks on this album. Schaffer was clearly pissed off when he wrote the songs and it comes through easily, helped along by Matt Barlow’s first appearance for the band, fully formed as the master thespian vocalist he’d quickly become known as. Of course, many fans (including myself) hold up the closing epic “Dante’s Inferno” as some kind of Iced Earth Holy Grail, and the song deserves it, throwing every song writing trick that Schaffer knew at the time into a masterful, captivating song. For me though, the best song on the album is “Diary”, which is both vicious and epic, but on a more contained scale.
I started this review by saying that this is Iced Earth’s “lost album” and part of the reason may be that tracks like “Brainwashed” and “Creator Failure” aren’t quite as memorable as the band’s best songs (on previous or following albums). Having said that though, there are no bad songs on this album.
Personally, before reviewing this album I had not listened to it for a few years so I enjoyed the opportunity to listen to it multiple times and truly revisit it. BURNT OFFERINGS is definitely a proud member of Iced Earth’s album lineage.