The Melancholy EP
Released: 1999, Century Media
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
I am sure most of you know about this CD already. This five-song CD was released several months ago in a limited edition pressing of 1,500. By the time I found out about this disc, it was too late…Century Media was sold out! I really love Iced Earth (especially the first three albums) and was very pissed to miss out on this EP. I resorted to e-Bay where this CD has been auctioned off numerous times. The only bad thing is I'm not the only one that missed out! Many people are and were selling this CD, and many are and have been bidding. This of course drives the price up. From Century Media, this CD would have cost $5. I ended up buying it for $46! This disc is worth $5, but sure as hell not more!
You see what we get here are three album tracks and two unreleased cover tunes. The album cuts are "Melancholy (The Holy Martyr)", "Watching Over Me", and "I Died For You". Yup…these are the weakest Iced Earth songs from the last two studio albums "Something Wicked…" and "The Dark Saga"! I mean, these songs are great, but why pick the most accessible tracks? It's not like the radio is going to get a hold of this disc and give these guys some exposure. Come on, this CD was limited edition and sold out immediately…and it's still in high demand. Those that want this CD are Iced Earth fans! And Iced Earth fans have every album (or should, lest you be a complete slacker haha!). So what is the point in even including album cuts to begin with? Metallers that have all their albums are going to fast-forward past these tracks anyway, right? Iced Earth must have noticed they made a hit with "I Died For You", because the other two tracks have the same formula: soft verse/heavy chorus/soft verse/heavy chorus/solo section/heavy chorus/fade out. Sorry…I just had to point that out, because I know the band can do better than that.
This disc would have been better off with just the two covers…or would it? The two covers are Sabbath's "Electric Funeral" and Paul Rogers' (!?) "Shooting Star". Why these two songs? Iced Earth is metal. Metal is Iced Earth. Therefore, it would have been more proper for them to cover METAL bands, right? Ok ok, Sabbath is metal, and maybe that sounds close-minded to begin with. But "Electric Funeral"? That song is more suitable for Solitude Aeturnus. Besides, do we really need another Sabbath cover? And Iced Earth's rendition isn't even that spectacular (although it is heavier, which is good). And Paul Rogers!? Hey, I have no problem with whatever the band listens to, but as far as covering a song goes, why Paul Rogers? And why "Shooting Star"? The stupid original comes on every time I go to the billiards hall. When I listen to metal, I don't want to think of hanging out in a billiards hall shooting some games. We would have been way better off with another Priest cover, Helloween, or how about Iron Maiden? I am sure Iced Earth would absolutely crush with ANY Maiden song! They should have axed the album cuts and just did covers…and maybe more than just two. But then again, everybody's doing covers. We don't want Iced Earth to become Anthrax, do we? Maybe they should have written a brand new song just for the EP to make it really worthwhile. Or maybe they should have taken some songs directly from their demo(s), without updating anything musically or vocally.
If you can get this for $5, do it. If not, have someone dub it for you. Meanwhile, go get "Alive in Athens"!!