07 September 2012

Review of Iced Earth (Live in Ancient Kourion 2012 DVD Recording)

Review of Iced Earth Live in Ancient Kourion 2012 (Live DVD Recording, Limassol, Cyprus)

Venue & Organisation: Where do I even begin? Acoustically it was the perfect choice. Practically not so much. Cypriots are known to be heavy smokers (all sorts), heavy drinkers, and frankly quite lazy. The 15 mins climb to the top was rather unpleasant to say the least. Having mastered your urge to climb the rocks like Spiderman ignoring the possibility of instant death, you reach the top thirsty and parched. You can't wait to grab a seat and gulp down the first few pints for which you happily paid £3 for. While you manage to juggle four pints in two hands, you reach the entrance where... surprise! NO DRINKS ALLOWED! The patient men inform you about the rules while understanding that a few extra words could lead to a raid. NO FOOD ALLOWED either and I am sure FARTING is prohibited too. You, having arrived late as a proper Cypriot would do, try to drink as much of your precious beer as you can so that you go inside just in time to get a couple of good seats. You throw away the rest and walk down the amphitheatre swearing at the organisers, the promoters, the doormen, the band, the venue, the few remaining ancient monuments, Cyprus, and the government. Dear organisers, this is a metal concert. Therefore, my dearest organisers please keep in mind that if the rules remain the same, the next one will be less busy. Also, a few more t-shirts in human sizes would be much appreciated! 3/10

Iced Earth Quality & Versatility: Having seen them live twice with Barlow and twice with Block, I have to admit I prefer my IE the old way. Yet, things change and bands progress. In my opinion, Stu is a worthy successor in all aspects. The Iced Earth we grew up with and love have still got some aces up their sleeves, I reckon. 8/10

Passion: Well, we all know these guys don't make enough money for what they put out there for us, yet their performances are always great. 9/10

Gig Running Time: Good three hours. 10/10

Set List: Everything one should expect but I have a thing with Dark Saga which was not played this time. Still, Dante's Inferno was in there and that made me very very happy. 9/10

Crowd: There is a reason why they chose Cyprus for their live DVD recording. Cypriots love them. A passionate crowd of less than 2,000 people was enough to show them just how much. Ages ranged from children to middle-aged couples (very unassuming ones who even brought their bum pillows for added comfort!). I reckon some more advertising from the promoters would have brought more people but as the experience showed, they weren't much needed. 8/10 

Band Chemistry & Performance: The chemistry between the band members makes you feel that Stu has always been part of the band. I guess they clicked! As I said before, I like Stu, I think he's a great vocalist. Yet, as much as I hate to admit, the song Dracula, is better left untouched. He did perform very well on that one but I guess it is one of those songs written for Barlow. The new bassist from Fury UK replacing Vidales also seems to be enjoying his new job post as his performance showed! I'd like not to comment on Mr. Schaffer as I think words are not enough. 9/10

Overall Experience: Events like this one rarely happen in our small island of less than a 1,000,000 inhabitants and less than a few thousand metal fans so shame on those who did not come! Iced Earth thank you for opening the door to the Heavy Metal reign over Cyprus! 9/10

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