Iced Earth have stabilized again. After the almost complete disappointments called "The Crucible Of Man" (2008) and "Framing Armageddon" (2007) guitarist Jon Schaffer, the fastest right hand man of the metal scene, could (almost) pick up on his old glamour again with "Dystopia" 2011. Plagues Of Babylon", which was produced outside Morrissound Studios for the first time (namely in Germany!), also offers harmonious-biting metal art of the better kind, but also falls off with the last four of a total of twelve songs. Nevertheless, the riffs are mostly razor sharp, the two-part leads clear and brilliant. Schaffer remains true to his very own style, which means that some arrangements and hooks sound very familiar. However, singer Stu Block often comforts us about this fact. With his extremely variable singing style he also combines the qualities of his predecessors in an impressive way: In the middle registers he reminds us of Matthew Barlow, while the pointed cries penetrate into "Ripper" Owens regions. The latter, however, is less frequent this time.
Top track: The End?