Dio Returns Announces First Dates for Hologram Tour

As we previously reported The Dio Returns tour featuring the Dio Hologram is here and is finally coming to the United States this spring and summer! The Dio Returns U.S. Tour will feature a line-up of Dio band members of 17 years performing aside the stunning Ronnie James Dio hologram.  Continue reading

Dio Hologram Tour Confirmed For 2019, 100 Dates To Be Announced

According to a published report via Billboard, Eyellusion, the company responsible for the Ronnie James Dio hologram tour plans, has signed with the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), represented by agency partner Steve Martin. The Dio hologram will return to the road in April is set to hit over 100 cities in 2019. The legendary heavy metal singer died in 2010 at the age of 67 from stomach cancer. His hologram debuted at Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans. Continue reading

Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon

Iced-Earth-Plagues-of-BabylonSixteen years and five albums have passed since Iced Earth blew me away with Something Wicked This Way Comes, a tour de force that still serves as their defining moment. Since then, while it would be harsh to say Iced Earth have been undeserving of the loyalty their fan base has shown, it would be fair to say they’ve not reached the heights of their early days. Horror Show was aptly named, Ripper Owens came in and found lightning does indeed strike twice, once again finding himself a great vocalist joining a band not at their creative peak (while not being “the guy”), “the guy” Matt Barlow re-joined to release an album that made everyone wish he hadn’t bothered, before 2011’s Dystopia saw the more-Barlow-than-Barlow Stu Block, take over the mic stand for a very credible return-to- form.

And the goodwill of the faithful continues to be rewarded as Plagues of Babylon (Century Media) picks up where Dystopia left off very nicely indeed; producing a slew of distinctive classic Iced Earth heavy metal tracks. Opening pairing of the title track and ‘Democide’ deliver chunky riffs, before ‘The Culling’  raises the bar – all ‘Disposable Heroes’ juddering staccato verse riff into trademark IE rousing chorus. Elsewhere, ‘If I Could See You’ is the natural successor to ‘Watching Over Me’, and a great example that metal ballads still exist, ‘Cthulu’ picks up the pace nicely, ‘Among The Living Dead’ could be lifted off the Anthrax album it’s title references with its lean riffage paying homage to `N.F.L.’, while ‘Peacemaker’ lifts the serious mask for a second, bringing a Wild West HM rompastomp to the table. ‘Resistance’ and ‘The End?’ could have been lifted straight from SWTWC, powerful and epic choruses sit in between crunchy, thrashy and powerful metal riffs, played out over classy melodic leads.

Full of excellent understated yet rousing choruses that stretch out over thrash-tinged heavy metal riffs and enmeshed with their traditional formula of Metallica, Priest and Maiden, on Plagues of Babylon Iced Earth relentlessly deliver powerful, convincing and epic songs throughout an album that more than picks up the baton from its predecessor.

8/10

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Steve Tovey