Iced Earth

Days of Purgatory

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Days of Purgatory is perhaps the best starting point for anyone first discovering Iced Earth, as it presents much of the band's early material with superior sound quality and musicianship, most notably from vocalist Matthew Barlow. All aspects of the band's songwriting are presented herein: energetic staccato riffing, dual-guitar harmonies, melodic acoustic passages, complex arrangements, and double kick drums. These are combined most effectively on "Colors," "Nightmares," "When the Night Falls," and the outstanding "Desert Rain," with its atmospheric guitar intro. And while "Angel's Holocaust" features uncharacteristic goth-style background choruses, "The Funeral" is surprisingly memorable as an instrumental. The band is at its inventive best in the nine-minute epic "Travel in Stygian."

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