at Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway, October 22, 2007


Annihilator left no doubt they were about to rock, opening the show with “King Of The Kill,” one of their very best tracks. One of the main tasks of any opening act is to set the mood quickly, and one might definitely say that Annihilator pulled this task off with ease. The crowd certainly responded well to the band’s energetic performance, and when “Welcome To Your Death” came halfway through the show, it was hard to forget Annihilator was actually not the headliner.

The band also made sure they not only delivered in terms of quality, but in sufficient amounts as well. Gone were the long talks between the songs, and with a surprisingly good sound (for a support band) they took fans through most of their biggest hits. “Alice In Hell” closed the band’s set, and the crowd response was huge. The biggest of the night, actually …

Review by Andreas Møller


Being one of the few leading Heavy Metal bands not having played in Oslo yet, it was about time American powerhouse Iced Earth finally showed up at the legendary Rockefeller club. Jon Schaffer, “Ripper” Owens, and their freshly assembled band, consisting of guitarist Troy Seele, bassist Dennis Hayes, and drummer Brent Smedley were absent for too long. Schaffer himself was his usual denim-clad psycho-riffing Metal majesty, showing exactly why he is the only thing necessary to keep this band up and runnin’.

Yes, dear reader, it is namely a pleasure to announce that the absence of vocalist extraordinaire Matthew Barlow is not that evident anymore; “Ripper” has improved a lot since joining the band, and his sheer dedication is joy to experience. His voice lacks Barlow’s warm and tender lower register, and a track like the ingenious “Melancholy (Holy Martyr)” will never be his, as much as it was Barlow’s. Still, he rivals Rob Halford and Eric Adams when it comes to singing comfortably in the “high natural” register, just before moving into falsetto territory, and his voice does suit Schaffer’s riffing very well. Songs like “The Hunter,” “Dracula,” “Burning Times,” “Violate,” “Ten Thousand Strong,” and “My Own Savior” came out fantastically, and hearing “Stormrider” and “Iced Earth” (the track) sung by Mr. Schaffer himself is also pretty darn close to Heavy Metal heaven.

Besides the ever-majestic Schaffer and the steadily improving Owens, the performer of the night was unquestionably drummer Brent Smedley, who grooved, head banged, and double-kicked his way through a truly impressive performance. The groove he gives to “Melancholy” and “The Hunter” is awe-inspiring. Hayes, by far the sweatiest of the five, is a hard-working bass player delivering solid work throughout, while Seele shows exactly why Schaffer wants him in the band –- of the sole reason he’s average enough not to suffer from being suppressed by who really is the band’s only guitar PLAYER. Seele’s guitar is muted during the faster riff parts, and he does not even attempt chugging along with Schaffer -– but he does duplicate the recorded solos, and that’s probably what he’s paid to do too.

Bottom line is, though, that Iced Earth put out a very confident performance, that “Ripper” Owens is constantly getting closer to becoming what this band needs, that Jon Schaffer is the best rhythm guitarist in the world, and that this band deserves all the success they can ever get.



  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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