It should come as no surprise that Iced Earth would follow the trend and record an album of cover tunes showing the bands musical influences. Given the groups penchant for producing classic 80's power metal, one could easily have picked many of the bands that the members grew up on. If you guessed Kiss, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and AC/DC, keep reading folks!
According to the notes, most of the songs performed here were handpicked by Jon Schaffer as his personal favorites. The band renders note perfect versions of Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name", two classics by that band for sure, with an equally effective twin guitar attack. "Creatures of the Night" and "God of Thunder" by Kiss are covered, with the vocals of Matthew Barlow sounding just like a youthful Paul Stanley and the "heavier than thou" guitar riffs injecting new life into both songs. Other highlights include a ripping version of Judas Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance", the doomy "Black Sabbath", and a killer rendition of the Blue Oyster Cult classic "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll." A real tasty treat as well is a bludgeoning cover of "Dead Babies" by Alice Cooper. Less effective are the AC/DC covers of "Highway to Hell" and "It's a Long Way to the Top", mainly due to the different styles of the two bands. While the "cover tunes" idea is a bit overdone at this point, this is a fun album that should hold over Iced Earth fans until the next full length studio release of original material.