A very nice package that ICED EARTH together with Century Media have presented us with, five CDs in a box and as the price is absolutely acceptable, too, this is something I could recommend.
What do we find in here? First of all the first three CDs "Iced Earth", "Night Of The Stormrider" aund "Burnt Offerings", all re-mastered by Jim Morris, then the "Enter The Realm"-demo and a tribute-CDs of the Americans' influences.
But first things first.
As the three regular albums have been reviewed separately already, I'll only get to that stuff that we could not get in the free market before. There we have the demo "Enter The Realm". Except for "Nightmares" (Ok, and the intro "Enter The Realm") all songs could already be found on "Iced Earth", in slightly different versions, which still have been pretty close to the original, albeit the two years in between. The sound of the demo is very good, but when a demo-band enters the Morrisound it has to turn out good, eh?
But even more interesting is the second additional disc, titled "Tribute To The Gods", on which we can find eleven cover-versions, which showcase the musical influences of Mr Schaffer. Partly with one, partly with two tracks we get BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, AC/DC, BLACK SABBATH, KISS, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and Alice Cooper. As you can see at the track-list, they're all classics. And this is part of the problem, as well as they are executed, because it is always very difficult to cover SUCH famous songs without them getting inevitably compared with the original too much. But still both thumbs up!
The whole thing comes as a kind of Digi-Book in the format of two CDs above each other, with the four "normal" CDs as picture-discs in a clear tray on the first and last page and a book-like centre, in which we get the whole band-history with many photos, the lyrics of all releases plus the covers (which all are either new or are re-touched compared to the originals) and the tribute-CD.
Of course it is a matter between you and your purse, if you need to get "Dark Genesis", if it is a tried rip-off or a present, especially if you have the first three albums already, but for me the positive impression is by far bigger!