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Spawn The Dark Saga


The Dark Saga is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released on July 23, 1996, it was the band's first album to feature drummer Mark Prator, as well as the last with bassist Dave Abell. The Dark Saga was also the first Iced Earth album to be co-produced by Jim Morris, who since then has worked on all of the band's releases.

Recorded in Spring, 1996, The Dark Saga is a concept album based on the Todd McFarlane comic book character Spawn (who also appears on the album's cover). Because of this, the album features a much more melodic and simplified sound compared to other Iced Earth albums. While the response to The Dark Saga was mostly positive, some viewed these musical changes as a disappointment.


Musically The Dark Saga is much more melodic and simplified compared to Iced Earth's previous albums (majority of the songs on The Dark Saga are under four minutes long). According to rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer, the shift in musical style was due to a much more positive feeling going into the writing, as opposed to the band's previous album Burnt Offerings. Schaffer has stated that Burnt Offerings was not his intended musical direction, which is why The Dark Saga is much more keen on melody and vocals.

The Dark Saga was the last Iced Earth album to feature longtime bassist Dave Abell, who left the group after finishing recording. Although Abell was credited for playing on the album, bassist Keith Menser appears on the back cover, because the band's label, Century Media Records, wanted the touring line-up to appear on the cover. Incidentally, Keith Menser was fired after he did not learn any of the band's songs for the supporting tour, and was replaced by James MacDonough.Drummer Mark Prator was also let go from the band, following the recording process, and was subsequently replaced by Brent Smedley. For this reason, Mark Prator also doesn't appear on the album's back cover. Recorded between January and February, 1996, The Dark Saga was the first Iced Earth album not to be co-produced by Tom Morris. Instead, Morris' brother Jim Morris co-produced the album, along with Jon Schaffer.

Track listing[]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length

1. "Dark Saga"   Jon Schaffer Schaffer 3:43

2. "I Died for You"   Schaffer Schaffer 3:47

3. "Violate"   Schaffer Schaffer 3:38

4. "The Hunter"   Schaffer Schaffer 3:55

5. "The Last Laugh"   Matt Barlow Schaffer, Randall Shawver 3:47

6. "Depths of Hell"   Al Simmons Schaffer, Shawver 3:02

7. "Vengeance Is Mine"   Barlow Schaffer, Shawver 4:22

8. "Scarred"   Schaffer Schaffer, Shawver 5:54

9. "Slave to the Dark"   Schaffer Schaffer 4:03

10. "A Question of Heaven"   Schaffer Schaffer 7:40

Total length:43:54

European limited edition

bonus track No. Title Lyrics Music Length

11. "The Ripper" (Judas Priest cover) Glenn Tipton Tipton 2:41

2008 Slave to the Dark 

bonus tracks

No. Title Lyrics Music Length

11. "Hellspawn" (mix 1) Schaffer Schaffer 3:42

12. "Hellspawn" (mix 2) Schaffer Schaffer 3:43


Angela is the subject of a song by heavy metal band Iced Earth called "The Hunter", which appears on their Spawn-themed concept album The Dark Saga.


The Hunter