If one thing is certain, it is that Iced Earth's Jon Shaffer is a man who enjoys making side projects, and in this one, as well as providing guitar and bass, he provides vocals. In fact, he not only does almost everything, but does it quite well.
In my opinion, this album exceeds some of the, frankly dissappointing, later Iced Earth releases. (To be honest, I'm "tired of the wicked") However, as is his passion, this is a concept album, which can often make or break an album. In this case sadly, It seems to break it. The album reeks of patriotic conspiricy theories and new world order preaching, which somewhat irritated me.
Lyrical themes aside, the album is very good, with satisfying vocals, and some good-old fast rhythm guitar, in songs such as in "We the people". There are also nice slow songs, such as the relaxing and inspiring "Cleansing wind". However, when in the wrong mood, songs such as "Our Dying Republic" are simply annoying, although I have enjoyed every song on the album at some time or other, which suggests to me that although innitially flawed, the album could potentially grow on me.
All in all, the album is certainly not achieving the great heights which Jon has reached with some Iced Earth releases, but it's definately a must for any fan, as it's generally listenable, and has good points, not least the balance between fast and slow songs.
I give it a 6/10 rating. It could be better, but could also be much worse.
Sons of Liberty
Sons of Liberty on Amazon UK
Sons of Liberty on Amazon - USA