The Glorious Burden is definitely not subtle about its pro-America stance. Which wouldn't be a problem except that, around the time of the album's release, Schaffer was spewing some pretty angry and condescending rants about Americans not having enough appreciation for their country's history.
"Dark Saga": Malebolgia, the self-proclaimed destroyer of light, is the demon who is responsible on creating Spawn. Making a deal with the deceased CIA soldier Al Simmons, Malebolgia rigged the deal, resulting in Al's soul becoming corrupted and tormented, becoming the present Spawn. It was soon revealed that Malebolgia tries to manipulate Spawn for his own bidding in order to destroy mankind and the heavens.
"Damien": Damien himself, from the song based on The Omen, is as wicked as his film counterpart. Having always known of his dark roots, Damien, "when the boy becomes a man", paves the way for the apocalypse and for his father's minions to pave the way to famine, destruction, and corruption, to show mankind what Hell really means until humanity exists no more. Damien showcases every inch of his evil through the song's near-ten minute length, even vowing to make Jesus suffer as none have ever suffered before.
"Attila": Attila the Hun is the barbaric ruler of the Hun Empire defined by his hegemonic lust. Trying to expand his own empire and developing a seething hatred towards the Christians, Attila makes an alliance with other clans and starts his bloody conquest by attacking The Roman Empire, several cities of which his troops plunder and burn while getting several innocents killed.
Dork Age: Despite having some fans, the Tim Owens era of Iced Earth is considered this by many. In addition to Owens having to live up to the critically acclaimed Matt Barlow, Iced Earth really didn't break through the glass ceiling to become the next Iron Maiden or Judas Priest, despite Owens himself being a former Priest singer. It didn't help either that it was around this time when Jon Schaffer became much more politically outspoken and dismissive of any and all his bandmates as being "replaceable" in interviews, causing a lot of fans to turn against Iced Earth and write Schaffer off as an arrogant jingoistic blowhard with delusions of grandeur.
Face of the Band: Jon Schaffer is Iced Earth. As well as being the only member of the band from beginning to end, he also sang "Stormrider" in Night of the Stormrider, as well as "God of Thunder," a KISS cover in Tribute to the Gods.
In their early days, they were much more popular in Germany than anywhere else. They signed to Century Media and formed a great friendship with German band Blind Guardian, and quickly built up a German following doing a lot of support dates for them. Schaffer's German ancestry (evident in his surname) meant he already had a great love for the country and was at ease doing interviews there. After a series of personal troubles and the departure of John Greely from the band, Schaffer seriously didn't know whether to continue the band, but was encouraged to because of the outpouring of support from German fans (he's mentioned this in a few interviews).
Iced Earth has a particularly large fandom in and around Greece, ever since their massively successful live album "Alive In Athens" was recorded there. They are one of the most popular foreign metal bands in Greece, much more so than anywhere else. The band also recorded Live in Ancient Kourion in nearby country Cyprus, which ensured their popularity there too.
Matt Barlow quit the band because he was inspired by the horrors of 9/11 to become a cop and make a positive difference in people's lives. D'awww...
Also, "Watching Over Me," dedicated to an old friend of Schaffer's who tragically died in a motorcycle accident.
He Really Can Act: Gene Adam's singing skills have improved drastically between the debut album, and his performance on the Purgatory EP; some even comparing his style with that of King Diamond.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The European limited edition of The Dark Saga has Judas Priest's "The Ripper" as a bonus song.
Ho Yay: Schaffer has this in spades with a few of his bandmates. During his very publicized spat with Matt Barlow in the early 2000s, Schaffer really came off as a jilted lover going through a bad divorce all because Barlow wanted to pursue a different career in the wake of 9/11. His gushing over Tim Owens around this time also came off as an attempt to try to tell himself that he could carry on without Matt. Finally, when Matt returned to Iced Earth for his second run, Schaffer pretty much broke down in an interview and declared that he would rather end Iced Earth than continue without Matt Barlow.
Jerkass: Schaffer is known for exerting a totalitarian control over 'his band' and clearly does NOT take kindly to members coming and going as they please. For instance, John Greely wanted to leave the band in the middle of a tour, and Schaffer was so angry about this that he made up Blatant Lies to the press about Greely being a racist that severely damaged Greely's reputation and caused him to drop out of the music business for many years. In late 2003, meanwhile, Schaffer responded to Matt Barlow's sudden departure from the band by making some rather scathing remarks about him and his music abilities to the pressnote Around this same time, he was also viciously attacking America's youth for a perceived lack of appreciation for American history. Fortunately, his feelings towards Matt softened up quite a bit ever since. He even temporarily rejoined Iced Earth in late 2007 and recorded one last album with the band before leaving them once again in early 2011.
Jerk Ass Has A Point: Schaffer may be very blunt and abrasive when talking about his own bandmates and he may have been a genuine prick due to how he treated guys like Barlow at a certain point in the past. However, when Jon talked about how only he could bring the best musical potential out of everyone and how guys like Matt weren't real songwriters, time has at least vindicated some of his seemingly arrogant talking points. Even now, the majority of musicians who were in Iced Earth have not gone on to become notable metal musicians of any kind after their stints in IE were over. While some of them may have joined other bands or even started bands of their own, almost no former IE musician has truly turned their new band into a metal juggernaut that has rivaled or surpassed Iced Earth.
Even Tim Owens, who's joined Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, hasn't quite been able to recapture his former glory from back in the Judas Priest/Iced Earth days and joining Yngwie has, in fact, made him come off even more as a "replacement guy" who always has to join a more popular act and can never get a break of his own. Richard Christy has made somewhat of a name for himself after joining Howard Stern but even then, his career in metal was more or less over. Steve Di Giorgio has managed to join Testament but has made more of a reputation being a guest musician who's played with multiple metal bands over the years and it remains to be seen if his stint on Testament will be long lasting. All in all, controlling though he may be, Schaffer wasn't totally wrong to declare himself the alpha and omega of Iced Earth and that only he was capable of bringing the best out of his bandmates.
Narm: A few of their videos can come across as this. The video for "When The Eagle Cries," for example, due to Tim Owens' blatant overacting. And the video for "Ten Thousand Strong," due to its obvious CGI.