The Dark Saga is Iced Earth's fourth album, and was released in 1996. It's their second album to have Matt Barlow on vocals, and the whole album is based on the comic book Spawn by Todd McFarlane. The front cover shows an image taken from Spawn issue 50, drawn by Greg Capullo and Todd McFarlane. Al Simmons, from McFarlane Productions, even wrote some of the lyrics for the album, but because of some legal issues, no names from characters in the comic are mentioned in the songs.
The album tells the story of a man who is killed, then sent to hell, where he makes a deal with the devil so he can return from the grave so he can see his wife again. Basically, it's a very dark love story. There's good, there's evil, there's betrayal, there are angels and demons, and there's true love.
The album is a mixture of power metal and thrash, with double bass drum, furious guitar riffs and clear vocals. It's not as aggressive as previous Iced Earth albums, but it isn't soft either. The last three songs form a trilogy, The Suffering. The album was produced by Jim Morris and Jon Schaffer.

Matt Barlow: vocals.
Jon Schaffer: rhythm guitar and backing vocals.
Randall Shawver: lead guitar.
Dave Abell: bass guitar.
Mark Prator: drums.


1. Dark Saga
2. I Died For You
3. Violate
4. The Hunter
5. The Last Laugh
6. Depths Of Hell
7. Vengeance Is Mine
The Suffering:
8. Scarred
9. Slave To The Dark
10. A Question Of Heaven