Iced Earth's Reviews
Horror Show (Average Rating: 8.84 out of 10)
4.5 stars - another awesome Iced Earth album (Rated this album with 8 out of 10)
Horrow Show (2001.) Iced Earth's sixth album.
Iced Earth is an interesting band in that their career has consisted of so many unique eras. Unfortunately, with the arrival of vocalist Matt Barlow, the band entered into somewhat of an identity crisis. The albums that the band had released before the arrival of Barlow, self-titled and Night Of The Stormrider, featured an awesome neo-classic power metal sound that was difficult to top. Barlow, on the other hand, begin to take the band in more of a death metal-styled direction. This really showed on Burnt Offerings and The Dark Saga. Band leader/rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer must have realized that the band needed to rediscover their roots, because their fifth album, 1998's Something Wicked This Way Comes, featured them returning to their roots. And this was an excellent idea. Wicked proved to be the band's strongest release in many years. And in 2001, the band followed it up with their sixth album, Horrow Show. Read on for my review.
For this album, Iced Earth serves up another concept album of sorts, but it's a little different than the kind of concept albums that you'd expect most bands to serve up. On this album, every song is about a classic monster (if the titles didn't give it away.) With these compositions, the band manages to, once again, explore a plethora of musical stylings. Like Something Wicked before it, the band combines elements of its pre-Barlow days with the death metal elements that Barlow brought into the band. The end result is a damn fine album, that is similar to the previous one, but manages to more than hold its own individuality. And also, like on the previous album, this one doesn't have a single track. From the moment Iced Earth returned to normalcy in 1998, they rarely failed to please, and Horrow Show proves to be no exception to this rule. If you liked Something Wicked This Way Comes, then, no doubt about it, you're going to like Horrow Show as well.
In addition to the standard pressing of this album (which is the one that is readily available in most American stores), there is the rare, limited edition early pressing. You may be wondering why I am mentioning this. Well, the early pressing features a bonus disc. On the bonus disc you get a lengthy interview, as well as a cover of the Iron Maiden instrumental Transylvania! The interview will be interesting to you if you're an Iced Earth die hard, and the cover of Transylvania is damn good. Accordingly, if you're going to buy this album, you may want to hunt down the initial pressing.
Once again, Iced Earth manages to serve up a damn fine classic metal album. Unfortunately, not too long after the band released this album (roughy a year and a half), Matt Barlow left the band. To replace him, the band got Judas Priest's Tim "Ripper" Owens (Halford returned to Judas Priest, so this left Ripper vacant.) Once again, Iced Earth has changed singers. Will Ripper be able to hold a candle to any of the previous vocalists of the band? Only time will tell. This was the last full-length studio album of original material Barlow released with the band, and I must say, it's excellent. No Iced Earth collection is complete without this little gem.
Buy this album on Amazon at $14.99