Iced Earth's Reviews
Horror Show (Average Rating: 8.84 out of 10)
Enjoy the Show! (Rated this album with 10 out of 10)
from Bronx, NY USA
Why all the negative reviews, people? Iced Earth's most recent album HORROR SHOW is a great album, plain and simple. I cannot find one bad thing on it. This very talented band, keeping the spirit of metal alive, has taken a familiar concept -- the theme of monsters -- and turned it into a deep, rich subject, whereas a lesser band might have turned it into a cheesy and unforgiving mess. My intro to Iced Earth was their 1996 "Spawn" album THE DARK SAGA, and I knew I had to get more of their stuff. Whereas THE DARK SAGA is a more somber album, HORROR SHOW is far more brutal in the riffing department. Guitarists Jon Schaffer and Larry Tarnowski really let loose on this album. Add to that the thunderous rhythm section of double-bass maestro Richard Christy and bassist Steve DiGiorgio (both members of the now defunct Death) and you got some killer metal coming your way. And of course, Matt Barlow is always great. He puts on another intense, focused, and tight vocal performance as always.
Instead of going through the album track by track, here's my personal list of the highlights from this album. (NOTE: I own the single-disc version. The double album with the Schaffer interview was not in the store at the time, so bear with me):
"Wolf" (track 1)--A blistering, insane thrash metal piece with a hypnotic opening rhythm and awesome energy. Play it loud.
"Damien" (track 2)--A powerful 9-minute epic based on the Son of Satam from "The Omen" movies. The lyrics are filled with vivid imagery, though the chorus is a bit too long. Nice alternation of acoustic melodies and heavy riffs. The spoken word part is very creepy as well as disturbing.
"Ghost of Freedom" (track 4)--This touching ballad kind of detracts from the album's theme since it has nothing to do with it, but it's still a great song. Perfect lyrics from Barlow on this one, and the ending is really strong.
"Transylvania" (track 8)--A killer cover of the classic Iron Maiden instrumental. Fits well with the album's theme.
"Frankenstein" (track 9)--Many people don't mention this song, but I love it. Amazing how Schaffer was able to tell the story in under 4 minutes. The fuzz-toned riff is gigantic, and the chorus is so good.
"Dracula" (track 10)--A stunning mini-epic that begins with a slow acoustic intro that builds and builds until it turns explosive. Barlow does the best Rob Halford impression ever on this song (and I mean that in a good way).
"The Phantom Opera Ghost" (track 11)--The closing epic of the album, and definitely the most complex. Beginning with surprisingly lovely mandolin from Schaffer, this song combines brutal riffs, atmospheric acoustics, keyboards, and time changes galore into one tight package. The duet between the female singer's sexy and slinky voice (as Christine) and Matt's demonic growls (as the Phantom) are really something to hear. Watch out for Christy's Neil Peart-like drum solo towards the end!
What else do I have to say? To quote Emerson Lake & Palmer, "You gotta see the show! It's rock and roll!"
Buy this album on Amazon at $14.99