Iced Earth - Horror Show review
04. Ghost Of Freedom
05. Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh's Curse)
06. Jekyll & Hyde
07. Dragon's Child
08. Transylvania [Iron Maiden cover]
11. The Phantom Opera Ghost [Feat. Yunhui Percifield]
When I heard this album I began to feel homicidial tendencies toward Hansi Kursh. Why? Because his influences on Shaffer have ruined the perfect heavy style of early Iced Earth. In fact, since the "Demons and Wizards" project between the two musicians (which I see more as a Blind Guardian album with Shaffer playing guitar?) the mastermind of Iced Earth has been attracted by Blind Guardian's choral-melodic style.
Anyway, "Horror show" is not a bad album, it is only a different one, recorded with an all-star formation - the talented new-entry Steve Di Giorgio (ex-Death and Testament) and the technical drummer Richard Christy (Death too), added to the virtuous Larry Tarnowsky and the two essential pillars of Iced Earth Matthew Barlow and Jon Shaffer - the album is technically perfect: fast and precise.
Developed on the themes of the famous monsters of literature and fiction, the CD contains 11 tracks, which treat of figures such as Dracula, the Werewolf, Frankenstein and so on, all interpreted through Shaffer's and Barlow's lyrics. It goes from power-oriented songs such as "Wolf" or "Jeckyll and Hyde", to the more thrash sounding "Jack", going through one of the greatest ballads made by the American group: "Ghost Of Freedom" - a slow patriotic and sentimental song that has nothing horrific except for the title. A totally new experiment is the long "Phantom Of The Opera Ghost" in which Barlow duets with an unknown female singer - pity that Matt's voice is outstanding as ever, while the other?well, I think that Shaffer could have concentrated more on finding a talented female singer. As a tribute to Iron Maiden, Schaffer has decided to include a wonderful cover of the immortal "Transylvania", perfectly and aggressively performed. Regarding Barlow's voice: here we can find another little difference from his usual tone, for it is slightly higher and so more "powerful" than before.
In conclusion - it is a great album for anyone, who has never heard Iced Earth's works before, but when I read the name "Iced Earth" on a CD case I expect something more.
If you don't know them listen to "Burnt Offerings" first!
|Concept album based on horror movies, "Horror Show" is a very particular album in Iced Earth discography. First, it's the last studio album recorded with singer Matt Barlow if you don't count the box-set "Dark Genesis". Then, it's probably the most experimental and hence criticized effort of the band.
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| Marcel Hubregtse
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