Rating:
7.0
Iced Earth - Horror Show
2001


01. Wolf
02. Damien
03. Jack
04. Ghost Of Freedom
05. Im Ho Thep (The Pharaoh's Curse)
06. Jeckyl And Hyde
07. Dragon's Child
08. Frankenstein
09. Dracula
10. The Phantom Opera Ghost [feat. Yunhui Percifield]
11. Transylvania [Iron Maiden cover]


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!


Band profile: Iced Earth
Album: Horror Show


 


written by Sephiroth | 03.02.2004

Staff review by
Demonic Tutor

Rating:
7.4
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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published 02.09.2006 | Comments (17)



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Powerslave16 - 13.05.2007 at 00:38  
I disagree with the utmost vengeance.

This is, in my opinion, Iced Earth's best sounding album. Schaffers riffery sounds more godly than usual, the drums are amazing, bass fabulous, and Barlows vocals are still amazing. It might NOT be the best, but it is one of the best by Iced Earth.

The only time I would have given this album a lowly 7.0 was when I heard it for the 1st time. After about 3 or 4 listens I loved it. Every song has to be listened to with undivided attention, because each song tells a story about horror character. This is an ultimate songwriters experience, and Iced Earth shine all around.

Right up there with Dark Saga and Something Wicked.

9.4 in my opinion.

Pop it in and let the horror fill you.:banger:
Marcel Hubregtse - 14.05.2007 at 18:00  
Written by Guest on 13.05.2007 at 00:38

I disagree with the utmost vengeance.

This is, in my opinion, Iced Earth's best sounding album. Schaffers riffery sounds more godly than usual, the drums are amazing, bass fabulous, and Barlows vocals are still amazing. It might NOT be the best, but it is one of the best by Iced Earth.

The only time I would have given this album a lowly 7.0 was when I heard it for the 1st time. After about 3 or 4 listens I loved it. Every song has to be listened to with undivided attention, because each song tells a story about horror character. This is an ultimate songwriters experience, and Iced Earth shine all around.

Right up there with Dark Saga and Something Wicked.

9.4 in my opinion.

Pop it in and let the horror fill you.:banger:


7 is NOT a lowly mark 5-6 is average, so a 7 is above average.
Lucas - 14.05.2007 at 18:36  
Agreed with Marcel. When you rate an album (in the bands disco) you have this list:

8 - Very good
7 - Good
6 - Average

So the rating matches the review quite well.
+{Jonas}+ - 10.02.2008 at 22:00  
I think this is their 2nd best after Dark Saga. from teh very beggining is fast and amazing. I would've rated it higher 'cause I really liked teh lyrics, the songwriting in thios album is kickass.
Harmonic - 10.02.2008 at 22:22  
"The Phantom Opera Ghost" blows chunks. WTF was Schaffer thinking? If I ignore this little disaster, the rest of the album rates among IE's best.
Metalbound7 - 16.11.2008 at 16:14  
Ghost Of Freedom must be one of the greatest ballads ever compossed my fav song of the album, Barlow's Godly voice is at his best in Dracula and Dragon´s Child and Transylvania is one of the few Maiden covers that actually is better than Maiden's version. Great Album!
ScreamingSteelUS - 13.06.2011 at 20:23  
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I agree that "Ghost of Freedom" is one of the best ballads ever written, but WHERE oh WHERE is the Hansi hate coming from?

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