Rating:
7.4
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]


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.

Let's talk about the concept in a few words. Horror movies and not horror stories since US culture is totally addicted to TV, casting books into oblivion for a large number of Americans. This explains a track talking about 'Im-Ho-Tep' [movie "The Mummy"]. But other famous characters such as Jack The Ripper, Frankenstein and Dracula are also on the menu, so nothing to complain about. I would say they even did a very good job with compiling and picking the characters. Congratulations on this point to Jon Schaffer.

The music itself is pretty enjoyable, though darker than usual Iced Earth, but nothing wrong with that, it is even mandatory to talk about horror. Now, my problem with "Horror Show" is hard to explain. Let me find the stupidest metaphor I could think of.
Well, here it goes. If you hire a professional race car pilot to drive your grandma to the supermarket, it would inevitably lead to the situation where she would do her shopping quicker. The problem is that old people don't like to be push around. Now imagine that the grandma is Iced Earth's music and that the race car pilot is legendary former Death drummer, Richard Christy [very graphic isn't it?]. That's the core of the problem with this album. This new drummer brought too much speed and energy into IE music and nostalgic fans from the "Alive In Athens" period don't recognize themselves in "Horror Show". Sometimes, leaving a silence is better than exploding the drum kit, at least, that's my point of view after listening to "Horror Show".

I know I'm always whining but, hell, I love that band but I never listen to this album and there must be a reason! Every time I try to find something interesting on "Horror Show", I end up playing 'Dracula' and then I stop. Some of my friends find 'Damien' excellent, I personally don't. 'Ghost Of Freedom' is nice twice and then becomes a hollow ballad. 'Im-Ho-Tep' has this Egyptian feeling but it quite doesn't grasp my attention… Well, 'Jekyll And Hyde' is an excellent one and 'The Phantom Opera Ghost' is excellent too. But in my opinion, none of this songs are reaching some of their previous hits.

Even the Iron Maiden cover 'Transylvania' is far from bringing that spark in my mind. The interview featured in the special package edition is very informative and a must have for any Iced Earth fan and the artwork is incredibly well-done and detailed.

Despite the wonderful artwork, the nice concept, the lyrics, "Horror Show" was probably my biggest deception in the Iced Earth discography. Could sound incredible to newcomers but would probably disappoint long-time fans. Listen to the first track , 'Wolf', and you'll get the general feeling and you would be able to make up your mind about this record.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Iced Earth
Album: Horror Show


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 02.09.2006

Staff review by
Sephiroth

Rating:
7.0
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.

Read more ››
published 03.02.2004 | Comments (7)



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 17  
Users visited: 77  
Search this topic:  


Lucas - 16.08.2006 at 00:07  
I love it.

Stuff like Dracula, Dragon's Child, Wolf, Im Ho Tep, Frankenstein. Me loves it. Don't know why it is so much criticed. Maybe my favorite Iced Earth, all in all.
dismaleuphony - 17.08.2006 at 10:48  
I don't agree much with this review, though I do feel the drumming is different than what IE fans would be used to in 2001. I still listen to this CD (along with "Burnt Offerings") on a regular basis, mainly because of the darkness that is so present in the atmosphere. I feel the bass guitar's sound on this CD is by far the best on any Iced Earth CD. I started listening to Iced Earth during the Dark Saga time, and this CD was the 2nd CD I bought from them. My frist impressions were that it showed a "fresh' sound for the band -- and my opinions still haven't changed. And no matter what, this CD is an all out masterpiece compared to the garbage found on their next full-length.
ylside - 03.09.2006 at 02:18  
Written by dismaleuphony on 17.08.2006 at 10:48

I don't agree much with this review, though I do feel the drumming is different than what IE fans would be used to in 2001. I still listen to this CD (along with "Burnt Offerings") on a regular basis, mainly because of the darkness that is so present in the atmosphere. I feel the bass guitar's sound on this CD is by far the best on any Iced Earth CD. I started listening to Iced Earth during the Dark Saga time, and this CD was the 2nd CD I bought from them. My frist impressions were that it showed a "fresh' sound for the band -- and my opinions still haven't changed. And no matter what, this CD is an all out masterpiece compared to the garbage found on their next full-length.

Exactly my thoughts, along with Burnt Offerings, this is Iced Earth at it's best. I didn't find the drumming out of it's place at all !
Dam3k - 13.09.2006 at 02:13  
I'm agree with u men, neither of this reviews convinced me too much, this album is underrated and for sure it's much better than the one after
iMPERiAL_iCE - 26.10.2006 at 13:38  
c'mon this album is one of the best creations of IE, I love this album and I think it is really nice (not like their previous: yes, not good: NO)
I love the drumming too
Dandelion - 29.10.2006 at 23:46  
probably the best iced earth album 9/10-songs like damien,dracula and phantom of the opera ghost are metal music diamonds
Valentin B - 22.11.2006 at 16:40  
wolf is atm my fav song! it's just FUCKING OWNAGE, and who can forget that warp speed bass drum interlude on the phantom opera ghost?
i'm kind of obsessed, but wolf is just the most asskicking fastest, violent, catchy, it's everything you ever wanted in a heavy metal song
northerfreak - 23.11.2006 at 05:32  
i loved this album DRACULA is amazing i loved this entire album
Powerslave16 - 13.05.2007 at 00:43  
Disagree with this one too.

How can you give the songwriting on this album a 7? A 7? Its a 10 for me man. Each song is different and tells different tales of horror and the songs blend together and make a fan-friggin'-tastic album.

Highlights: "Wolf", "Damien", "Jack", "Ghost of Freedom", Dracula", and "The Phantom of the Opera Ghost".

9.4 for me.
Dangerboner - 13.05.2007 at 02:19  
This album has grown on me a bit. I'm glad I didn't sell it to Nervel
Lucas - 13.05.2007 at 16:25  
Written by Dangerboner on 13.05.2007 at 02:19

This album has grown on me a bit. I'm glad I didn't sell it to Nervel


Haha! I remember now.

Yeah, those are the good sides of being a collecter and never selling albums.
Infurnace - 05.07.2007 at 14:55  
I think this is one of the best Iced Earth albums. It's really good. Just listen to songs such as "Wolf" or "Dracula".
Powerslavex - 07.10.2008 at 23:47  
I like iron maiden cover:maniac:
Uirapuru - 22.05.2009 at 08:20  
The vocals are excellent here! Great album. Some pretty well structured and complex songs like ''Dracula'' and ''Frankenstein'', and even the ballads-like tracks are very good: ''Ghost of Freedom'' and ''Dragon's Child''. One of the best in Iced Earth discography.
terrorist - 19.06.2009 at 19:43  
This album Horrors me how great it is:)
Nyoink - 30.04.2010 at 18:41  
This album made me listen to iced earth. I don't know why some people hate it... I find it really good, that dark atmosphere gives me the chills ^^
Lord_Regnier - 02.05.2010 at 17:12  
Worst Iced Earth album, apart from "The Crucible Of Man".
I like only "Wolf", "Dracula", "The Phantom Opera Ghost" and "Transylvania" (but it's an Iron Maiden cover). The rest bores the hell out of me + I generally dislike vocals on this album.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Reviews Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes 9 30.03.2008 by Uirapuru
Reviews Iced Earth - Iced Earth 9 05.11.2007 by Stalker
Reviews Iced Earth - Alive In Athens - The DVD 9 21.12.2006 by ylside
Reviews Iced Earth - Night Of The Stormrider 9 10.05.2010 by thewall30
Reviews Iced Earth - Horror Show 8.5 13.05.2007 by



Hits total: 6317 | This month: 51