on 4 July 2005
Horror Show is basically a concept album, the concept - an interpretation of stories famous villains and monsters from history or myth put to song.
This was my first introduction to Iced Earth, a mere year later i now own five albums from their catalogue. (background to album) Horror Show is simply stunning, a superb introduction to, in my opinion, the greatest vocalist in metal - Matt Barlow. Combine this with the powerful songwriting of Jon Schaffer and they are a mighty proposition.
From the screaming howl intro to wolf, which crashes into the slower paced, eerie Damien with its gothic chanting, and spoken word mid section, building to a stirring chorus. Jack, a spin on the jack the ripper story, bludgeons its way into your skull with a blood pumping double bass. Barlows vocals through out resonate with emotion, shown to great effect on ballad, The Ghost of Freedom. Im Ho Tep, is similar in style to Jack, Jeckyll and Hyde barrels in at break neck pace as Barlow wrestles with the two 'characters' in the song.
The mid paced Dragons Child has a very good tune, if slightly sluggish. The classic Maiden instrumental, Transylvania, gets a faithful reprise. Frankenstein follows, solid, if unrmarkable.
Album standout, and possibly the best metal song ever created, Dracula begins acoustically, as the reason for Draculas' creation is explained, before the song explodes with his anger. A truly stunning song. Album closer, The Phantom Opera Ghost is suitably epic, with guest vocals by Yunhui Percifield, giving the song an interesting twist.
Horror Show is a very good introduction to Iced Earth, not as heavy as earlier albums, granted, but great stuff nonetheless.
on 9 August 2005
Better than their new stuff and not as good as their old, Horrow Show sits firmly as a good Iced Earth album but nothing more.
Wolf - A quiet slow intro erupts in a trademark Iced Earth style guitar playing that doesnt stop till the end 5/5
Damien - One of the most emotional and powerful songs Iced Earth have ever done 5/5
Jack - Great riffs, great use of two guitars and jts has a good vibe. Spoiled by the slow stop right in the middle. Why? 4/5
Ghost of Freedom - A rare ballad from Iced Earth. Nice and too quiet for the album. 2/5
Im-Ho-Tep ( Pharaoah's Curse ) - Has an egyptian quality intro to it but the song never really take of with a horrible special effect for one of the guitars in the chorus. 3/5
Jerkyll & Hide - Nice riffs, good song, no special moments that make me wanna jump crazy. 4/5
Dragons Child - Fantastic Iced Earth song having a catchy main riff and a coo solo. One of the best ones of the album. 5/5
Transylvania - A instrumental cover of an Iron Maiden song. Played well but id prefer vocals. 3/5
Frankenstein - Medium speed but powerful and memorable. 4/5
Dracula - Far too long and repetitive. 2/5
The Phantom of the Opera Ghost -Another big epic Iced Earth last song with a sexy female voice. Brillaint. 5/5