Iced Earth - Horror Show


Year of Release: 2001
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8005
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:03:00

Iced Earth have steamrolled the world ever since the release of, well, take your pick really? After the phenomenal success of Something Wicked This Way Comes and the triple live extravaganza of Alive In Athens, their latest, conceptual, disc Horror Show, rears it's monstrous head.

Monstrous is an apt word as this concept disc deals with monsters - eleven of them (including the fabled Iron "Transylvanian" Maiden monster). Like most people into (power) metal, I have a penchant for Iced Earth. This band has helped expose young kids into metal like Iron Maiden, The Scorpions, and Judas Priest did in the 70s and 80s and they should continue to do so for many years to come.

Almost every aspect of Horror Show is an outstanding success. The opener ("Wolf") is typical for Iced Earth - explosive and intense showcasing Jon's heavy guitar work, drumming that most death metal bands would be proud of, and Matt's energetic attack on vocals. Production is wonderful by Jim Morris & Jon Schaeffer, creating an aura of power - just what the disc needs. Multi-layering of vocals, so prevalent in many bands, is outstanding here. Matt's vocals are doubled up creating a "strong & stronger" feel throughout the disc. The guitars (with second guitarist Larry Tarnowski) have thrashy elements that seem ubiquitous in many US power metal bands but still the grooves are there. It's a different feeling than that of European power metal bands. The closing numbers, "Dracula" & "The Phantom Opera Ghost" are truly epic. If the band wanted to give the feeling of drama and theatrics, then they have succeeded.

The one problem I do have with this disc is that the lyrics seem a fraction forced - like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. This often occurs when bands are trying too hard. There is no doubting that Matt Barlow has one hell of a voice (hell, just listen to the live CD), but the majority of Jon's and Matt's lyrics tend toward the "too" difficult.

That said, outstanding musicianship abounds with Iced Earth. The elements that have made the band a success are all present and I'm sure that this will not displease fans at all.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]


Tracklisting:
Wolf (5:20) / Damien (9:11) / Jack (4:13) / Ghost Of Freedom (5:11) / Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh's Curse) (4:45) / Jeckyl & Hyde (4:39) / Dragon's Child (4:20) / Frakenstein (3:50) / Dracula (5:53) / The Phantom Opera Ghost (8:41)

Musicians:
Jon Schaffer - rhythm, lead and acoustic guitars, vocals, mandolin, keyboards
Matt Barlow - lead vocals
Larry Tarnowski - lead guitar
Richard Christy - drums

Guests:

Yunhui Percifield - lead vocals (10), backing vocals
Richie Wilkison - backing vocals
Rafaela Farias - backing vocals
Sam King - backing vocals
Jim Morris - backing vocals, keyboards; guitar solo (4)
Howard Helm - pipe organ (10)
Steve DiGiorgio - bass

Discography:
Iced Earth (1991)
Night Of The Stormrider (1992)
Burnt Offerings (1995)
The Dark Saga (1996)
Days Of Purgatory (1997/2003)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1998)
Alive In Athens (1999)
Horror Show (2001)
Tribute To The Gods (2002)
Glorious Burden (2004)
The Blessed And The Damned (2004))
Overture Of The Wicked (2007)
Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part 1) (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: December 21st 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Score:
Artist website: www.icedearth.com
Hits: 1010
Language: english

  

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