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Horror Show, while not consistently the band's strongest writing, does tend to exhibit more progressive songwriting. It's still Iced Earth -- Schaffer's devastating chugga-chugga riffing, Barlow's dynamic voice -- but there's also a good deal of diversity and musical exploration. For those who expected a bunch of CHEESE coming out of the Horror Show's theme -- which, obviously, deals with monsters from popular literature and film sources -- you will be impressed to see that there is none. Lyrically, the band maturely handles the true nature of the subjects: the mournful romance of "Dracula"; the arrogance and obsession of "Frankenstein"; the ill-starred tragedy of "The Phantom Opera Ghost." Schaffer's lyrics on "Dracula" are especially stirring (with clever internal rhyming to boot!). "Do you believe in love?"
Before I talk more about the horror theme and its songs, I want to mention the one song that contrasts with the main subject matter. That song is "Ghost of Freedom," which, aside from being one of my favorite Iced Earth songs, is one of my favorite songs by _anyone_. It's difficult to describe the music in such a way that I explain its power. It's familiar territory for the band -- largely acoustic, with a heavy section during Tarnowky's lead, not unlike "Consequences" from Something Wicked. The ending is SO powerful. I guess it's best described as a "patriotic power ballad." Barlow's lyric is beautiful -- a tribute to those who have fought for our freedom through the years. It is especially poignant with the painful resonance of the Sept. 11 attacks...Read more ›
1. Wolf- Fast, hard-hitting opener. Has sort of a Blind Guardian-ish feel to it. Any BG fan would probably like it. Matt even kinda sounds like Hansi in some parts. Great song.
2. Damien- Oh my god! This has got to be one of the most perfect songs ever written. Starting with an eerie choir, followed by a cool little acoustic thing, just before the heavy riffs hit hard. Brilliant song, with a great chorus. The spoken word thing is great too. I wonder if Sam Neill has heard this song?
3. Jack- Hmm, kind of weak for IE, but still better than most of the stuff on MTV. Great riff, but the chorus is just so goofy. I think their cover of "The Ripper" would have been much better.
4. Ghost of Freedom- Time to be blown away again. Unbelievable ballad, with a great concept. I seriously think this should be our new national anthem. If we all banded together and sang this song in one voice, not a terrorist group in the world could touch us.
5. Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh's Curse)- I love songs with mid-eastern themes. Great hypnotic riff, and a killer drum intro from Richard Christy.
6. Jeckyll & Hyde- Good song, but it could have been better. I think they should have split it into two distinct parts, one for Jeckyll and one for Hyde. Oh, well. The part where Matt is talking to himself is hilarious.
7. Dragon's Child- Irresistibly great song. Semi-melodic riff, catchy chorus. Just awesome.
8.Read more ›
When I first listened to Horror Show, I thought the engineering sounded a lot different from past IE discs. It didn't turn me off or anything, it just struck me as different. Musically, every track is classic Iced Earth. What that means is driving rythm guitar like no other band I know of coupled with Barlow's timeless vocals (Barlow had to be put on earth specifically to be IE's lead singer). All the songs are full of pure driving energy (with a little drop-off with the Creature from the Black Lagoon song, "Dragon's Child"). "Jack" and "Phantom Opera Ghost" are two instant classics, imho.
I think if you look at the progression from Maiden's "Phantom of the Opera" to Iced Earth's "Phantom Opera Ghost", you realize that IE is one of the main bands keeping metal alive as an art.
When this album was set to be released, a lot of people were very skeptical. Some of the comments I've heard were things like "Horror movie monsters? How cheesy!!!", "Iced Earth sold out after Burnt Offerings and they will never release another quality album!", and "I'm not so sure about this album...we'll have to wait and see." So I became a little discouraged about my expectations for this album as the release date approached.
Then I finally picked up the album to give it a good listen for myself....
...and I was pleasantly surprised!
This is perhaps Iced Earth's best release, and definitely the best metal release of 2001! Every song in this album is solid, with no exception. The epic tracks "Damien" and "Phantom Opera Ghost" are alone worth the purchase of this album. Both of these songs demonstrate Jon Schaffer's incredible songwriting skills which rival or even top Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime". This album is more consistent than "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (another masterpiece), with somewhat of a return to the faster songs characteristic of Iced Earth's earlier albums.
The general mood of this album is rather dark and subdued. Matt and Jon have done their homework and research when it comes to learning about the stories of all the monsters depicted on this album, while presenting their unique perspective of the emotions and moods behind the stories themselves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great product at a great price with super fast delivery! Thanks!!!!Published 16 months ago by ernesto j. cuellar jr.
Loved this album since it came out and had to add it to my IE discography.Published 21 months ago by Glenn Sharpe
This is one of my favorite albums from Iced Earth, period. I've read that these songs were kind of "fun" and a side type of album away from their more "serious"... Read morePublished on October 19, 2013 by Wayne
HORROR show is another great collection of heavy metal songs from ICED EARTH.....All the songs are great like WOLF, DAMIEN, JACK, IM HO TEP and the ballad GHOST OF FREEDOM!!!!! Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by Fluminense Rio
Extremely heavy songs that were inspired by Horror Films. The album begins with the truly heaviest song "Wolf" that has singer Matt Barlow hitting his highest recorded... Read morePublished on June 15, 2013 by Cody C.