4 of 5 thought this review was well written
Few emotions register as deeply in the human subconscious as fear. Few historical events are meaningful enough to enter the collective memory of a nation. Merging the recollection of your first-known terror with the significance of a sociological phenomenon, Iced Earth's Horror Show is destined to become a landmark album in the consciousness of a world hungry for something musically extraordinary.
Briefly known as Purgatory and founded by the burning ambition of a 16-year-old runaway in Indiana, Jon Schaffer's vision has remained unadulterated since day one because of the obvious: nothing is more important to him than the music he writes and the fans who support Iced Earth. Remaining faithful and dedicated to defiant, non-commercial heavy metal, Iced Earth have indisputably established themselves as one of the most dynamic and musically multi-dimensional bands in the world. Terrorizer Magazine aptly describes their characteristic sound this way: "Take the best bits off [Metallica's] Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets, combine them with equally classic Priest and a healthy shot of vintage Maiden and you're about halfway there."
Iced Earth's self-titled debut spread steadily throughout the European underground in 1991, while in North America the metal market was soon to undergo a drastic change. Through their persistence of vision and in spite of the U.S. trend-laden music scene, Iced Earth never succumbed to the pressure of going mainstream. Songwriter and guitarist Jon Schaffer added vocalist Matthew Barlow to the band's nucleus in 1995, which strengthened the band's writing and solidified its forceful delivery. The incredible praise Barlow earned for his work on Iced Earth's third studio album, Burnt Offerings, brought only a hint of the powerful things to come. The Dark Saga, with its trademarked orchestral elements, was released in 1996 and heralded the band's breakthrough in the United States. Sales of Iced Earth's back catalog increased with every newfound fan. Band members frequently faced inquiries about their demo recordings and unreleased rarities. Using the benefit of updated recording technology for their 1997 offering Days Of Purgatory, they meticulously reconstructed all of the material from their infamous Enter The Realm demo tape and reworked selected songs from their first two classics, Iced Earth and Night Of The Stormrider, so fans could enjoy classic Iced Earth material written between 1986-1994. Now, with the legacy of seven albums, they have built an unwavering legion of loyal-to-the-death followers around the world. In turn, they have returned that loyalty ten-fold to their fans. In 1999, they embarked on a successful six-week national U.S. tour in support of Something Wicked This Way Comes. In Europe, they dominated stages at the Gods Of Metal festival in Italy, the Dynamo festival in The Netherlands, and the legendary Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. Words often fail the attempts to describe first-hand accounts of the raw power felt at an Iced Earth concert.
Jon Schaffer has returned for the first studio album in three years with lead singer Matthew Barlow, fellow guitar player Larry Tarnowski, and new drummer Richard Christy (Control Denied, Death, Incantation, touring drummer for Demons & Wizards). Using the trusted production skills of Jim Morris at Morrisound Studios in Florida where Iced Earth have recorded all of their studio work, they have unquestionably harnessed their collective professional talents to create a monumental contribution to the genre of heavy metal. Adeptly adjoining Schaffer's penchant for musically technical constructions with his impeccable storytelling abilities, Horror Show extols a brilliant and dramatic seamlessness from the first note to the last. Encapsulated here is a ravaging collection of songs bearing tribute to the timeless legends of evil that have plagued our nightmares since childhood: The Werewolf, Damien Thorne, Jack The Ripper, The Mummy, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein. Collectively, this album is an invocation of all your greatest fears, blatantly challenging you to look at your own malevolence. With artwork expertly handled by the team of Danny Miki (Spawn and The Creech comic book artist) and Travis Smith (cover artist for Jag Panzer and Opeth), both have created another masterful design package that's as richly detailed and haunting as the music and lyrics. This is an album generations of fans will be justifiably proud of. This is metal for the new millennia.
Background behind this album and the band
After a three year layoff, Iced Earth comes back with a vengeance. The title track is a reflection of the troubles they'd had in the past years, and throughout their careers. Once again, the third album brings a third singer and third drummer. In order to match the unique music, all Iced Earth vocalists have had the ability to growl, scream, and sing. Matthew Barlow also throws incredible power and emotion into the mix. This is Iced Earth's heaviest album, but it still retains powerful symphonic sounds and heart-twisting acoustic passages. It also has all sorts of song structures, time changes, and cool stuff packed everywhere. Iced Earth had some long songs on the previous albums, but on this one they show their ability to create a full-fledged epic. 'Dante's Inferno' takes us through the Nine Planes of Hell for sixteen minutes, each plane something new and demonic. This album was written during angry times -- and it shows.
site source www.icedearth.com
Burnt Offerings is one of my favorite albums. Iced Earth is the one of the only bands today that I know of that can create extremely talented, genius-like songs. Their sound on this album is insane. Do yourself a favor and go out and buy this album.
Burnt Offerings: This is definately one of Iced Earth's most fascinating songs on the album. It starts out with this nice and easy riff on what sounds like a keyboard. Then a demon-like sample voice comes in. From there, the whole song just explodes with this brutal guitar riff. From there, the whole song just goes uphill. Rodney Beasley does an amazing job and the drums in this song. This song is amazing. 5/5
Last December: Last December is another good song on this album. Who am I kidding, all the songs on this album are good. Matt Barlow's voice really stands out at the beginning of this song. It starts out nice, calm, and easy. Then it explodes a little bit. Barlow's voice gets a bit more agressive. 4/5
Diary: This is one of my very favorites on the album. Diary is a catchy song. It is slower than most of the songs on this album, but don't get me wrong. Even though it is slower, the intensity of the song is higher than almost any of the songs on the album. Then at about 2 minutes into the song, it finally speeds up. 5/5
Brainwashed: The beginning of this song is very creative. After about 30 seconds, the song explodes, just like traditional Iced Earth songs. Barlow does a great job on singing in this album. I also enjoyed the guitar riffs in this song. 4/5
Burning Oasis: This song starts out with an intro that basically sounds like wind. After that, the song slower gets faster and faster. My favorite part of the song is at about two minutes into the song, where the music gets softer and melodic. 4/5
Creator Failure: This song starts out strong, and stays strong. The song explodes right from the beginning. Barlow does very well on the vocals yet again in this song. This is another great song. The chorus is strong. The drum part for this song is basically 16th notes on the bass drums, but it gives the song a nice effect. 4/5
The Pierced Spirit: This song starts out nice and peaceful, with an acoustic guitar and a piano. Barlow's voice in this song is BEAUTIFUL. This song is really touching. John Schaffer (guitar player) did a really nice job writing this song. This is the most relaxing song on the album, most definately. The setup of the songs is amazing too. You get six songs straight with heavy guitar riffs, and it is just powerful. Then it slows down for about two minutes, before the grand finale, Dante's Inferno. I love this song. 5/5
Dante's Inferno: Currently, this is in my top three favorite songs of the album. This song runs to about 18 minutes in length, and the whole thing is a musical masterpiece. The song starts out a bit slower, and just picks up more and more and more. Many Iced Earth fans claim this song to be their all time favorite. At about 2 minutes into the song, Iced Earth explodes yet one last time in the album. The drumming is amazing in this song, the guitar is fascinating, and Matt Barlow's singing, accompanied by John Schaffer is brilliant. 5/5
This album is definately one of the best I've ever heard. The whoel thing is a masterpiece, in which no song is bad. You really need to get this album, it is worth it, along with just about any Iced Earth album.
The Pierced Spirit
5/5 easily. :thumb: