Iced Earth
Horror Show


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
August 7th, 2006 | 35 replies | 15,995 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


Iced Earth is an American power metal band hailing from the state of Florida. Formed by guitarist Jon Schaffer in Indiana under the name Purgatory, soon relocated the Florida and released their first demo, Enter the Realm inn 1989. Soon after, the released their debut self-titled album, and the rest, as they say, is history. The band recorded and released their sixth studio album, Horror Show in 2001.

Like the five albums that came before, Horror Show continued to employ the band's interesting brand of power metal. Iced Earth's style consists of a clear Iron Maiden influence, fused with thrash influences and obviously, power metal. The band pulls off this style very well, with impressive results. Heavy, dark riffs courtesy of the excellent riff-master Jon Schaffer can be found all over Horror Show. Horror Show contains many powerful riff based songs, such as the superb Jekyll and Hyde or Jack, each easily rank among the band's best songs. Notably in The Phantom Opera Ghost, the band employs the galloping riff technique that the band has mastered over their career, getting excellent results. Also present on the album are excellent acoustic/clean guitar sections. In songs such as Dracula, Ghost of Freedom, and The Phantom Opera Ghost, the band switches between heavy and clean passages. The frequent change brings about an excellent atmosphere; and atmosphere mired in sadness (clean) and anger (heavy). The best example of this is the already mentioned Dracula, where the protagonist laments over his losses, before getting revenge later on in the song.

Iced Earth has released a few concept albums, those being Night of the Storm Rider and The Dark Saga. Horror Show is another album with the songs containing the same themes. Each of the songs, save for the patriotic ballad Ghost of Freedom and the cover of the Iron Maiden song Transylvania, cover a different horror story (as you may have already guessed). Because of this some of the song's lyrics are insanely cheesy, such as The Omen inspired Damien. But aside from the cheese factor, Iced Earth does a pretty good job covering the stories. The band bases their songs off of stories such as Frankenstein, Count Dracula, Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, or Jack the Ripper.

A big part of Iced Earth's sound is vocalist Matt Barlow. Though he quit the band after the September 11 attacks on the United States, Barlow has a powerful voice. Matt's voice is much deeper than your typical power metal vocalist, but he can also hit those high notes, as evident in many of the songs. To be honest I found his vocals slightly annoying in The Dark Saga album, but in Horror Show they are slightly more enjoyable to listen to. Barlow has an excellent vocal range and makes excellent use of it throughout the album. I like his vocals in Ghost of Freedom, specifically the layered vocals in the final choruses. When done properly, Matt adds a lot to a song, and goes a long way in making the album a lot more enjoyable. However his spoken parts are fairly terrible (see Damien). They sound ridiculously silly and upon listening to it, I wanted to gouge my ears out. But aside from that one occurrence, Barlow is great on Horror Show, and ends his career as a singer on a high note.

Horror Show marked an end of an era for Iced Earth. Vocalist Mat Barlow left the band because he wanted to help out the community after the events of 9/11. His replacement was Tim "Ripper" Owens for Judas Priest fame. Mat Barlow, as well as the rest of the band, has an excellent showing on Horror Show. The album is void of filler material, and Iced Earth impresses constantly with tasteful riffs and excellent performances. The album is among the band's best releases. Let the show begin…

Recommended Tracks:
The Phantom Opera Ghost
Transylvania
Jack
Dracula



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Intransit
August 7th 2006



2797 Comments


good review, havent heard much of this, but it sounds pretty damn good. Ill check it out

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 7th 2006



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's very good, and easy to get into. One of the easier Iced Earth albums to get into, I thought.

Intransit
August 7th 2006



2797 Comments


Im downloading this right now actually, Ill listen to it tommorrow, Ive got a wicked headache and I dont want that clouding the experience


Red Cap Brain
August 8th 2006



174 Comments


If you ask me it´s Iced Earth´s weakest record to date.

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 8th 2006



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Each to his own I guess.

I prefer Burnt Offerings and The Glorious Burden to this, but I still think this is better than The Dark Saga.

south_of_heaven 11
August 8th 2006



5426 Comments


Tis a good review. I have 'Burnt Offerings' by these guys. Pretty damn good stuff if I ask me.
I need me some more 'Iced Earth'...

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 8th 2006



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmm, I'd recommend either The Glorious Burden or this. TGB is their Ripper album, and if you ask me, I prefer Tim Owens to Matt Barlow, even though many will probably disagree. :p

Night of the Stormrider looks pretty good too, but I've yet to hear it.

south_of_heaven 11
August 8th 2006



5426 Comments


Yea, my friend always goes into crazy mode when he talks about 'The Glorious Burden'. He says it's amazing, so that'll probably be the next one I get...

Thor
August 11th 2006



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why on earth is Damien not on the Recommended Tracks list!? Blasphemy!

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

Cantar
August 20th 2006



149 Comments


They sound cool. I outta check them out.This Message Edited On 08.20.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 20th 2006



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If I added an extra Recommended Track, it would be Damien. :p


They sound cool. I outta check them out

They're a pretty interesting band.

idioteque04
January 21st 2007



2 Comments


Amazing band i love them!!! wolf kicks ass

Altmer
May 11th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't like Damien that much... this is probably Iced Earth's most overrated album. It still has some good tracks, namely Dracula, Jekyll & Hyde, and The Phantom Opera Ghost, and it's all high quality metal as per usual for this band, but... I prefer Burnt Offerings and Something Wicked to this.

Grumma
November 10th 2007



15 Comments


Matt adds a lot to a song, and goes a long way in making the album a lot more enjoyable. However his spoken parts are fairly terrible


That's Schaffer not Barlow.

This would probs be my favourite IE album behind The Glorious Burden.
Damien, Wolf, Dracula, Ghost Of Freedom and Phantom Opera Ghost are my faves, though I thoroughly enjoy the rest.
Also enjoy the album because of the variety in the sound of all the songs (thought they were a bit two-dimensional (either thrashy gallop or ballady) on all the previous albums).

Yazz_Flute
January 17th 2009



18739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dracula and Phantom Opera Ghost are two of the best power/thrash metal songs ever created. Too bad most of the rest of the album is boring.

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

bastard
January 17th 2009



3435 Comments


it's not like i liked these guys that much before, but man these dudes have declined.

Yazz_Flute
January 17th 2009



18739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Burnt Offerings is a massive album, check it out if you haven't. Night of the Stormrider is very good as well, but those are the only two albums by these dudes I particularly enjoy. This and Something Wicked are pretty overrated.

FadeToBlack
March 31st 2009



10913 Comments


This is the only Iced Earth album I can't decide on a rating. Everything from Iced Earth to Something Wicked is fantastic, everything from The Glorious Burden onwards sucks major cock. This is probably because:

Iced Earth - Burnt Offerings = Thrash (with Power tinges)
The Dark Saga - Something Wicked = Heavy (with Power/Thrash tinges)
Horrow Show - The Crucible = Power

I love Transylvania, and Wolf is insane.

TheHamburgerman
October 31st 2009



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only Iced Earth album worth having.

Asator
April 4th 2010



39 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This and burnt offerings are there best, Damiens such a kick ass song



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