“Horror Show” by Iced Earth

Artist: Iced Earth
Title: “Horror Show”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 6/26/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Focusing their energies on the mysterious and the macrabre, Jon Schaffer and company deliver the evil with the album ”Horror Show”. The theme the group follows for this one is “monsters”, and each track on the release is about one particular member of the Legions Of Darkness. It’s an interesting idea; very well-written and becomes an audio version of “Famous Monsters Of Filmland” when you observe it as a whole. Songs like “Dracula” and “Damien” are perhaps the album’s best tracks, each bringing you into the mind of the horrific character that it showcases. Musically, the album is very strong and finds Matt Barlow belting out the vocals like a banshee (this would be his last recording with the group). Rounding out the lineup for the recording with Schaffer and Barlow is Richard Christy (drums), Larry Tanowski (guitar) and Steve DiGiorgio (bass). It’s a talented line of defense against these spirits and with “Horror Show” the group allows even the new listener a chance to enjoy their brand of Metal with little background on them. While the band had been around for a few years, I found myself missing the boat on them until this release. Overall, Iced Earth delivers some of the best traditional-styled Metal I have heard in a long time. Outside of the tracks cited above (which are my particular favorites), I leaned strongly on “The Phantom Opera Ghost”. The track showcases the talents of Yunhui Percifield, who plays the part of Christine during the song. “Wolf” and “Jack” are also interesting and bring you stories about the Wolf- Man and Jack The Ripper, in case you did not figure that part out.

The first-pressings of the disk came with a bonus CD that included a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Transylvania”, as well as an interview with Jon Schaffer. A great addition, given he is very interesting to listen to in that capacity. A full-color and illustrated booklet is included and it features amazing artwork by comic book’s own Danny Miki and Travis Smith. Each monster is given his own moment to shine as a result and the lyrics, which are great reading, are provided as well. If Iced Earth is a band you have never followed yet for whatever reason, I can strongly recommend this be a part of your collection. Overall, this makes for an excellent listen that you will refer to time and time again.

Song Listing:
1. Wolf
2. Damien
3. Jack
4. Ghost Of Freedom
5. Im-Ho-Tep (Pharoah’s Curse)
6. Jeckyl & Hyde
7. Dragon’s Child
8. Frankenstein
9. Dracula
10. The Phantom Opera Ghost

Official Web site: www.IcedEarth.com

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