Iced Earth - Horror Show
After the magnificent Something Wicked This Way Comes, Iced Earth has this time around engaged in a theme-based album about classical horror figures, and the band's style fits this dark adventure extremely well.
An important player on Horror Show is the fantastic sound; the rhythm guitars are mean and heavy and the bass is very deep. Overall all instruments are bent in just the right way resulting in a very dark and atmospheric sound.

Wolf starts out nice and calm but suddenly we've in the middle of one of the fastest and most brutal songs in Iced Earth's history. The aggressive guitar riffs from Jon Schaffer are just incredible and Matt Barlow's dark and raw vocals work brilliantly with the story.
Damian is another clear favourite, capturing the essence of the Omen movies nicely. This extensive monster has the most grooving drive that is broken down by a chorus that is put together in great melodic way. The dark acoustic guitar and huge chanting chorus gives the song just the right wrapping.

Jack has a very aggressive profile in its high grooving rhythm section; the dark atmospheric middle part sets a fantastic eerie mood.
The one song that isn't a classical horror story is Ghost Of Freedom, an important tale about a ghost who died fighting for freedom and the relatives he left behind. A great ballad with deep bass lines and a fitting harder mid-section with a calm guitar solo by producer Jim Morris.

With Im-Ho-Tep (The Pharaoh's Curse) we take the journey into mythological Egypt, nicely captured by the eastern ringing guitar lead from lead guitarist Larry Tarnowski. Jekyll And Hyde manages to create the feelings of despair and frustration in great style due to a fascination lyric and Matt's extremely powerful and diverse singing. A very innovative track with many layers and shifts in tempo.

The only thing I can come up with that isn't that capturing on this Horror Show is some aspects of Dragon's Child: the chorus and supporting riff just hasn't the interesting and dynamic flow as elsewhere. The gloomy atmosphere in the beginning and the harmonious guitar leads in the middle are splendid though.
Some of the slower parts in Frankenstein aren't that mind-blowing either but the song's special mood and gloomy vocal parts win a lot. When adding the magnificent and detailed drumming from Richard Cristy and pounding bass delivered by Steve DiGiorgio we have yet another great song.

The albums two last songs are without any doubt some of the best I have ever listened to. The passionate love story told in this very tragic tale about Dracula gives it an interesting angle. The emotional beginning that explodes into a fast paced aggressive riff attack is really a phenomenal passage.
In the almost 9-minute The Phantom Opera Ghost things get even wilder and heavier, but the track also features some slower parts with fantastic duet singing from Matt and Yunhui Percifield. The underlying keyboard arrangements set the perfect stage for this epic drama and the acoustic break with subsequently fast paced double bass drumming and ultra heavy guitar riff's comes out very vigorous.

To put it in one word this album simply works, it's intensely thrilling, involving musical technicality, eerie moods and pure power of the most spectacular kind.

Written by Tommy
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
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Tommy: 9/10

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by robert long (Anonymous) - Wednesday, July 9, 2003
i just wanted to say you have a great site and totally agree with the review on iced earths horror show, and one funny thing is u listed my exact same favorite correction theres 11 songs, not 10

Comment by Tommy (Member) - Wednesday, July 9, 2003
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
Glad you like the site Robert. When I wrote that there was 10 songs it was because I didn't count in the cover of Iron Maiden's Transylvania. My review is based on the 10 songs by Iced Earth, great cover of that genius track though.

RevelationZ Magazine

Posted by Tommy
Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Comment by Fallopian Tubes (Anonymous) - Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Yeah, excellent site- I keep coming back here (through Google) when I want to know what to buy. I haven't heard much of this album but I'll have to get it soon as I've got tired of 'Something Wicked' through overuse.

Comment by Matt (Anonymous) - Monday, February 7, 2005
Matt Barlow sounds like a retarded version of Paul Stanley.

Comment by Yo (Anonymous) - Tuesday, March 8, 2005
6/10 should be the note but 9 ??? Genius ??? Are u kiddin' dude.
I like this site but some reviewers easily give damn high notes so the whole credibility suffers. Some songs deserve 9 but others are strictly average ...

Comment by Alex13 (Anonymous) - Tuesday, June 21, 2005
My least fav Iced Earth Album with Barlow. 7/10

Review by Tommy

Released by
Century Media - 2001

1. Wolf
2. Damian
3. Jack
4. Ghost Of Freedom
5. Im-Ho-Tep (The Pharaoh's Curse)
6. Jekyll And Hyde
7. Dragon's Child
8. Frankenstein
9. Dracula
10. The Phantom Opera Ghost

Bonus CD
1. Transylvania
2. Interview With Jon Shaffer

Power Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Iced Earth - Official Website

Other articles
Tribute To The Gods - (Michael)

Something Wicked This Way Comes - (Tommy)

The Glorious Burden - (Tommy)

Night Of The Stormrider - (Tommy)

Framing Armageddon, Something Wicked Pt. 1 - (Alanna)

Alive in Athens - (Stuart)

The Crucible of Man, Something Wicked Pt. 2 - (Alanna)

Horror Show - (Alanna)

Z supported shopping

1 - Horrifying
2 - Terrible
3 - Bad
4 - Below average
5 - Average
6 - Good
7 - Very good
8 - Outstanding
9 - Genius
10 - Masterpiece
666 - Unrated

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