Album 0099: Iced Earth – Horror Show

Release Date: 2001
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Wolf (05:20)
2. Damien (09:12)
3. Jack (04:15)
4. Ghost Of Freedom (05:12)
5. Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh’s Curse) (04:46)
6. Jekyll & Hyde (04:40)
7. Dragon’s Child (04:22)
8. Frankenstein (03:5)
9. Dracula (05:54)
10. The Phantom Opera Ghost (08:42)
11. Transylvania (04:30)

Total Length: 01:00:40

Note: There is also about 70 minutes of tracks consisting of an interview with Jon Schaffer. Combined the total length is 02:10:08. The interview talks about the making of this album, the history of Iced Earth, one of Jon’s side projects, and various other aspects of Jon Schaffer.

Wolf is pretty much one of the best metal tracks ever. The opening is spooky and sets the mood, and that scream is legendary. Then the main riff kicks in even harder with Matt Barlow’s awesome vocals. What a brilliant song. Damien is a song based on The Omen series of movies. It starts off with a really cool choir intro, before going into a nice acoustic section. The metal riffs come out of nowhere and are awesome. Pretty cool song overall, and the length doesn’t bother me.

Jack is based on Jack the Ripper, and it has a cool main riff and cooler chorus, but doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by the first two songs. Ghost Of Freedom is the only original song on here not based off of a horror story. It’s more of a ballad but not a very good one. The only part I really like is when the backing vocals come in for the chanted “don’t tread on me” line. Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh’s Curse) is simply okay, there’s not too much I really like about the song.

Jekyll & Hyde has a fairly cool riff, solo section, and chorus, but the rest doesn’t entirely appeal to me. Dragon’s Child has some really neat moments, but again just isn’t entirely memorable to me. Frankenstein is probably the most bland song on here, it’s not bad but just… average. Dracula is pretty good. Nothing too bad to say about it.

The Phantom Opera Ghost gets us back on the spectacular level of the first two songs. Just incredibly beautiful, the mixture of hard and soft parts and the addition of a female vocalist makes it even better. I hardly even notice its length, and honestly the song consistently amazes me. Transylvania is an Iron Maiden cover, and an instrumental track and the band does it exceptionally well. In the interview, it was discussed that Horror Show was originally conceived as an EP. Honestly, I almost rather it had stayed that way. There’s just a couple songs on here that don’t do much for me, or blend together in my head. If this had been an EP consisting of only, say, Wolf, Damien, Dragon’s Child, Phantom Opera Ghost, and some other track I would have rated it much higher.

Final Rating: 7/10

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