The Horror Show
Released June 26 2001
The sixth studio release from Iced Earth is the perfect album to review for Halloween, since the core of the record is all homage to classic monsters and horror movie icons. The album features drummer Richard Christy’s debut and the only appearance of bassist Steve DiGorio (from the band Sadus). This release is considered straight forward and deviates a bit from the thrash formula of previous releases; opting for more power metal based compositions and allowing singer Matt Barlow a chance to push his multi-layered vocals to the forefront of the album.
The majority of the songs centre around classic monsters like the Wolfman, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and a few modern incarnations like Damien (from the Omen) thrown in for good measure. The tapestry of monsters forces the song writing to come across a bit uneven, especially when you include a cover of Iron Maiden’s Transylvania. There are of course other interpretations here with lyrics centering on The Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll and Hyde, Jack the Ripper and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Not a bad collection of monstrous beings to cull songs from, but coming across a bit uneven by most critics’ standards.
I can’t say I am 100% on board with this release, but obviously the general consensus here is the concept is interesting, despite lacking that ‘horrific” edge for most of the songs. You would think with a solid line-up of players on this release – we would have a strong contender given the album title and the choice selection of monsters, but sadly that wasn’t the case.
I’m giving this release a respectable 7 out of 10 and will point out that tracks like “Wolf”, “Damien”, “Jack” and “The Phantom Opera Ghost” are all solid songs, but the standout track here is Iron Maiden’s “Transylvania”.