Iced Earth: 'Horror Show' Album Review
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Iced Earth: 'Horror Show' Album Review

'Horror Show' is a power metal masterpiece with dark lyrical themes and terrific musicianship throughout

Iced Earth: 'Horror Show' Album Review


Jon Schaffer - Rhythm, Lead, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Mandolin, Keys

Larry Tarnowski - Lead Guitar

Matt Barlow - Lead Vocals

Richard Christy - Drums

Steve DiGiorgio – Bass Guitar

Additional info:

Drums and principal guitar parts recorded at Morrisound Studios. Tampa, Florida. All additional recording done at “Schaffer Sound” Studios.

Produced by Jim Morris and Jon Schaffer.

Year: 2001

Album Length: 61:36

Genre: US Power Metal, Heavy Metal

Label: Century Media


Jon Schaffer has now been attracted by Blind Guardian's choral-melodic style and utilizes it often during the album. This is due to the fact that Schaffer had just worked with Blind Guardian lead singer Hans Jürgen Kürsch on the debut album for the power metal group Demons and Wizards. This is not the only change in Iced Earth's musical style though. Due to the addition of technical drummer Richard Christy (Formerly in the band Death), the album is more technically proficient than anything that the band has ever done before.

The Good:

The performances on this album are simply magnificent. Matt Barlow is outstanding on vocals and gives his best performance of his entire career. Just listen to the song "Dracula" if you do not believe me. Schaffer is terrific on the rhythm guitar and plays some of his catchiest riffs that he has ever written. Christy is a monster on the drums who adds a technical aspect that the band has never had on the drums. Tarnowski's melodic lead guitar work perfectly meshes with the other member's playing styles.

The songwriting is terrific on this album. I believe that it is the band's most impressive and unique songwriting that they have ever done. Each song is about different nightmarish creatures like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Phantom of the Opera, etc. There is a nice variation in the track listing as well thanks to the utilization of longer epics like "Damien" and "The Phantom Opera Ghost", ballads like "Ghost of Freedom", and more aggressive tracks like "Dracula".

This is the most original album that Iced Earth has ever done. Tracks like "Dracula", "Damien", and "The Phantom Opera Ghost" are unique tracks that sound like no other in the Iced Earth discography. This album is certainly one that many fans hold in high regard, but due to the changes in the musical approach of this album, many fans may feel indifferent about this album.

This is the most well-produced album that Iced Earth has ever done. The instruments all sound fantastic and the vocals sound great as well. The album is at a perfect volume level that allows the softer parts to be heard clearly and the heavier parts to not be overly compressed and loud.

The Bad:

I literally love every track on this record and I cannot even think of anything bad to say about this colossal masterpiece.

Essential Tracks:

Track 1: Wolf

Track 2: Damien

Track 7: Dragon's Child

Track 8: Frankenstein

Track 9: Dracula

Track 10: The Phantom Opera Ghost

Rating Scale:

1: Garbage

1.5: Awful

2: Bad

2.5: Mixed

3: Decent

3.5: Good

4: Great

4.5: Excellent

5: Perfect


Horror Show is Iced Earth's best album. Every track is unique and sounds great. The songwriting is the best songwriting that Schaffer has ever done and this lineup from Iced Earth is probably my favorite that the band has ever had. This is also the most unique Iced Earth album because it sounds like no other in their entire discography. Horror Show is a perfect masterpiece that is among my favorite heavy metal albums ever released.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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