ICED EARTH — Horror Show (review)

ICED EARTH — Horror Show album cover Album · 2001 · US Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
martindavey87
American power metal band Iced Earth had managed to carve a bit of a niche for themselves at this point in their career. Having established themselves as one of the more notable and prominent bands of the subgenre, it’s surprising that their discography has been drastically hit-or-miss. Unable to truly capture any momentum over a string of consecutive releases, one album could be amazing, while the next could be pretty average. There really was no predicting how each release could be received, and 2001’s ‘Horror Show’ follows on with that trend.

After a bit of a lull had been rectified with 1998’s critically acclaimed ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, the band followed this up with, uh, a pretty mundane themed release focusing on horror characters and stories. While one or two tracks could be acceptable, an entire album seems a bit uninspiring and not overwhelmingly promising.

And so here we have it, another pretty average release. Iced Earth’s sound by this point is what it is, and while they aren’t looking to branch out and explore new styles, the quality of songwriting could still benefit from a bit more focus and enthusiasm. This feels slightly by-the-numbers. An abundance of the usual speed metal trappings and powerful, operatic vocals, this is undeniably Iced Earth, but the songs just don’t have the same exuberance and determination that the band have shown with past releases.

Still, it’s not all terrible, as there are a couple of decent tracks on here. ‘Wolf’, ‘Damien’ and ‘Jack’ are alright, though mostly forgettable compared to the bands stronger material. Admittedly however, a cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘Transylvania’ is actually fantastic and the true highlight of this album. The band truly stamp their identity all over this instrumental track, and, most notably for me, it’s the song that served as my introduction to the band (how ironic that it was a cover, a fact I didn’t find out until years later).

Overall, ‘Horror Show’ isn’t by any stretch a terrible album, it’s just not overly memorable, and considering that Iced Earth have shown the ability to put out some incredibly strong releases, it just fails to truly stand out in any way other than being “that horror album”.
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Tupan wrote:
12 days ago
I like this album too, some great tunes

siLLy puPPy wrote:
12 days ago
For some reason this has always been one of my favorite Iced Earth albums. Don't understand why others rate it so low

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