Review by Krys on May 30, 2001.
What a coincidence? I just saw the "Jack the Ripper" movie and now I’m reviewing the latest, already sixth album from mighty Iced Earth "Horror Show". While the screen version of Jack sucked so much I had to open a bottle of Jack Daniel’s to get through it, I can’t say the same about the music version. "Horror Show" is not a concept album about Jack though. Each track is about a notorious monster of sorts, based on literature, film or a legend where Wolf, Jack, Mummy, Dracula and many others have their moments of glory.
Since their last studio album "Something Wicked This Way Comes", Schaffer and Co. had three years to work on every detail to make the "Horror Show" flawless, and believe me they did. Each song perfectly suites the mood of the character and creates an amazing effect of almost being a part of those horror events. Matthew Barlow... this guy is amazing. Without a question one of the best voices in heavy metal ever. This man gives me creeps. When for a first time I’ve heard the opening track "Wolf" his screams and vocal lines made my hair on my back rise. (Don’t laugh, I still have a few here and there!) Backed up by the rest of the outstanding crew with Jon Schaffer and Larry Tarnowski heading the way on the guitars, bass wiz Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Testament) and drum molester Richard Christy (Control Denied, Death), Iced Earth pushed themselves into the next level of creative and musical level. Given the subject of the current release most of the tracks are mid-tempo compositions which might come as a slight disappointment and while tracks like above-mentioned "Wolf" or "Jack" add much needed variety to the album’s tempo, in my opinion there’s just not enough of them. The "Ghost Of Freedom" only proves the point that the best ballads are written by metal bands and no one else comes even close. I’m not talking about music only, lyrics is the ingredient that sets them apart. Doesn’t "Here I’ll walk through the field where I died..." sound much better than "I’ll love you forever and ever..."?
Bottom Line: Tons of great music and subjects with well-written lyrics should satisfy metal fans of all styles and bring a whole new crowd of Iced Earth fans. There’s no excuse of not having this CD.
Rating: 9 out of 10