Thor August 11th Comments. Cantar August 21st Comments. Mikesn Emeritus August 21st Comments. Altmer May 11th Comments. Grumma November 10th 15 Comments. FadeToBlack March 31st Comments. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Instead of suffering from that format, the song-writing quality is actually accrued here.
It very much feels like the band rose up to the challenge of this ambitious concept album and perfected their craft and lifted their level as a whole rather than be hindered by the new constraints it inherently imposed. Another important point is how the band wrote compelling lyrics for each monster theme, and avoided making a complete caricature of them, and how they laid out the words to be most intelligible and impactful during the songs. The instrumental and lyrics often combine for maximum effect, where for example a dramatic line will be sung during an equally dramatic guitar part, and this is the sort of song-writing cohesiveness that makes this album a highly accomplished musical work altogether, metal and beyond.
As far as criticism: this is still Iced Earth, meaning there will still be quite a few totally typical power metal moments with predictable, at times very predictable almost template like riffs or chord progressions.
Also Matt Barlow, as impressive a vocalist as he is and he really is , is definitely the powerful demonstrative type vocalist who will surely sound too technical and lacking in feeling to some. This is most obvious on the slower moments on the album the power ballad "Ghost of Freedom as the best example where his soft voice tone sounds sharper and harsher than it maybe should be for those parts, like he's just holding back his powerful soaring voice, where other more naturally emotional voices would fit better.
Final word: this album is good enough to reach outside of its niche and zealot circles and convert non-initiated minds, because of its technical proficiency and diversity. And that's a mark of great music: the ability to transcend its own boundaries and reach outside to pull in people from different faiths. Horror Show is an astutely deceptive album. It fools you into thinking that it is a masterpiece, when in reality it just falls short of being one.
It's easy to get fooled because the track-list has been constructed very cleverly, by book-ending the album with the 4 strongest by far songs of the album: Wolf and Damien at the beginning, and Dracula and The Phantom Opera Ghost at the end. The effect it creates is that, as soon as the album ends, you immediately want to press "play" again, because of how great the last two songs were. And the first two songs are also great, which reinforces the impression that you are indeed listening to an amazing album.
Which, judged by these four songs alone, it is actually the case. But the problem is that there are another 7 songs in the middle. These songs simply do not compare with the awesomeness of Wolf, Damien, Dracula or Phantom. The best way I can describe the imbalance between these two groups of songs is this: it is as if Iced Earth entered the studio with 20 good musical ideas and 11 songs.
They used 4 ideas on each of Wolf, Damien, Dracula and Phantom, and then they were left with only 4 decent ideas to use across the remaining 7 songs.
Wolf, Damien, Dracula and Phantom are complex songs, rich of guitar riffs, acoustic passages, instrumental breaks and great melodies, to the point that the latter 3 may almost be classified as mini-"progressive epics", in the way that Iron Maiden wrote progressive epics: multi-layered songs, with overlapping musical parts and carefully constructed arrangements that develop slowly across the songs.
The construction of the chorus in Damien, for example, is masterful. We first hear the guitar riff of the chorus as a short acoustic instrumental break immediately after the Latin chanting stops. The acoustic guitar riff returns again after the first verse, this time accompanied by Barlow's quiet vocals that delineate for the first time the dark, brooding vocal melody of the chorus. And finally, we are given the full-blown version of the chorus after the second verse.
By this time, the vocal melody and the underlying guitar riff have been ingrained so much in our brain that the chorus feels instantly familiar and likeable.
There are plenty of similarly clever constructions across these 4 songs. In Phantom, Barlow and female guest singer Missy Percifield swap vocal lines in the first few repetitions of the verse at the beginning of the song, creating a subtle variation that keeps things interesting and fresh. In Dracula, we have a richness of vocal melodies: after the two soft melodies used in the acoustic part at the beginning, the heavy part kicks in, with different melodies across the verse, the two bridges and the chorus, all fitting perfectly into one another.
This song also features a great, galloping guitar riff in the verse that reminds me a lot of Iron Maiden , which is also used effectively as an instrumental break in the middle and to close the song. Wolf is simpler compared to the other three songs, but it evolves nicely from its acoustic, rhythmic beginning to the furious, thrashy riffs and great chorus of its main part. The other 7 songs are more similar to Wolf, in that they have a more linear and straightforward structure and simpler arrangements.
The real problem, however, is the lack of good melodic ideas and interesting musical passages. Songs like Im-Ho-Tep and Frankenstein, for example, are quite monotonous and dull. They plod along without creating much excitement.
They are not bad all 11 songs on this album are decent, really , they are simply insignificant and round-of-the-mill. I bet that Schaffer can compose songs like this in his sleep. The ballad Ghost of Freedom is also good. I particularly like Barlow's high-pitched vocals at the end, when he doubles the choir. It makes for a powerful, emotional moment. Iron Maiden's cover Transylvania leaves me cold, instead. Musically, it does not flow very well with the rest of the album, the change in musical style is noticeable.
Its positioning in the middle of the album, before Frankenstein, is weird. In fact, in some releases it is actually placed either at the end or on a bonus disc. They could have put it before Dracula, it would have at least fitted thematically, if not musically. Despite its unevenness, this is still a very strong album as a whole.
It has a special atmosphere: dark, ominous, almost gothic, but at the same time epic - fitting perfectly the horror theme of the album. It also contains excellent and exciting musicianship: new drummer Richard Christy is fantastic, very fast but exceptionally precise.
He also adds interesting syncopations and uneven rhythms here and there throughout the album, which make things even more interesting.
The band was formed by Jon Schaffer , the lead songwriter an… read more. Similar Artists Play all. Trending Tracks 1. Features Exploring the local sounds and scenes at Noise Pop Fest.
Albums of the latest and loved, and the ones to look out for discover By okspud1 15 Feb am. All Things Hyped: Last. Play track. Love this track. More Love this track Set track as current obsession Get track Loading. Friday 27 March Saturday 28 March Monday 30 March Tuesday 31 March Wednesday 1 April Thursday 2 April Friday 3 April Saturday 4 April Sunday 5 April Monday 6 April Tuesday 7 April Wednesday 8 April Thursday 9 April Friday 10 April Saturday 11 April Sunday 12 April Monday 13 April Tuesday 14 April Wednesday 15 April Friday 17 April Saturday 18 April Sunday 19 April Monday 20 April Tuesday 21 April Wednesday 22 April Thursday 23 April Friday 24 April You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox gmail.
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