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Iced Earth | Horror Show | review | metal | Lollipop

Iced Earth

Horror Show (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff

The cool thing about Iced Earth has, as of late, been the tag-team serious metalness of the long-locked duo locking devil horns up front with your inner headbanger. Yes, make the sign of the hammer for Matt Barlow and Jon Schaffer, a pair of unreal(istic) rock stars (God luv 'em) who can deliver a grand flourish with suburban metalfest panache. Iced Earth's form of power metal, something they were doing long before it became hip, always sounds like a struggle to get out, like there's tension, friction. Jon and Matt pour it out for you, like Nevermore, like Virgin Steele, like Manowar, really, more metal than any of those bands because they live in the brown pigpen muck of a derided and chided metal sub-genre, a power metal that's not pretty. Lyrically, I don't really buy this stuff about these movie monsters being metaphors for actions and reactions in greater society. It's a hokey device. But again, it just plays to the fact of surrender, giving up all pretense for a wallow among the hopelessly metal-obsessed: We are one of you, one, two, three, four, let it rock! Iced Earth do this, dancing on the razor's edge of collapse, urgently pushing these stuttering, galloping crypt-kickers with a lurch over the wall, again, never efficiently, always with parts grinding steel on steel, Matt caught in the cogs and howling in pain.
(1453-A 14th St. #324 Santa Monica, CA 90404)


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