HALLOWEEN IS HERE!!! It is time for us to either put on our masks and become the monsters we fear... or remove the facade have ourselves an evening of terror and freedom! To commemorate this most hallowed eve, I have brought forth some wicked metal treats for you to feast upon. One old! One new! Both mighty and monstrous!
Releasing a little over two weeks ago, Swedens Rimfrost loosed a horror-filled album upon the world. Expedition: Darkness is just what the title says it is, a trip into madness, fright, and the void. Rising Of A Black Dawn aptly begins our journey, ushering us into Damned Jaws. Thundering into the night like a crazed, howling wolf, this track will tear you from limb to limb, unrelenting and inescapable. Sam-Hain sounds like it starts off simple yet if you listen you will learn how wrong you are! (Odd to say but it's the most fun track on the album...if that can even happen in metal /,,/!). Dawnbreaker starts off with distant however once it is in motion you will find yourself caught in the allure of how awesome this track becomes (2:08 to 3:56 is super slick and will hook you from there). Expedition: Darkness has a haunting beginning, creeping into a powerful run of instrument work and wicked vocals. Voorhes? Voorhes! A track dear to me, as I grew up enthralled by the Friday the 13th movies, always finding myself rooting for Jason, excited to see how he would slay his next prey. Fond memories alongside my shieldmaiden of a sister, and now we have a track to celebrate and rekindle that old campfire of murder (and that 80's ending is so perfect)! Bloodnight does anything but shamble though the video has plenty of the returned to do so... and feast upon our might metal warriors. The guitar work from 3:14 to 3:56 is epic and leads into the sickest vocal portion. Hands down my favorite track on the album. Natten (Overnight in English) starts off with a traditional 80's sound, slowly building to track that is slower yet more methodical. This track has a great design and mayhaps the best guitar work in the entire album. Due to the pace, it makes 5:38 seem slow yet not enough for you will come back again and again, like a mad wraith consumed. At The Blessing Of The Damned has one hell of a beginning, grooving in before. what I can only describe as a 90's guitar sound (reminds me Gravity Kills), sets a killer pace. Hands down track I would like to see played live! Now, that would be the end but there seems to be a track from some somewhere else, a Futureal track. Fast and strange, this track will make you question reality and the future like that of Sutter Cane!
Expedition: Darkness by Rimfrost is a much appreciated work in homage of Halloween and all those things that go bump in the night or hide from the light. /,,/
Now, normally, this would be the end of the program yet we remain. This is no normal event so these are no normal rules. There is another album of horror waiting to be found, forgotten by men but not by monsters. I speak of Horror Show by Iced Earth, of course. Another masterpiece of fear and terror emerging like a great river dragon to wreak horror upon the world once more.
Now, two of my all time favorite tracks of Iced Earth happen to be on this album: The Ghost of Freedom and Dragon's Child. I have listened to these songs for many cycles now and never tire of them yet there are others to appreciate. If, perhaps Rimfrost is not your style of metal (Black Metal was the summit to reach before I could fully appreciate all of the genres) Iced Earth offers something for really anyone who enjoys metal or just damn good music. I dare you to listen to Ghost of Freedom and tell me I'm wrong! First track is called Wolf... yeah, like the Jack Nicholson werewolf movie that is still the epitome of great lycanthrope film. Second is Damien... I see what's happening here. This "omenous" track has some chilling, operatic style vocals that set the tone for a track that is all for you. Third, Jack. No, not the pumpkin king. The dude that terrorized London and left people surgically butchered in the streets. It's a track that will get your blood pumping! Forth is Ghost of Freedom. You have no choice in the matter, you will listen to this track and upon doing so your soul will be imbued by the fallen, sorrow will fill your eyes, but independence will flow through you. Im-Hotep (Pharoah's Curse) is fifth and here is where things get tricky. I want to make a Mummy movie reference because it's a perfect flick, balanced with horror and adventure with a tasteful dash of humor yet it doesn't exactly correlate with this exact track so... Instead, you get one hell of a track of resurrection and damnation with sick vocals and guitar work, a track with a pace that will beckon you back for more. Jekyll & Hyde awaits us next and it may be the most frightening of tracks to some for this is a track about being two-faced, unsure of your own persona, trapped within a walking tomb with a crazy person... but which one is the crazy one? Has some 80's vibes I really appreciate. Dragon's Child finds us next. A sorrowful song of a creature born by nature's mistake and left, undying, to wander our world. Those who cross its path are driven mad and let physically changed. One of my all time favorite tracks in this genre, such amazing vocals and insturment work. Now, we listen to Frankenstein, that monster who creates monsters, a fiend obsessed with death. A devilish pace will keep you hooked until the end. And now, we have one of the most tortured souls, Dracula. The track is aptly designed to reflect the sorrow and slake carried by this accursed being. Best representations of this character I have seen in film or series would be Bram Stoker's Dracula, Shadow of the Vampire, and Castlevania. Three different aspects of a figure so relatable yet terrible. Lastly (besides the bonus album material), we have The Phantom Opera Ghost. Strangely, this is a character I know very little about. I know of the opera, movies, and plays but I have never quite delved into this story. It does give me a reason to go to the theater though. This song is a wicked way to end an album, full of creative vocal portions (female vocalist makes it all the more accurate) and the song may be the most unique on the album.
There you have it, Horror Show by Iced Earth. At least, the first disc... I will let you delve into the mysteries of the second one. All in all, these two albums will offer you hours of entertaining terror not to mention tracks to bolster your collection and rekindle old and new flames. I carry the black torch and pass it along to those that would care to listen to the dark songs. Here's to a most frightening and metal Halloween! /,,/
THE MAD BARRON
The Source Of The Metal