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Oculus Infernum: A Halloween Tale

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Album Review

Think of Dee Snider, and you immediately think of "We're Not Gonna Take It," "I Wanna Rock," and other fun, infectious pop-metal hits that Twisted Sister provided in the '80s. Much of Twisted Sister's '80s output wasn't pure heavy metal in the strict sense; pop-metal was basically a poppy approach to hard rock, and Twisted Sister usually inspired comparisons to Quiet Riot, Bon Jovi, Warrant, Poison, and Def Leppard rather than fantasy metal artists like Candlemass, Ronnie James Dio, King Diamond, and Queensrÿche. Snider, however, shows headbangers a different side of his artistry on this 2003 release, a conceptual fantasy metal offering that may be to Snider what Operation: Mindcrime was to Queensrÿche. But while Operation: Mindcrime dealt with political intrigue and espionage, Oculus Infernum is consistently horror-themed; this CD, like Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare, is essentially a horror movie set to music — and on his Van Helsing's Curse project, Snider brings elements of progressive rock, Euro-classical, and European church music to a metal foundation. The material is as ambitious as it is ominous and foreboding; Snider oversees a full-fledged orchestra as well as a vocal choir, and during the course of the album, he references everyone from Black Sabbath to Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Igor Stravinsky, and Niccolò Paganini. It should be noted that Snider doesn't sing lead on this release; the choir sings, but Snider is strictly a narrator and tells the album's story in true horror movie fashion. Of course, an album this ambitious and conceptual runs the risk of being called pretentious. But if Oculus Infernum is campy, it's also entertaining and highly musical — Snider brings a strong sense of craftsmanship to this CD, which will come as an interesting surprise to those who still associate the veteran headbanger with Twisted Sister.

Customer Reviews

The excitement of Halloween has returned!

It is the eve of Samhain. Under a backdrop of flames, demons and creatures of the night stands Dee Snyder, laughing maniacally as he mixes in a cauldron 1 part Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 1 part classical, 1 part horror-movie soundtrack and 100 parts pure insanity. What he pours from the steaming cauldron is Oculus Infernum: A Halloween Tale, and it is a masterpiece.

where is the remastered version and new tracks?!

As a whole the album as is gets 5 stars for content but itunes strikes again and is slow to update products. there is a remastered version that was released. its the same album except that Dee Snyder did a take on the John Carpenter Halloween theme and the the theme from the lost boys. Come On Itunes get on the ball. relese that version so we can at least buy the two new tracks.

A Work of Art

A true halloween story that mezmorizes you into its horror feel. It really puts you into the mood for halloween, I can't stop listening!

Biography

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s

After attending a concert by the Christmas-themed Trans-Siberian Orchestra, former Twisted Sister vocalist Dee Snider was so blown away he decided the rock-orchestra format needed to be applied to his favorite holiday, Halloween. Snider combined a six-piece choir, a six-piece string section, and a five-piece rock band and named it Van Helsing's Curse after a vampire hunter in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Hardly a one-off project, Snider envisions Van Helsing's Curse touring every October with the orchestra...
Full Bio
Oculus Infernum: A Halloween Tale, Van Helsing's Curse
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