Oculus Infernum

Oculus Infernum

by Van Helsing's Curse



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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/07/2003
Label: Koch Records
UPC: 0099923952428
catalogNumber: 9524

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Van Helsing's Curse   Primary Artist
Barbara Hill   French Horn
Bob Brockman   Trumpet
Schuyler Deale   Bass
Joe Franco   Drums
Michael Scott Lanning   Background Vocals
Kevin Osborne   Trombone,Trombone (Baritone)
Paul Riggio   French Horn
Greg "Frosty" Smith   Bass
Dee Snider   Narrator
Sophia Ramos   Vocals,Background Vocals
Cheryl Smith   Background Vocals
Jane Mangini   Piano
Brian Grosz   Voices
Mark Wood   Violin

Technical Credits

Tomaso Albinoni   Composer
Edvard Grieg   Composer
Gustav Holst   Composer
Modest Mussorgsky   Composer
Carl Orff   Composer
Niccolò Paganini   Composer
Igor Stravinsky   Composer
Jerry Goldsmith   Composer
Mike Oldfield   Composer
Frédéric Chopin   Composer
Joe Franco   Producer,Sound Design
Dee Snider   Concept,Story
Phil Carson   Management
Bret Adams   Publicity
Jane Mangini   Composer
Chip Ruggieri   Publicity
Mark Wood   String Ensemble

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