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Van Helsing’s Curse - Oculus Infernum

Label: Koch Records
Format: CD
Released: 2003
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Van Helsing’s Curse is Dee Snider of Twisted Sister’s latest project for the 03 Halloween Season. If the Trans Siberian Orchestra (the band who makes the hard rock Christmas albums) were to create something for Halloween this is almost exactly how I pictured it.
 
The difference is there is no singing, just narration provided by Dee himself adding to the story telling presentation of the music. Songs are dark and seasonal, comic bookish in its creativity and safe for younger listeners with various sound effects, orchestrations, and backing vocals. I can see this story told and presented for a theater stage production.

The music is very different than what you would expect from Dee Snider and is nothing like Twisted Sister. The compositions are arranged in progressive metal fashion influenced by the likes of Symphony X.

“The Child” contains a Conan the Barbarian march mixed with varied prog elements where Savatage is a name that comes to mind heard within the ominous riffs. The piano pieces are sooo Jon Oliva from the Tage. Recognizable guitar leads are done here by Al Pitrelli (Savatage), who strangely goes by a different name in the credits.

Dee ’s voice is aptly suited for this type of work and I’m glad to hear that he has become influenced by the Prog Metal genre.
 
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