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ICED EARTH is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida
. It was formed in 1985 under the name PURGATORY by guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer and original drummer Greg Seymour. Iced Earth released their debut album in 1990 and have since released eleven studio albums , four EPs , three compilations , three box sets , three live albums and one cover album .

After releasing their first two studio albums in 1990 and 1991, respectively, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
took a three-year layoff from 1992 to 1995, after which the band returned with new lead vocalist Matt Barlow . Iced Earth
Iced Earth
went on to release four studio albums with Barlow between 1995 and 2001, respectively; 1995's Burnt Offerings , 1996's The Dark Saga , 1998's Something Wicked This Way Comes and 2001's Horror Show .

After Horror Show, Barlow quit the band and joined the police force , while Iced Earth
Iced Earth
continued on with Tim "Ripper" Owens , of Judas Priest fame, on vocals. With Owens, the band released two studio albums (2004's The Glorious Burden
The Glorious Burden
and 2007's Framing Armageddon ). In late 2007, Matt Barlow rejoined the band. Iced Earth
Iced Earth
recorded the album The Crucible of Man with Barlow in 2008. In 2011 Barlow left the band again. Later that year, Into Eternity frontman Stu Block
Stu Block
became Iced Earth's new lead vocalist. Dystopia , Block's first album with the group, was released in October 2011. It received a positive response; some critics called Dystopia one of Iced Earth's best albums. Block's second album with the group, Plagues of Babylon , was released in January 2014.

Before arriving at their current lineup, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
has had numerous line-up changes, with founder Jon Schaffer staying as the last remaining member. As of 2013, there have been over twenty musicians in and out of Iced Earth
Iced Earth
since its formation in 1985 (see: List of Iced Earth band members for more details). Currently, the band is composed of rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer, lead guitarist Jake Dreyer , singer Stu Block, bassist Luke Appleton and drummer Brent Smedley.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Formation and early years (1984–1989) * 1.2 Self-titled debut album and Night of the Stormrider (1990–1992) * 1.3 Burnt Offerings and The Dark Saga (1995–1997) * 1.4 Something Wicked This Way Comes and Alive in Athens (1998–1999) * 1.5 Horror Show and The Glorious Burden
The Glorious Burden
(2000–2004) * 1.6 Framing Armageddon and The Crucible of Man (2005–2010) * 1.7 Dystopia (2011–2012) * 1.8 Plagues of Babylon and Incorruptible (2013–present)

* 2 Musical style and lyrical themes * 3 Discography

* 4 Band members

* 4.1 Current members * 4.2 Timeline

* 5 References * 6 External links

HISTORY

FORMATION AND EARLY YEARS (1984–1989)

Jon Schaffer (pictured) was founder of Iced Earth
Iced Earth
in 1985.

The central figure of Iced Earth
Iced Earth
is, and has been, guitarist Jon Schaffer , who formed the band on January 20, 1985, in Tampa, Florida . Schaffer's original vision for the band started under the moniker "The Rose" in 1984. The group was very short-lived, after which Schaffer formed a band called Purgatory, which would eventually change its name to Iced Earth. Line-up changes were common within the band, with Jon Schaffer staying as the only constant member. The group recorded a demo in 1985, titled Psychotic Dreams. In 1988, Purgatory changed its name to Iced Earth. According to Schaffer, a friend of his, who died in a motorcycle accident prior to Schaffer moving to Florida was responsible for the name. In 1989, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
recorded another demo called Enter the Realm, with the line-up of Gene Adam on vocals, Randall Shawver on lead guitar, Dave Abell on bass, Greg Seymour on drums and Jon Schaffer on rhythm guitar and vocals. All of the songs on Enter the Realm would later appear on the band's debut album, with the exception of "Nightmares" and the title track.

SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM AND NIGHT OF THE STORMRIDER (1990–1992)

After getting signed to Century Media Records
Century Media Records
, the band, now with Mike McGill on drums, started work on their debut album. Recorded at Morrisound Recording , with Tom Morris and Jon Schaffer as producers, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
was released in November, 1990 in Europe
Europe
and on February 25, 1991 in the US. Following the album's release, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
toured across Europe
Europe
with Blind Guardian .

Following their self-titled debut, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
quickly began work on their second album. Prior to the recording process, singer Gene Adam was let go from the band after he refused to take singing lessons. Adam was subsequently replaced by John Greely, as was drummer Mike McGill by Richey Secchiari. The album, entitled Night of the Stormrider , was again recorded at Morrisound Recording, with Schaffer and Tom Morris as producers. The album was released on November 11, 1991, in Europe, but in the US, the album's release was delayed until April 1992, so it wouldn't compete with the group's debut album. Following Night of the Stormrider's release, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
again toured Europe
Europe
with Blind Guardian.

BURNT OFFERINGS AND THE DARK SAGA (1995–1997)

Matt Barlow (pictured) joined the band for 1995's Burnt Offerings .

Following the supporting tour for Night of the Stormrider, Iced Earth took a three-year layoff from 1992 to 1995. During this downtime, the band was faced with issues that almost resulted in them breaking-up, but eventually Iced Earth
Iced Earth
resurfaced with Burnt Offerings . Heralded as Iced Earth's heaviest album, Burnt Offerings was released on April 14, 1995, and was the band's first album to feature drummer Rodney Beasley and vocalist Matthew Barlow .

In January, 1996, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
began recording their fourth studio album, this time with Tom Morris' brother Jim Morris acting as co-producer, along with Jon Schaffer. The album was also the first to feature drummer Mark Prator, and the last to feature longtime bassist Dave Abell, who left the group after finishing recording. Although Abell was credited for playing on the album, bassist Keith Menser appears on the back cover, because Century Media demanded the touring line-up to appear on the cover. Incidentally, Keith Menser was fired after he didn't learn any of the band's songs for the tour, so he was soon replaced by James MacDonough . Mark Prator was also let go from the band, and was subsequently replaced by Brent Smedley . Released on May 23, 1996, The Dark Saga was a concept album based on the comic book character Spawn . Musically the album was much more melodic and simplified compared to previous Iced Earth
Iced Earth
albums. For the supporting tour, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
was joined by Nevermore .

On April 21, 1997, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
released their first compilation album: Days of Purgatory . The album featured songs from their first two albums, as well as the Enter the Realm demo, resung by Matt Barlow, with new drums and bass on some tracks as well. The album also featured a few songs from Burnt Offerings, remixed and remastered.

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES AND ALIVE IN ATHENS (1998–1999)

In March, 1998, work began on the band's fifth studio album, with Jim Morris returning as the producer. Prior to the recording process, long-time guitarist Randall Shawver left the group. Guitarist Larry Tarnowski handled lead guitar duties on the album, but wasn't credited as a full-time member of the band, but as a session musician . Brent Smedley was also unable to play on the album, due to personal reasons, and was temporarily replaced by Mark Prator, whom Smedley had originally replaced in 1996. Released on June 17, 1998, Something Wicked This Way Comes was notable for featuring the debut of Jon Schaffer's Something Wicked Saga , which he would expand upon on future albums. While on the supporting tour for Something Wicked This Way Comes (with Brent Smedley back on drums), the band recorded their first live album in Athens
Athens
, Greece
Greece
on January 23 and January 24, 1999. Entitled Alive in Athens
Athens
, the three CD set was recorded in front of a sold-out audience (both nights) at the Rodon Club. The album was released on July 19, 1999.

Also in 1999, the band released The Melancholy E.P.. Originally conceived as a radio-only single, the EP contained three previously released songs ("Melancholy (Holy Martyr)", "Watching Over Me" and "I Died for You"), as well as two new ones (cover versions of Bad Company 's "Shooting Star " and Black Sabbath 's "Electric Funeral"). However, Century Media Records
Century Media Records
did not end-up releasing the EP, so it was made available for fans as a limited 1500-copy special release.

HORROR SHOW AND THE GLORIOUS BURDEN (2000–2004)

In 2000, work began on Iced Earth's sixth studio album. Entitled Horror Show , the album contained songs based on horror films and literature , such as Dracula
Dracula
, The Phantom of the Opera and the Wolf Man . Released on June 26, 2001, the album was the band's first to feature drummer Richard Christy , and the third with guitarist Larry Tarnowski (now a full-time member). Originally Steve Di Giorgio played bass on the album, but left the group after the recording process. According to Jon Schaffer, Di Giorgio was required and agreed to go on tour, but left due to "prior commitments." He was replaced by James MacDonough. Horror Show was also the first Iced Earth
Iced Earth
album to be partially recorded at Jon Schaffer's home studio "Schaffer Sound."

On November 26, 2001 (March 5, 2002 in America) the band released the boxset Dark Genesis , which featured the band's first three albums plus the Enter the Realm -demo, remastered and remixed with new cover art. The set also featured a new album, entitled Tribute to the Gods . It was Iced Earth's first and only cover album , featuring songs from such bands as Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden
, Kiss and Blue Öyster Cult .

After the events of 9/11
9/11
, Matt Barlow came to the conclusion that he wanted to start contributing to the "real world." Barlow approached Schaffer with this in late 2002, but Schaffer convinced Barlow to stay with the band. When Iced Earth
Iced Earth
began recording their next studio album, Schaffer realized that Barlow's vocals were not what he desired; he felt that they lacked passion and quality, so he decided to let Barlow go after all. Barlow became a police officer in the Georgetown Police Dept. in Georgetown , Delaware
Delaware
.

After Barlow's departure, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
continued work on their next album, and eventually Jon Schaffer got Tim "Ripper" Owens , from Judas Priest, to sing on the record as a favor. Owens, who was still in Judas Priest
Judas Priest
at the time, was originally supposed to be credited as a guest musician, but after singer Rob Halford rejoined Judas Priest, Owens joined Iced Earth
Iced Earth
full-time. Prior to the recording process, Larry Tarnowski was let go from the band, so the lead guitar parts on the album were played by producer Jim Morris and session guitarist Ralph Santolla .

Prior to the album's release, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
released The Reckoning . The single contained four songs off the new album, that the band felt were most likely to get radio airplay. The Glorious Burden
The Glorious Burden
was released on January 12, 2004, in Europe
Europe
and on January 13, in the United States. Much like how Horror Show was based on horror films and literature, The Glorious Burden
The Glorious Burden
was inspired by historical events. It was also the band's first album with their new record company SPV . Following the supporting tour, James MacDonough left Iced Earth
Iced Earth
to join Megadeth
Megadeth
.

FRAMING ARMAGEDDON AND THE CRUCIBLE OF MAN (2005–2010)

Iced Earth
Iced Earth
at Wacken Open Air, 2007.

After The Glorious Burden, work began on the group's next album, which would be an expanded concept album on the "Something Wicked" storyline from Something Wicked This Way Comes. Before starting work on the album, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
was faced with multiple line-up changes. In July, 2006, Ernie Carletti was chosen as the group's new lead guitar player, but after being faced with rape and kidnapping charges, he was replaced by Tim Mills. Incidentally, Tim Mills was also forced to leave Iced Earth
Iced Earth
in order to concentrate on his own business, "Bare Knuckle Pickups ". In October, 2006, Brent Smedley rejoined Iced Earth again, replacing Richard Christy on the drums. Because the band were left without a bassist and lead guitar player, Jon Schaffer ended up performing most of the lead guitar and bass parts on the album (although some tracks featured playing from producer Jim Morris, guitarist Troy Seele and bassist Dennis Hayes ). In May, 2007, Seele was announced as a permanent member of the band, as was Dennis Hayes two months earlier.

Before releasing the full-length album, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
released the EP Overture of the Wicked , which featured re-recorded versions of the original "Something Wicked Trilogy" as well as a brand new track, entitled " Ten Thousand Strong ". Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1 was released on September 7, 2007, in Germany, September 10, in the rest of Europe, and on September 11, in the United States. Iced Earth
Iced Earth
in Stockholm, 2009.

In December, 2007, it was announced that Matt Barlow would be rejoining Iced Earth
Iced Earth
after five years. Following his return, work continued on Iced Earth's next album, originally titled Revelation Abomination: Something Wicked Part 2. Majority of the album's music had been recorded at the same time as Framing Armageddon, and originally Jon Schaffer had planned to finish the album after the end of 2007. However work on the album had to be pushed back, due to Barlow's prior commitments to his other band, Pyramaze . In early 2008, it was announced that Dennis Hayes had been replaced by bassist Freddie Vidales .

Before releasing their next full-length album, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
released the single I Walk Among You , which contained a new song from the forthcoming album, as well as two song from Framing Armageddon, resung by Matt Barlow. After being retitled The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked Part 2 , Iced Earth's ninth studio album was released in September, 2008. After The Crucible of Man, the band released Box of the Wicked, in early 2010. The boxset contained Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1, The Crucible Of Man: Something Wicked Part 2, the Overture of the Wicked EP and the I Walk Among You single, as well as a bonus CD, containing one song from Framing Armageddon, now with Matt Barlow on lead vocals, as well as three previously unreleased live tracks from the Graspop Metal Meeting festival in 2008. The boxset also included a poster and a booklet. Also in early 2010, Iced Earth signed a new contract with their former record company, Century Media Records.

DYSTOPIA (2011–2012)

Stu Block
Stu Block
(pictured) joined Iced Earth
Iced Earth
for 2011's Dystopia.

In March, 2011, Matt Barlow issued a statement on Iced Earth's official website, stating that he was retiring from the band due to family commitments, among other things. Barlow still took part in the band's 2011 summer tour, and played his final show with Iced Earth
Iced Earth
on August 6, 2011, at the Wacken Open Air
Wacken Open Air
festival in Germany. Shortly after announcing Barlow's departure, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
revealed that Into Eternity frontman Stu Block
Stu Block
had been chosen as the band's new lead vocalist. With Stu Block
Stu Block
now on board, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
began recording their next studio album in May, 2011.

On June 27, 2011, the band released the DVD
DVD
Festivals of the Wicked, which featured shows from Metal Camp Open Air (2008), the Rock Hard Festival (2008) and Wacken Open Air
Wacken Open Air
(2007). On September 7, 2011, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
released a re-recorded version of the song "Dante\'s Inferno ", from the album Burnt Offerings. The band's new album Dystopia was released on October 17, 2011 in Europe
Europe
and October 18 in the United States. While not a concept album, many of the album's songs were inspired by dystopian themes and films such as V for Vendetta , Dark City and Equilibrium . Two songs ("Dystopia" and "Tragedy and Triumph") also featured the return of the "Something Wicked" storyline. After the Dystopia's release, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
kicked off the Dystopia World Tour , which was heralded as "the most extensive world tour Iced Earth
Iced Earth
has ever undertaken" and that it would take the band "to countries it has never previously played."

On April 10, 2012, it was announced that Freddie Vidales had left Iced Earth. He was subsequently replaced by Luke Appleton from Fury UK . On August 19, 2012, Iced Earth
Iced Earth
recorded a new live CD/ DVD
DVD
in Cyprus
Cyprus
, entitled Live in Ancient Kourion.

PLAGUES OF BABYLON AND INCORRUPTIBLE (2013–PRESENT)

Iced Earth
Iced Earth
began writing new material for their eleventh studio album in early 2013. Drummer Brent Smedley left the band in May 2013 due to personal reasons. Raphael Saini therefore played drums on the album, titled Plagues of Babylon , as well as filling in on tour until Jon Dette took over on drums in November 2013. The album was released in January 2014, reaching position #5 on the German Media Control Charts, which is band’s highest chart position in their entire career.

On April 7, 2015, following a period of inactivity as a result of Schaffer requiring cervical fusion surgery, the band announced that Iced Earth
Iced Earth
would begin writing for their 12th studio album. The announcement also revealed that drummer Brent Smedley had rejoined the band, replacing Dette, and that the new album was to be tentatively titled The Judas Goat, with an expected release date and subsequent touring cycle in early 2016. In August 2016 lead guitarist Troy Seele announced his departure from the band citing family reasons. He was replaced on September 25, 2016 by Jake Dreyer .

On December 6, Schaffer spoke in an interview with Fernando Bonenfant from Metal Wani and announced that the new album would be called Incorruptible , originally due for release in May 2017. On March 13, 2017, the band confirmed that they had completed work on the album for a mid-June release. On April 6, the artwork was revealed with the album being set for a June 16 release.

MUSICAL STYLE AND LYRICAL THEMES

Iced Earth
Iced Earth
has commonly been described as heavy metal , thrash metal and power metal . When asked about the band's musical style, Jon Schaffer , Iced Earth's chief songwriter, said: "We're a metal band. That's what we are. We have every dynamic from Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
to Slayer and everything in between."

Iced Earth's music has evolved and shifted several times during the band's history. On the group's 1990 self-titled debut album , the band's sound was characterized by time changes, acoustic passages and Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden
-type galloping rhythms. Many of these elements carried over to the follow-up album Night of the Stormrider
Night of the Stormrider
, which added keyboards and piano , as well as some choral arrangements. 1995's Burnt Offerings has been heralded as Iced Earth's heaviest album, and included the band's longest song to date, "Dante\'s Inferno ." As a counter measure to Burnt Offerings, 1996's The Dark Saga featured a much more subdued sound compared to previous releases. The focus was less on technical musicianship, but on emotion and melody. Something Wicked This Way Comes combined elements found on previous albums with brand new ideas. The "Something Wicked Trilogy," which closes the album, took many cues from the Night of the Stormrider
Night of the Stormrider
album. Iced Earth continued to expand their sound throughout the 2000s, like adding a full-piece orchestra to the song "Gettysburg" from 2004's The Glorious Burden .

Common lyrical themes in Iced Earth's music have been religion, history, fantasy, literature, and films. The band has also released several concept albums , the first being 1991's Night of the Stormrider. The second, 1996's The Dark Saga, was based on the Todd McFarlane comic book character Spawn . 1998's Something Wicked This Way Comes introduced the Something Wicked Saga , which was later expanded upon on 2007's Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1 , and 2008's The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked Part 2 . Iced Earth have also released several albums written around a theme. 2001's Horror Show was largely based on horror literature and films, 2004's The Glorious Burden
The Glorious Burden
was inspired by history and war, while 2011's Dystopia centered around dystopian themes in literature and film.

DISCOGRAPHY

Main article: Iced Earth discography

* Iced Earth
Iced Earth
(1990) * Night of the Stormrider
Night of the Stormrider
(1991) * Burnt Offerings (1995) * The Dark Saga (1996) * Something Wicked This Way Comes (1998) * Horror Show (2001) * The Glorious Burden
The Glorious Burden
(2004) * Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1 (2007) * The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked Part 2 (2008) * Dystopia (2011) * Plagues of Babylon (2014) * Incorruptible (2017)

BAND MEMBERS

For a more comprehensive list, see List of Iced Earth band members .

CURRENT MEMBERS

* Jon Schaffer – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals (1985–present) * Brent Smedley – drums (1996-1997, 1998-1999, 2006–2013, 2015–present) * Stu Block
Stu Block
– lead vocals (2011–present) * Luke Appleton – bass guitar, backing vocals (2012–present) * Jake Dreyer – lead guitar (2016–present)

TIMELINE

REFERENCES

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Iced Earth
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Iced Earth
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Iced Earth
Leader Chooses New Vocalist, Announces European Leg Of Massive World Tour". Icedearth.com. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2011-10-02. * ^ " Stu Block
Stu Block
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re-record "Dante\'s Inferno" and give it away for free The Official Iced Earth
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Iced Earth
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Iced Earth
Announces World Tour The Official Iced Earth Website". Icedearth.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. * ^ A B C " Iced Earth
Iced Earth
announces Indian tour dates, a live DVD
DVD
and new bass player.". icedearth.net. Retrieved 2012-04-10. * ^ " Iced Earth
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Drummer Quits; Replacement Announced". Blabbermouth.net. May 6, 2013. Retrieved 2015-12-17. * ^ Fayyazi, Mohsen (14 January 2014). "Iced Earth: Highest Chart Entry Of Band’s Entire Career: #5 On German Media Control Charts". metalshockfinland.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014. * ^ "Iced Earth, Plagues Of Babylon". German Media Control Charts. Retrieved 18 January 2014. * ^ "Iced Earth: \'Plagues Of Babylon\' Release Date Confirmed, North American Tour Announced". BlabberMouth . November 12, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-24. * ^ Schaffer, Jon. "Update from Iced Earth
Iced Earth
- 7th April 2015". Retrieved 15 April 2015. * ^ "ICED EARTH Guitarist TROY SEELE Quits".