Iced Earth in 2013
|Also known as||The Rose (1984–1985)|
|Origin||Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
|Labels|| Century Media (1990–2002, 2010–2017)|
|Members|| Jon Schaffer |
|Past members||(See: list of former band members)|
Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida. They were formed in 1984 under the name the Rose, then 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 thirteen studio albums, four EPs, three compilations, three box sets, three live albums and eleven music videos.
After releasing the demo EP Enter the Realm (1989) and signing to Century Media Records, the band released two full-length studio albums – Iced Earth (1990) and Night of the Stormrider (1991) – before taking a two-year hiatus from 1992 to 1994,after which the band returned with new lead vocalist Matt Barlow. Iced Earth went on to release four studio albums with him in over half a decade: Burnt Offerings (1995), The Dark Saga (1996), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1998) and Horror Show (2001).
After Horror Show, Barlow quit the band and joined the police force,while Iced Earth continued on with Tim "Ripper" Owens, formerly of Judas Priest, on vocals. With Owens, the band released two studio albums (2004's The Glorious Burden and 2007's Framing Armageddon ). In late 2007, Barlow rejoined the band, and they recorded one more album with him: The Crucible of Man (2008). In 2011, Barlow once again left Iced Earth, and was replaced by Into Eternity frontman Stu Block. Dystopia , Block's first album with the group, was released that October; the album received a positive response, while some critics called it one of Iced Earth's best albums. The group has since recorded two more albums with Block: Plagues of Babylon (2014) and Incorruptible (2017).
Before arriving at their current lineup, Iced Earth has had numerous line-up changes, with founder Jon Schaffer as the only founding member remaining. As of 2013, there have been over twenty musicians in and out of Iced Earth since its formation in 1984 (see: List of Iced Earth band members for more details). Currently, the band is composed of rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer, lead singer Stu Block, bassist Luke Appleton, drummer Brent Smedley, and lead guitarist Jake Dreyer.
The central figure of 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 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.
After getting signed to 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 was released in November, 1990 in Europe and on February 25, 1991 in the US. Following the album's release, Iced Earth toured across Europe with Blind Guardian.
Following their self-titled debut, 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 again toured Europe with Blind Guardian.
Following the supporting tour for Night of the Stormrider, Iced Earth entered a two-year hiatus from 1992 to 1994.During this downtime, the band was faced with issues that almost resulted in them breaking-up, but eventually 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 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 albums. For the supporting tour, Iced Earth was joined by Nevermore.
On April 21, 1997, 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.
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, Greece on January 23 and January 24, 1999. Entitled Alive in 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 did not end-up releasing the EP, so it was made available for fans as a limited 1500-copy special release.
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 , 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 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 seventh studio album, featuring songs from such bands as Iron Maiden, Kiss and Blue Öyster Cult.
After the events of 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 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.
After Barlow's departure, 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 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 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 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 was released on January 12, 2004, in Europe and on January 13, in the United States. Much like how Horror Show was based on horror films and literature, 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 to join Megadeth.
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 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 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 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.
In December, 2007, it was announced that Matt Barlow would be rejoining 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 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 tenth 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.
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 on August 6, 2011, at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. Shortly after announcing Barlow's departure, Iced Earth revealed that Into Eternity frontman Stu Block had been chosen as the band's new lead vocalist. With Stu Block now on board, Iced Earth began recording their next studio album in May, 2011.
On June 27, 2011, the band released the DVD Festivals of the Wicked, which featured shows from Metal Camp Open Air (2008), the Rock Hard Festival (2008) and Wacken Open Air (2007).On September 7, 2011, 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 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 kicked off the Dystopia World Tour, which was heralded as "the most extensive world tour 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 recorded a new live CD/DVD in Cyprus, entitled Live in Ancient Kourion.
Iced Earth began writing new material for their twelfth 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 would begin writing for their 13th 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, 2016, 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. The release of the album also full-filled the band's second deal with Century Media Records.
On October 26, 2018, it was revealed that Jon Schaffer had recruited previous Iced Earth members Gene Adam (vocals) and Bill Owen (lead guitar); along with guests Jim Morris (lead guitar), Ruben Drake (bass guitar), and Mark Prator (drums); to form Jon Schaffer's Purgatory, taking the name from the precursor to Iced Earth. The band had re-recorded old pre-Iced Earth demos, including (in their original form) tracks that were later re-recorded for Iced Earth releases. This EP, titled Purgatory, was released in December 2018.
Iced Earth's 1989 demo Enter the Realm was released on CD and vinyl for the first time on April 12, 2019, exactly 30 years after its original release.
In a Facebook Live chat that took place on April 14, 2020, Schaffer confirmed that, after "a little bit of time off", Iced Earth would start working on their thirteenth studio album for a spring 2021 release. He stated: "Everything is a little bit up in the air right now. Even working on a new Iced Earth album is gonna be challenging until we see how all this plays out, because it's an international band. Stu's in Canada and Luke is in the U.K., so that makes it even more difficult for travel…the biggest issue now is logistics of actually getting together to do it, because we're an international band. If we lived in the same town or even in the same country, it would make things a lot easier. But we will [get around to making a new album], and there will be a time for that, no doubt. To say when that's gonna be, my plan was to focus on it in the back half of this year and have a release in spring of 2021. But the world's flipped upside down and has gotten pretty weird lately."
Iced Earth has commonly been described as heavy metal,thrash metal, power metal and speed 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 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-type galloping rhythms.Many of these elements carried over to the follow-up album 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 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 was inspired by history and war, while 2011's Dystopia centered around dystopian themes in literature and film.
Days of Purgatory is a heavy metal album by Iced Earth. It is a collection of remixes and remakes from previous albums, with the exception of their then-recent record The Dark Saga. Most of the songs from the Enter the Realm EP, Iced Earth, and Night of the Stormrider were re-sung by Matt Barlow, and on some of the songs the drums and bass were redone. The 2-CD version also has rough mixes of several songs from Burnt Offerings with the opening to the title track re-recorded. The album cover features artwork of the Chaos Comics character Purgatori.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released on July 7, 1998, it was the band's first album to feature bassist James MacDonough and guitarist Larry Tarnowski, and is the only Iced Earth album to be solely produced by Jim Morris, who has worked with the band since 1996's The Dark Saga.
Matthew Barlow is an American heavy metal singer and police officer. He is the lead singer for Ashes of Ares and former lead singer of Iced Earth and Pyramaze. He is Jon Schaffer's brother-in-law.
Jon Ryan Schaffer is an American heavy metal musician. He is best known as the rhythm guitarist and last remaining original member of the Florida-based heavy metal band Iced Earth, which he formed in 1985 under the name "Purgatory". He also sings in his side project Sons of Liberty and plays guitar for Demons and Wizards, his collaboration with Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kürsch.
The Dark Saga is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released on July 23, 1996, it was the band's first album to feature drummer Mark Prator, as well as the last with bassist Dave Abell and lead guitarist Randall Shawver. The Dark Saga was also the first Iced Earth album to be co-produced by Jim Morris, who since then has worked on all of the band's releases.
Burnt Offerings is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Iced Earth. Released on April 18, 1995, it was the group's first album since 1991's Night of the Stormrider, after which the band took a three-year layoff. During this time they recruited drummer Rodney Beasley and singer Matthew Barlow, replacing Rick Secchiari and John Greely, respectively.
Alive in Athens is a live album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. It was recorded on the nights of January 23 and January 24, 1999, in front of sold-out crowds of approximately 2000 people at the Rodon Club in Athens, Greece. Iced Earth was supporting the Something Wicked This Way Comes album and were on tour. It was turned into a single DVD, and released in October 2006. The album features the return of former drummer Brent Smedley, who did not record on the band's previous album.
The discography of Iced Earth, an American heavy metal band, consists of thirteen studio releases, two live albums, three compilations, five singles, three videos, and eleven music videos. Originally formed as Purgatory by guitarist Jon Schaffer on January 20, 1985, the band spent five years playing live locally and went through several line-up changes. After changing their name to Iced Earth, the band recorded the demo Enter the Realm (1989), which landed them a deal with the German label, Century Media Records. One year later, the band recorded their self-titled album Iced Earth, followed by 1991's Night of the Stormrider, which peaked at number 60 on the Japanese Oricon charts. Three years later, Iced Earth released Burnt Offerings, featuring new vocalist Matthew Barlow, followed by The Dark Saga (1996).
Overture of the Wicked is an EP by Iced Earth, which was released on June 4, 2007 in Europe and June 5, 2007 in the US. The EP features the band's new single "Ten Thousand Strong" which was recorded for the new album released later that same year Framing Armageddon, as well as a rerecording of the original "Something Wicked" song cycle. The re-recorded tracks are also slightly rearranged, with the piano intro to "The Coming Curse" notably absent in the new version. This EP was reissued as part of Iced Earth's Box of the Wicked collection.
Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1 is the eighth studio album from Iced Earth, released on September 11, 2007. It is part one of two concept albums based on a trilogy of songs from Iced Earth's fifth studio album, Something Wicked This Way Comes. The saga, aptly titled the Something Wicked Saga, tells the fictional history of mankind, from its creation to its destruction. It is the second and final album with vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens. This is also the first album that Schaffer become more involved in playing lead guitars paths.
The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked Part 2 is the ninth studio album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released in September 2008, it was the first Iced Earth album since 2001's Horror Show to feature singer Matt Barlow. The Crucible of Man is the second concept album based on guitarist-songwriter Jon Schaffer's Something Wicked Saga. It also the third album overall to feature the subject.
Stuart Block is a Canadian singer-songwriter, who was the frontman for Canadian progressive death metal band Into Eternity, and is now the lead vocalist for American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Before joining Into Eternity in 2005, Block began his musical career singing for various bands in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After two albums with Into Eternity, Block joined Iced Earth in 2011, with whom he released the album Dystopia the same year.
I Walk Among You is a single by the American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released on June 13, 2008, the single marked the return of long-time vocalist Matt Barlow, who originally left the band in 2003, but later returned in 2007.
The Something Wicked Saga is a fictional story featured in the works of American heavy metal guitarist Jon Schaffer from the band Iced Earth. The saga is a tale that begins with the origins of man, by way of descension upon the primitive Setian race, all the way to its downfall as paved by the Setians' act of vengeance. It discusses humanity's evil intentions that begin to backfire in their last days, with the Setian messiah Set Abominae serving as the catalyst to its self-destruction. Events parallel to those in the Bible, and elsewhere throughout history, occurred in order to further bring about humanity's downfall.
Dystopia is the tenth studio album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released on October 17, 2011, it was the band's first album to feature vocalist Stu Block, who joined after previous vocalist Matt Barlow left the band. Dystopia was also the only Iced Earth studio album to feature bassist Freddie Vidales and drummer Brent Smedley until his return in 2015.
The Dystopia World Tour is a worldwide concert tour by the American heavy metal group Iced Earth, in support of their 2011 album Dystopia. The tour was the band's first to feature vocalist Stu Block, who joined the band in early 2011, and the last to feature bassist Freddie Vidales, who left the band on April 13, 2012. For the remainder of the tour, Vidales was replaced by Luke Appleton from Fury UK.
"Dante's Inferno" is a song by the American heavy metal band Iced Earth. The song was originally released on the group's 1995 album Burnt Offerings, and was re-recorded in 2011, with the current line-up of the band. "Dante's Inferno" is also one of the longest songs the band has ever recorded, with the original clocking in at sixteen minutes and twenty-six seconds and the re-recorded version clocking in at seventeen minutes and twenty-eight seconds.
"Setian Massacre" is a single by the American heavy metal band Iced Earth. The two songs on the single are taken from the group's 2007 album, Framing Armageddon: Something Wicked Part 1. Both songs are a part of the rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer's "Something Wicked" storyline, on which the entire Framing Armageddon album and its follow-up, The Crucible of Man: Something Wicked Part 2, is based.
Plagues of Babylon is the eleventh studio album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. Released in January 2014, the album is the group's first studio release with bassist Luke Appleton and the only with drummer Raphael Saini, who was a guest on the album. According to rhythm guitarist and band leader Jon Schaffer, half of the album is focused on his "Something Wicked" concept, while the other half are stand alone songs.
Incorruptible is the twelfth studio album by American heavy metal band Iced Earth. It was released on June 16, 2017, by Century Media. It is their first album with their current lead guitarist Jake Dreyer, and also features a returning Brent Smedley on drums, whose last recorded performance with Iced Earth was their 2013 live album "Live in Ancient Kourion". It is their first studio album in over 20 years to entirely not be a concept album. Instead, each song features its own unique stand-alone lyrics.
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