Iced Earth

Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band that combines influences from thrash metal, power metal, and the NWOBHM, and claims to be one of the few modern bands still producing 'true heavy metal' and refusing to accede to trends.

History

The central figure of Iced Earth is rhythm guitarist and songwriter Jon Schaffer, who formed Purgatory in Indiana in 1984. After moving to Florida and changing their name to Iced Earth, the group's Enter the Realm demo was popular enough that they released an eponymous debut LP with Century Media Records. Since then the band has gone through numerous lineup changes, thanks in part to the authoritarian rule of Schaffer. Vocalist Matt Barlow joined the band (after a three-year band hiatus following Night of the Stormrider) for Burnt Offerings, largely based on Dante's Inferno. Barlow's emotional and powerful vocals proved extremely popular and he remained with the band for many years, eventually parting amicably with the band in June 2002 to pursue a career with the United States Department of Homeland Security. Conveniently, singer Tim 'Ripper' Owens soon left Judas Priest (to make room for returning original vocalist Rob Halford) and became Iced Earth's new vocalist. His first album with the band, The Glorious Burden, is due on January 14 2004.

Sound

Iced Earth's music is often described as Iron Maiden combined with 80's thrash metal. The most distinctive element of the band's sound is the stuttering right-hand gallop of rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer, which sounds something like the 'eighth-note, two-sixteenth-notes' gallop made famous by Iron Maiden's bass player/songwriter Steve Harris (in such songs as 'Run to the Hills', 'The Trooper', and 'Caught Somewhere in Time'), sped up tremendously and varied rhythmically. Overtop of this gallop are typically laid strong melodic hooks, sometimes doubled by two guitars playing in harmony. The vocals are often high-pitched, but express an extremely full range and are usually very emotional, while the rhythm section uses thrash and power metal techniques such as double-bass-drumming to keep the speed and energy high.

Discography

  • Enter the Realm demo (1989)
  • Iced Earth (Century Media 1990)
  • Night of the Stormrider (Century Media 1991)
  • Burnt Offerings (Century Media 1995)
  • The Dark Saga (Century Media 1996)
  • Days of Purgatory (Century Media 1997) [containing remixes and rerecordings of material from earlier albums] [1-CD and 2-CD versions available]
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes (Century Media 1998)
  • Alive in Athens (Century Media 1999) [live album] [2-CD and 3-CD versions available]
  • Melancholy EP (Century Media 1999)
  • Horror Show (Century Media 2001)
  • Dark Genesis (Century Media 2001) [5-disc box set, containing the Enter the Realm demo, remixes and rerecordings of the first three albums, and the cover collection Tribute to the Gods]
  • Iced Earth [remixed/rerecorded] (Century Media 2002) [released seperately]
  • Night of the Stormrider [remixed/rerecorded] (Century Media 2002) [released seperately]
  • Burnt Offerings [remixed/rerecorded] (Century Media 2002) [released seperately]
  • Tribute to the Gods (Century Media 2002) [released seperately]
  • The Reckoning EP (Hunter 2003)
  • The Glorious Burden (Hunter 2004)



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