Iced Earth

From Academic Kids

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

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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 vocals proved extremely popular and he remained with the band for many years, eventually parting amicably with the band in June 2003 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 an examination of many aspects of warfare and military people that have shaped the modern world. Its topics range from the Declaration of Independence to 9/11 to Napoleon Bonaparte and there are three songs all dealing with the battle of Gettysburg and a second disc (in the U.K. extended version) with the songs Waterloo and the unplugged version of When the Eagle Cries added to the first disc with the Gettysburg Trio moved to the second disc. The album's theme became the centre of a recent controversy after Schaffer gave an interview to Canadian heavy metal magazine Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. After the interview was published, Schaffer accused the magazine of having taking him out of context and of pushing an anti-American bias, and subsequently announced that the band would boycott the magazine in the future.

Together with Hansi Kürsch - lead singer and former bass player of Blind Guardian - Schaffer is also part of a side project called Demons and Wizards.


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 a full range and are usually emotional, while the rhythm section uses thrash and power metal techniques such as double-bass-drumming to keep the speed and energy high. Iced Earth's drummer is known for his frequent use of drags and flams on the bass drum.

Iced Earth lyrics tend to deal with theological issues such as punishment and sin, destiny, heaven and hell, the antichrist and the apocalypse. Many of the band's recent albums have been concept albums written around a theme, e.g. the superhero Spawn (The Dark Saga), horror movies (Horror Show), and historical wars (The Glorious Burden).

In some songs (such as "Angels' Holocaust," "Damien," and "The Coming Curse") Iced Earth uses the technique of Gregorian chant. Two Iced Earth songs contain female vocals: "A Question of Heaven" and "The Phantom Opera Ghost".


  • Enter the Realm demo (1989)
  • Iced Earth (Century Media 1990)
  • Night of the Stormrider (Century Media 1992)
  • 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 separately]
  • Night of the Stormrider [remixed/rerecorded] (Century Media 2002) [released separately]
  • Burnt Offerings [remixed/rerecorded] (Century Media 2002) [released separately]
  • Tribute to the Gods (Century Media 2002) [released separately]
  • The Reckoning EP (SPV/Steamhammer 2003)
  • The Glorious Burden (SPV/Steamhammer 2004)
  • The Blessed and The Damned (Century Media 2004) [2-CD Best Of]
  • Gettysburg (1863) (SPV/Steamhammer 2005) [DVD]

Band members

Former band members

  • Gene Adams - Vocals (1985-1991)
  • John Greely - Vocals (1991-1992)
  • Matt Barlow - Vocals (1992-2003)
  • Bill Owens - Guitars (1985-1987)
  • Larry Sapp - Guitars (1986-1986)
  • Randy Shawver - Guitars (1988-1998)
  • Larry Tarnowski - Guitars (1998-2003)
  • Ralph Santolla - Guitars (2003-2004)
  • Richard Bateman - Bass (1985-1986)
  • Dave Abell - Bass (1987-1996)
  • Keith Menser - Bass (1996-1996)
  • Steve DiGiorgio - Bass (2000-2001)
  • James McDonough - Bass (1996-2004)
  • Greg Seymour - Drums (1985-1989)
  • Mike McGill - Drums (1989-1991)
  • Rick Secchiary - Drums (1991-1992)
  • Rodney Beasley - Drums (1992-1995)
  • Brent Smedley - Drums (1996-1997)
  • Richard Christy - Drums (2000-2004)

External links

de:Iced Earth sv:Iced Earth


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