ICED EARTH BIOGRAPHY
Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band that combines influences from thrash metal, power metal, NWOBHM with gothic touches.ICED EARTH GENRES
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"), 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, 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 (Richard Christy) 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 antihero Spawn (The Dark Saga), horror movies (Horror Show), and historical wars (The Glorious Burden).
In some songs (such as "Dante's Inferno," "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".
Iced Earth has had many different vocalists. On the self titled debut album the singer was Gene Adam, who was replaced by John Greely right on the next album, Night Of The Stormrider. Matthew Barlow came in on the third album Burnt Offerings and made several albums with the band, one of them being the compilation "Days Of Purgatory" which included tracks from their first two albums as re-recorded versions with Barlow on vocals. He's still considered the definitive vocalist of Iced Earth by many fans.
Barlow left the band because of personal issues and became a policeman after the 9/11 horror. The new singer Tim 'Ripper' Owens (ex-Judas Priest and earlier Winter's Bane) joined to record the latest studio album so far, "The Glorious Burden". The central figure of Iced Earth is rhythm guitarist and songwriter Jon Schaffer, who formed the band under the name 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. Gene Adam was originally going to perform on the follow-up record, Night of the Stormrider. However, Schaffer was concerned that Gene wouldn't be able to handle the vocal melodies for the new material and asked him to take singing lessons. Adam refused and as a result he was replaced by John Greely.
Since then, the band has gone through numerous lineup changes, with only Jon Schaffer and ex-guitarist Randall Shawver lasting at least 9 years with the group. 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, even though Barlow was not vocally trained until The Dark Saga by Jon Schaffer's sister who appears as the female vocalist in The Dark Saga. Recording the albums The Dark Saga, Days of Purgatory, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Alive in Athens, Horror Show and Tribute to the Gods. Barlow eventually parted amicably with the band in June 2003 to pursue a career with the United States Department of Homeland Security. Schaffer wanted him to try and see if he could do The Glorious Burden before leaving, but he soon realized that Barlow had lost his enthusiasm, so he let Barlow go.
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 figures who have shaped the modern world. Its topics range from the Declaration of Independence to 9/11 to Napoleon Bonaparte, and there are three songs dealing with the Battle of Gettysburg. There is a limited edition where the Gettysburg Trilogy is moved to a second disc and the songs Waterloo and the unplugged version of When the Eagle Cries are added to the first disc. The album's theme became the centre of a 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 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. However, Schaffer granted Mark Gromen, also of BW&BK and a friend, an interview in issue 101 (Jan/Feb '07) effectively ending the boycott.
Together with Hansi Kürsch - lead singer and former bass player of Blind Guardian - Schaffer is also part of a side project called Demons & Wizards.
In 2005, lead vocalist Tim Owens and some friends of his started a new heavy metal band called Beyond Fear.
Iced Earth is currently working on their new album, which is due for release in 2007. Schaffer has stated in interviews that the new album will be a double CD, and will continue the "Something Wicked" story he started on the Something Wicked This Way Comes album. 
In June 2006, Ernie Carletti became the new guitarist, and was to handle most of the guitar solos on Iced Earth's upcoming album. . However, he was arrested a few months later under rape charges . In October 2006, Schaffer announced that Carletti would not be participating in Iced Earth, and would be replaced by Tim Mills.  At the same time, drummer Brent Smedley was re-hired for the recording and touring of the new albums, replacing Bobby Jarzombek. 
In December 2006, Jon announced information about the two upcoming Something Wicked albums. He also announced that the bass guitar duties on the new albums will be handled by James "Bo" Wallace, as well as that the original "Something Wicked Trilogy" of the 1998 album "Something Wicked This Way Comes" would be re-recorded as an EP.
ICED EARTH LYRICAL THEMES
Horror, Suffering, History, Revenge, War, Fantasy
ICED EARTH ORIGIN
United States of America (Tampa, Florida), formed in 1985
ICED EARTH CURRENT RECORD LABEL
SPV / Steamhammer
ICED EARTH STATUS
ICED EARTH CURRENT LINE-UP
Tim Owens - Vocals (ex-Judas Priest, ex-Winters Bane, Beyond Fear (US), Brainicide)
Troy Seele - Lead Guitar
Jon Schaffer - Rhythm, Lead & Acoustic Guitars, Vocals and Keys (Demons & Wizards)
Dennis Hayes - Bass (Winters Bane, Seven Witches, Wretch, Beyond Fear (US))
Brent Smedley - Drums (Oracle (US), Tempest Reign, Oddysey, Motherload, guest for Silent Scream (Ger))
ICED EARTH PREVIOUS LINE-UP
Gene Adam - (Enter The Realm to Iced Earth) (Unearthed, Atomik Coktail, Purgatory (US))
John Greely - (Night Of The Stormrider) (Quasimoto,Seventh Seal)
Matt Barlow - (Burnt Offerings to Tribute to the Gods) (ex-Cauldron (US), Pyramaze)
Randall Shawver - (Enter The Realm to Days of Purgatory) (Yuhrott, Alloyd Witch)
Larry Tarnowski - (Something Wicked... to Tribute to the Gods) (Dreamscape)
Ralph Santolla - (The Glorious Burden) (Millenium (US), Sebastian Bach & Friends, Eyewitness, ex-Death, ex-Deicide, guest in Warmachine (Can), Obituary)
Ernie Carletti - (briefly in 2006) (Slik Helvetika, Naughty Naughty)
Tim Mills - (Overture of the Wicked)
Dave Abell - (Enter The Realm to The Dark Saga) (Knights of Tethys, Unearthed, The Harlot)
Keith Menser - (briefly in 1996) (Mystic Force, Twilight Kingdom)
James MacDonough - (Days of Purgatory to Alive in Athens, Tribute to the Gods to The Glorious Burden) (ex-Megadeth, ex-Oracle (US), ex-Nevermore (Live))
Steve DiGiorgio - ("guest" on Horror Show) (Vintersorg, ex-Testament, Sebastian Bach & Friends, Artension, Autopsy, Suicide Shift, Control Denied, Death, Sadus, Artension, James Murphy, Dragonlord, Quo Vadis (Can))
James "Bo" Wallace - (2006-2007) (Ma Kelley)
Rick Risberg (Alive in Athens) (Opposite Earth)
Greg Seymour (Enter The Realm) (Innersanctum)
Mike McGill (Alloyd Witch)
Richey Secchiari - (Night of the Stormrider)
Rodney Beasley - (Burnt Offerings)
Mark Prator - (The Dark Saga, Something Wicked Studio, Melancholy EP) (Demons & Wizards, Unearthed, Ralph Santolla, Millenium (US))
Richard Christy (Burning Inside, Rick Renstrom, ex-Acheron (US), Death, Control Denied, ex-Demons & Wizards, ex-Leash Law, ex-Public Assassin, ex-Tiwanaku, ex-Wykked Wytch, ex-Syzygy (US), ex-Bung Dizeez, guest for Crotchduster)
Bobby Jarzombek - (The Glorious Burden tour) (Spastic Ink, Riot, Halford, Demons & Wizards, John West, Juggernaut (US), Painmuseum, Happy Kitties, Sebastian Bach & Friends, WInterkat, Dirty Water))