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Iced Earth
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Iced Earth

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.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Sound
3 Discography
4 External links


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 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 (if you purchase the extended version from the U.K.) 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. Inevitably, considering the world's current political climate, 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.


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. Iced Earth's drummer is known for his frequent use of drags and flams on his bass drum.

Iced Earth lyrics tend to deal with theological issue such as punishment and sin, destiny, heaven and hell, the antichrist and the apocalypse. In some songs (such as Angels' Holocaust or Damien) Iced Eearth combines gothic chorus and Gregorian chants. Iced Earth used female vocals in two of their songs: A Question of Heaven and The Phantom Opera Ghost.


External links