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Band Photo: Iced Earth (?)

Formed: 1985
From: Tampa, FL, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Iced Earth News

Below is our complete Iced Earth news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Former Iced Earth Guitarist Convicted Of Rape

Esteban Parra of The News Journal reports that former ICED EARTH guitarist Ernie Carletti was convicted today (Monday, November 19) of kidnapping and rape in the abduction of a University of Delaware student in 2003.

A Superior Court jury found the 32-year-old musician guilty on two counts of first-degree rape and one count of first-degree kidnapping. The jury acquitted Carletti on a weapons charge.

Carletti admitted to abducting the student, shackling her arms and legs then hogtying her at his Maryland home until she began crying. He, however, testified he did not have a gun and he did not rape the woman.

"Maybe I wasn't thinking clearly," Carletti said about pulling the woman into his car May 22, 2003, then shackling her arms and legs and duct taping her eyes shut. "It was just part of the effect. I didn't say she wanted it, but she did not deny it."

Carletti — who joined ICED EARTH in June 2006 and didn't appear on any of the band's recordings or perform with the group before his September 2006 arrest — said he was driving to his Elkton, Md., home through Newark about 1:30 a.m. when he saw the woman at the South Chapel Street Burger King. Carletti testified the two started talking. When she approached the driver side of his car, Carletti said he pulled her into the vehicle.

The victim has testified that he had a gun, which he denied in court last week.

As he drove off, he asked the woman: "Mind if I handcuff you?"

"I'm not saying it was courtship, but it is something we discussed," he said.

After handcuffing her, Carletti said he shackled her legs and put duct tape over her eyes and drove to his home.

When asked why he would blindfold her, Carletti said it was done for "effect."

Prosecutor Donald R. Roberts said the pressure was so intense the victim's eye vessel burst and she nearly passed out.

Carletti said he then escorted the woman into his house and sat her on a couch, where there was a "little bit of talking, a little bit of caressing, a little bit of kissing."

Roberts asked if she kissed him back, to which Carletti said he only kissed her on the cheek.

After admiring her in that position, Carletti said he gagged her mouth, placed her on a table and hogtied her. But he said he did not hoist her off the ground as she has testified.

He said he released her from this position after 3 to 4 minutes because she signified she was uncomfortable.

When asked if he thought being hogtied was painful, Carletti said he has previously been in that position and disagreed it hurt.

"No. Actually it is not painful," he said.

Afterwards, the victim was placed in the car and returned to Newark where she was pushed out of the moving car onto West Main Street, Roberts said.

Carletti became a suspect in May 2006 and was arrested after police matched his fingerprints to a print found on the duct tape that had been placed over one of the victim's eyes.

Roberts said Carletti initially told police he had not taken the woman or hogtied her. Carletti later changed his story when told about the fingerprint, saying it was consensual bondage.

Hurley told jurors Carletti did not rape the woman. Instead he stood at the other end of his basement and masturbated to the constrained woman.

Roberts said it "defied logic" that the victim would consent to bondage.

Carletti, who was in the bands NAUGHTY NAUGHTY and ICED EARTH, was charged earlier this year in another sexual assault that occurred when he was in high school.

In that case, the victim said the two cut class and went to his parents' apartment for a party. When they entered the apartment, he threw her to the floor and bound her hands behind her back with a neck tie that was on a living room couch.

According to court documents, Carletti made her sit on a wooden chair in his room and bound her legs to the legs of the chair with duct tape. He then pushed the chair into his bedroom closet and left her there for about 20 minutes.

When he took her out, Carletti freed her from the chair, but allegedly forced her to undress, then tied her to his bed and raped her. After he was finished he again tied her to the chair and returned her to the closet for about 30 minutes, according to court documents.

She returned to school when he released her.

That case is pending.

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Former Iced Earth Guitarist Denies Rape Charge

Esteban Parra of The News Journal reports: A 32-year-old heavy metal musician on Friday (November 16) admitted to abducting a University of Delaware student in 2003, shackling her arms and legs then hogtying her at his Maryland home until she began crying.

Ernie Carletti, however, testified he did not have a gun and he did not rape the woman.

"Maybe I wasn't thinking clearly," Carletti said about pulling the woman into his car May 22, 2003, then shackling her arms and legs and duct taping her eyes shut. "It was just part of the effect. I didn't say she wanted it, but she did not deny it."

Carletti, who is charged with rape, kidnapping and possession of a deadly weapon during a felony, testified in Superior Court in Wilmington, Delaware. He was calm throughout his 30-minute testimony.

Carletti — who joined ICED EARTH in June 2006 and didn't appear on any of the band's recordings or perform with the group before his September 2006 arrest — said he was driving to his Elkton, Md., home through Newark about 1:30 a.m. when he saw the woman at the South Chapel Street Burger King. Carletti testified the two started talking. When she approached the driver side of his car, Carletti said he pulled her into the vehicle.

The victim has testified that he had a gun, which he denied in court today.

As he drove off, he asked the woman: "Mind if I handcuff you?"

"I'm not saying it was courtship, but it is something we discussed," he said.

After handcuffing her, Carletti said he shackled her legs and put duct tape over her eyes and drove to his home.

When asked why he would blindfold her, Carletti said it was done for "effect."

Carletti said he then escorted the woman into his house and sat her on a couch, where there was a "little bit of talking, a little bit of caressing, a little bit of kissing."

Prosecutor Donald R. Roberts asked if she kissed him back, to which Carletti said he only kissed her on the cheek.

After admiring her in that position, Carletti said he gagged her mouth, placed her on a table and hogtied her. But he said he did not hoist her off the ground as she has testified.

He said he released her from this position after 3 to 4 minutes because she signified she was uncomfortable.

When asked if he thought being hogtied was painful, Carletti said he has previously been in that position and disagreed it hurt.

"No. Actually it is not painful," he said.

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Iced Earth To Appear On Bruce Dickinson Radio Show

IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson will be joined on his BBC 6 Music Rock Show radio program by ICED EARTH on November 30th.

According to a recent update, Iced Earth plan to hit the USA in March/April of 2008, and will then be on the road worldwide for the rest of 2008, including stops in Australia, Canada, Japan, Russia, and other countries. Iced Earth's new CD, Framing Armageddon - Something Wicked Part I, is out now via SPV.

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Iced Earth Drummer Posts Tour Report

ICED EARTH drummer Brent Smedley has checked in with the sixth installment of his European tour diary. All of Brent's diary entries can be read at the official Iced Earth website.

"Hello once again for the 6th installment of the road rage report from The Worldwide Wicked Tour Chapter 1: Europe.

After the Scandanavian gigs we traveled back to Hamburg, Germany to play The Markthalle. This venue holds a very special and historic signifigance for the band as it was the very first place for Iced Earth to play in Europe. The band has played there on every tour with the shows always being amazing.This night was no different… the show was absolutely amazing. The band was in top form and the crowd was intense and enthusiastic for every note. There were some record company people and some old friends in attendance as well. All opinions were that the show was totally awesome. The Markthalle is located in a neat area of town, just a short walk from a massive indoor/outdoor train station which I was able to visit.

The next gig was the last show in Germany in the town of Stuttgart. The venue we played is called The Longhorn, a very peculiar place. The walls are adorned with massive paintings in the style of Michelangelo meets Heavy Metal. There is also a small internet cafe area upstairs in the backstage which was most appreciatted by myself and many other members of our touring party. This day held special signifigance for Iced Earth and our crew. Today (October 30, 2007) the bus driver Guido proposed to his girlfriend Ute (who is on tour as well and in training to be a bus driver herself) after soundcheck. He came on stage and asked her to be his wife over the microphone and in front of all of us and Ute’s mother and friend. She came to the stage and gladly accepted a rose and Guido’s hand and of course said YES. Afterwards a champagne toast was shared to celebrate this momentous occasion. We were most honored to be a part of this.

So onto the gig… the crowd was massive and very intot he show and the band played very well once again. Larry Grohman, the creator of the Larry amp, was also in attendance. He brought Jon a newly modified guitar head, as they are working on a Jon Schaffer signature model which will be available in the near future. The next day we traveled to Paris, France to play a show at The Elysee Montmarte. Happy Halloween! This is somewhat of a pain in the ass gig for the crew as it is a “drop and go” gig, which means when we arrive after the equipment is unloaded (as fast as possible) the bus must leave and not return until we are ready to depart. The traffic in Paris is horrible and that is the reason for this situation. This was a rather large venue and we were blessed/cursed with some of the smallest dressing rooms on the tour complete with a broken toilet and a shower which leaked through the wall (a first for the tour).

We did a photo shoot right before we hit the stage. The crowd here was absolutely phenomenal. This venue was in a very vibrant part of town with all kinds of shops and stores lining the roads.The next show was in Tilburg, Holland at a place simply called 013. This was an extremely nice venue with spacious dressing rooms, great catering, and even a free foosball table in the backstage area. This was definitely one of the best crowds on the tour so far. It was a massive hall and was packed to the back and on all the balconies. This show was another great one for the band.

I must say that the people in Holland are some of the nicest in Europe. We were able to visit with some of them after the show and were thankful for their hospitality. There were some nice statues and a gothic cathedral within walking distance of the club, I was very grateful for the chance to get some pictures of these things as well of some great shots of the crowd. The show was another absolutely amazing one with the crowd simply eating up every note and begging for more.

The next night we played the final show of the headlining portion of the tour in Antwerp, Belgium. It was another packed house, a great way to finish this portion of the tour. The band played exceptionally well. The crowd was amazing also. I dedicated my performance to my father (Jack Richard Smedley) who passed away on this day November 2 in the year 1975. It was like I could feel his presence watching over me during the show - several times I felt chills running down my spine. It was sad to part ways with the opening bands – Turisas and Annihalator and their crews as well. We had a couple of departures as well; Udo the physical therapist, stony the Merchandise guy, and Paul the light man. Best of luck to all of them.

So now it is off to the UK for 11 shows in support of Heaven and Hell and also with Lamb of God. Stay tuned for exciting news and updates from the road… the tour should proveto have a monumental finish. I am happy to say that Jon’s ribs have pretty much healed and the bronchitishe has been battling with seems tobe on the mend as well.

METAL LIVES - Brent."

Iced Earth is currently on tour in support of HEAVEN AND HELL in the UK. Remaining dates include:

November:
9 - Manchester, England - Evening News Arena
10 - London, England - Wembley Arena
11 - Brighton, England - Centre
13 - Birmingham, England - NEC
14 - Cardiff, England - International Arena
15 - Nottingham, England - Arena
17 - Plymouth, England - Pavilions
18 - Bournemouth, England - BIC

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Obituary Guitarist Checks In

OBITUARY guitarist Ralph Santolla (also ex-DEICIDE, DEATH, ICED EARTH) has issued the following update via his MySpace page:

"OK, first off — I don't know or do any picking excercises! I'm not into that stuff at all. To the people that keep asking 'how do you play arpeggios?' the temptation to post a video on YouTube of myself playing a bunch of arpeggios and saying 'thusly" is almost too strong to resist. It's a stupid question, not to insult anybody, but the answer is so obvious that it makes me almost burst into flames every time I read one of those emails. As with the fast picking stuff or anything else that I've ever played on guitar, I do this: I decide what notes I want to play, then I work on them, LISTENING to what it sounds like, until it sounds like I want it to. Sometimes it takes years. The point is, I don't know ANY secrets about playing guitar, and there's no fairy dust that you can sprinkle on your guitar (or yourself, if that's how you roll) to make you good or great. To master an instrument requires suffering. It is also a process, not something that can ever be finished. In other words, everyone working on it in the world is on the same continuum (?), just at different points along the way. So if you REALLY want to play great, there's only one way — work. It's like trying to take down a mountain with a toothbrush — you can never finish, just scrape a little more every day. That's what I do.

"Having said that, here's a small piece of advice that will instantly make you more musical, and bring out more of each person's unique sound immediately: When you play or practice (any instrument), start and end your phrases before and after the bar line, or the 'one.' Starting and ending phrases within the measure all the time sounds very amateurish, and is especially a bad habit of a lot of metal guitarists,. Try it, and don't spill your beer in the process, another rookie move."

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Iced Earth Vocalist Talks Illegal Downloading

Sweden's Metalshrine conducted an interview with ICED EARTH/ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens on October 25, 2007 in Stockholm. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Metalshrine: Do you see any fear of not being able to make a living out of releasing records and playing live, since people are just downloading these days and artists don't sell as many records as they used to?

Owens: Definitely, yeah! It's definitely something that hurts. I don't think people realize what they're doing to the industry. It gets silly, really, that people even think that it's right to download stuff for free. But I think it's starting... now they have so many sites where you pay to download, so I think that people more and more have done that. You have iTunes and the sites where you pay to download. It hurts. I mean, it definitely takes more away. It scales down touring budgets and they don't realize how much it scales down everything. It's a shame. You just release them and see what you can do.

Metalshrine: Do you see it like totally getting away from the record companies and releasing stuff by yourself, through a website or whatever?

Owens: I don't know. Maybe there will end up being more specialized companies that sell records. Maybe labels are gonna try to be more "online labels." I think they are trying to do both now. Labels obviously have to focus on the Internet and making albums. I don't know. It's hard to say. I think there will always be CDs for quite a while. People still want some CDs, they want the artwork, so people will still buy them. It's hard. I buy a lot of my stuff, the majority of it, from iTunes, but I'm still buying it, though, that's the difference.

Metalshrine: Do you have any other projects going on? Have you ever thought of releasing a solo album?

Owens: I have been kind of contemplating it. Maybe trying to make some type of album and get a bunch of different musicians to do it with me. My idea would be kind of neat to just try and get 5 or 6 different guitar players, or just different people who each of them write a song for the album and then I write the lyrics and the melodies. Just try to release an album like that, would be kind of cool. Try to get Scott Ian [ANTHRAX] on a song.

Metalshrine: Yeah, I read about that. Scott Ian and Jon Oliva [SAVATAGE].

Owens: Yeah, Jon Oliva. Have him do some songs with me and maybe get Michael Wilton from QUEENSRŸCHE to do a song and maybe even Jeff Waters from ANNIHILATOR to do a song. Get Chris Caffery [SAVATAGE] to do a song. I think it would be kind of neat. I'd also like to make an album with Jon Oliva. I think that would be fun. But I've got the BEYOND FEAR thing now and I have some other things in the works. I have some people who have sent me some music and I've worked on some songs with them, so we'll see what happens with that.

Metalshrine: You've got an awesome voice, did you ever take lessons or are you totally self taught?

Owens: I started singing when I was a kid and I was in choirs and had some good teachers. Something I was born with, you know. I think I would've rather been born to be a brain surgeon, then my wife would've been a little happier (laughs). It's something I was born with and had the natural ability to do it, but then I've taken care of it and worked on it. It's not I just took for granted. OK, I've got this gift, but I'm not gonna run it into the ground, which I've seen a lot of people do. A lot of practice have gone into it.

Metalshrine: Just a few things about your JUDAS PRIEST days. Do you know if there's anything recorded with you that hasn't been released?

Owens: No, I think everything's been released. There's nothing. No extra tracks or no extra things that hasn't been released. I'm certain that nothing's left.

Metalshrine: If you got the chance, would you open up for JUDAS PRIEST?

Owens: Ah, man, we would open for them any day. I mean, I think it's a great combination and I think the fans would love it. I think ICED EARTH supporting JUDAS PRIEST on a tour would be a good thing and I know Jon says the same thing. There are bands that you want to open for. JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, HEAVEN AND HELL. Anybody that's big. You know, METALLICA, that would be the opportunity of a lifetime to open up for anyone of them.

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Iced Earth To Tour U.S. Next Spring

According to a posting on ICED EARTH's official web site, the band is planning on hitting the road in the U.S. in March/April 2008, to be followed by tours in Australia, Canada, Japan and Russia, among other countries. More details will be announced soon.

ICED EARTH's new song "Framing Armageddon" has been posted on the band's MySpace page. The track comes off the group's new album, "Framing Armageddon - Something Wicked Part I", which sold 7,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 78 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD is the follow-up to 2004's "The Glorious Burden", which has shifted more than 70,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

ICED EARTH's official web site, IcedEarth.com, has posted a 33-minute minute audio interview it conducted with Jon Schaffer on September 24, 2007. Topics covered in the interview include the relevance of chart positions in the Internet age, the impact of illegal music downloads on the band's touring schedule, "Something Wicked Part II" recording update, the upcoming November UK tour with HEAVEN AND HELL, touring in 2008, and future plans for the "Set Abominae"/"Something Wicked" storyline.

"Framing Armageddon - Something Wicked Part 1" expands the "Something Wicked" storyline first introduced in the trilogy of the same name appearing on the 1998 release, "Something Wicked This way Comes". "Framing Armageddon" will be followed in February/March 2008 by the band's ninth full-length studio release, tentatively titled "Revelation Abomination - Something Wicked Part 2" , continuing where "Framing Armageddon" leaves off.

ICED EARTH will support HEAVEN AND HELL on a U.K. tour beginning on November 4 in Newcastle.

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Iced Earth Drummer Issues Road Reports

Iced Earth drummer Brent Smedley has issued a couple of road reports from the band's European tour on Iced Earth's website. Here's an excerpt from the latest:

"Well we made it to the gig in Zaragoza, Spain, better late than never...broken down bus and all. Kudos to an awesome crew. It was a festival gig in Zaragoza, biggest crowd yet. The show was awesome even due to a rushed set-up and an extremely late start time. I think we played from 1-2:45 in the morning."

"After the show the festival grounds turned into the biggest after party I have ever seen. The Spanish sure know how to throw a party. The next day we played Barcelonia, Spain at the Razzmatazz. This was the first
gig we where able to use our full backdrop (it is immense). The shows in Spain are always awesome...it seems the peole are hot blooded and have such a passion for their Metal. It is great to be back on tour taking it to the
masses."

You can read more from this tour diary, the previous entry and future entries right here.

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Axl Rose and Others On Queen Tribute

According to GNRDaily.com, Axl Rose (GUNS N' ROSES), Vince Neil (MOTLEY CRUE) and Tim "Ripper" Owens (ICED EARTH, ex-JUDAS PRIEST) are among the artists who will appear on a new QUEEN tribute album, entitled "Rock n' Royalty: A Very Special Tribute To Queen". Due on November 11, the CD will feature the following track listing:

01. "Keep Yourself Alive" - ELLIS ISLAND
02. "White Queen (As It Began)" - CHERIE CURRIE
03. "Tie Your Mother Down" - ANDREW STOCKDALE and CHRIS ROSS
04. "Tenement Funster" - ROBBIE WILLIAMS
05. "Let Me Entertain You" - FEE WAYBILL
06. "Body Language" - DEREK ST. HOLMES
07. "Seven Seas Of Rhye" - JIMMY EAT WORLD
08. "Good Ol' Fashion Lover Boy" - CLAY AIKEN
09. "Calling All Girls" - VINCE NEIL
10. "You Don't Fool Me" - FLAMING LIPS
11. "Party" - performed by SWING CATS ft. W. AXL ROSE
12. "Breakthru" - THE FAMILY
13. "Rock It (Prime Jive)" - KORY CLARKE
14. "Sweet Lady" - ECHOCELL
15. "Spread Your Wings" - TIM "RIPPER" OWENS
16. "We Will Rock You" - THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
17. "We Are The Champions" - JUDY MOWATT
18. "Is This The World We Created....?" - HEAVEN 17 ft. MIKE LOVE
19. "God Save The Queen" - SIMON KIRKE and BRIAN MAY

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33 Minute Interview With Jon Schaffer Available

A 33 minute interview, conducted by Icedearth.com with Jon Schaffer on September 24, 2007, can be downloaded and/or heard at this location. To download the interview, use your mouse to right-click on the link above, and then select, "Download Linked File." The download is 30.6 MB.

If the link above does not work for you, copy and paste the URL below into your web browser:

http://www.icedearth.com/media/interview_092407.mp3

Topics covered in the interview include the relevance of chart positions in the internet age, the impact of illegal music downloads on the band's touring schedule, Something Wicked Part II recording update, the upcoming November UK tour with HEAVEN AND HELL, 2008 tours, and future plans for the Set Abominae/Something Wicked storyline.

ICED EARTH kicks off their European tour with supporting act, ANNIHILATOR, on October 8 in Koln, Germany.

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Iced Earth Make Small Tour Updates

There have been 3 recent changes to the Iced Earth European Fall 2007 tour itinerary. New dates and/or venues for Spain on October 12 and October 13. Also, a date in Paris, France has been added for October 31.

The band also recently confirmed that their very special supporting guests on the European tour will be none other than Annihilator. After that leg of the tour concludes, then it's onto the UK where Iced Earth will support the legendary Heaven and Hell.

Here are the latest Iced Earth tour dates: More...

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Lamb Of God Drummer Comments On UK Support Tour

LAMB OF GOD are teaming up with HEAVEN AND HELL for dates across the UK this November.

Commented drummer Chris Adler: “After our performance at Download Festival this past summer we knew it was important for us to get back to the UK as soon as possible. There is no better way than to join up with the true kings in Heaven And Hell. We are humbled by the opportunity and look forward to putting on an incredible show, every night.“

The final routing for the run is as follows:

November
4 - Newcastle, England at Metro Arena
6 - Glasgow, Scotland at SECC Hall 4
7 - Sheffield, England at Hallam FM Arena
9 - Manchester, England at Evening News Arena
10 - London, England at Wembley Arena
11 - Brighton, England at Brighton Centre
13 - Birmingham, England at NEC
14 - Cardiff, England at International Arena
15 - Nottingham, England at Nottingham Arena
17 - Plymouth, England at Pavilions
18 - Bournemouth, England at BIC

Lamb Of God will provide main support for each concert. The tour is also joined by ICED EARTH.

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Turisas Added To European Iced Earth Tour

Finnish folk metal warriors TURISAS have been added to ICED EARTH's forthcoming European tour. Also scheduled to appear are Canadian thrashers ANNIHILATOR. The dates are as follows:

Oct. 08 - Köln, Germany - Live Music Hall
Oct. 09 - München, Germany - Backstage Werk
Oct. 10 - Milan, Italy - Alcatraz
Oct. 12 - Barcelona, Spain - Sala Razzmatazz 1
Oct. 13 - Madrid, Spain - La Riviera
Oct. 15 - Pratteln, Switzerland - Konzertfabrik Z7
Oct. 16 - Graz, Austria - Orpheum
Oct. 17 - Wien, Austria - Planet Music
Oct. 18 - Brno, Czech Republic - Fleda
Oct. 19 - Berlin, Germany - Columbia Club
Oct. 21 - Malmö, Sweden - Kulturbolaget
Oct. 22 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
Oct. 23 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Tradgarn
Oct. 25 - Stockholm, Sweden - Tirol
Oct. 26 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Pumpenhuset
Oct. 28 - Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle
Oct. 30 - Stuttgart, Germany - LKA Longhorn
Nov. 01 - Tilburg, Netherlands - Club 013
Nov. 02 - Antwerpen, Belgiium - Hof Ter Lo

TURISAS recently unleashed its video for "Rasputin", a cover version of the old BONEY M disco classic every fan should already recognize from the band's live shows.

Band mastermind Warlord comments: "This video is pretty far from what you'd expect from a TURISAS video — or any metal video for that matter! The idea to the video is just as wild as the cover song itself: a battle metal band covering a '70s disco hit. Just as the song, it is a crossover of the '70s kitsch attached to the BONEY M track, but performed by us as we do it. Director Vesa-Matti Vainio and the whole crew did a great job on this one, and to me this is a good pick for our first video ever. I assure you, there are plenty of ideas on epic spectacles to be looked into later."

TURISAS' version of "Rasputin" will be released as a single on the following dates:

Germany: Friday, September 21, 2007.
UK / France: Monday, September 24, 2007.
Spain: Tuesday, September 25, 2007.
Finland: Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The CD single will also include the band's classic tune "Battle Metal". The strictly limited picture 7" vinyl version will feature "The Court of Jarisleif" as the B-side.

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Iced Earth Mainman Inks Endorsement Deal

ICED EARTH mainman on Schaffer has issued the following update:

"Well, recently a dream of mine came true. I’m now officially a Gibson Guitars endorsed artist.

This is the only guitar that I’ve used on every Iced Earth studio album and I’ve been an absolute Gibson addict for years. As many of you know, I’ve played 99% of every guitar part ever played on an Iced Earth recording. With the exception of a few guitar solos, I’ve recorded every rhythm, lead, clean and acoustic guitar part that you’ve ever heard from the band. All of those parts, with a very few exceptions, have been with a varying axe from the arsenal of my prized Gibson Guitars. It's because for my style there isn't a guitar out there that comes close in terms of tone, tightness and shear power. If you're a serious player, I highly recommend that you experience the power and focus of a Gibson Les Paul, Explorer, SG, etc. They all rule and they all can handle the speed and precision of brutal metal riffing, where most others fail to handle it. I've been saying it for years, even when I wasn't endorsed, there is no better, not even close.

So, for me to be an artist with the company that endorses JIMMY PAGE, ACE FREHLEY, ZAKK WYLDE, BB KING, JOHNNY A, PETE TOWNSEND, WARREN HAINES, etc., is truly a highlight of my career.

I have one of my very best friends to thank for this. A lot of you are familiar with my friendship with Blind Guardian for nearly 20 years now. I received an email from Marcus Siepen, guitarist for Blind Guardian, a few weeks before we did the Wacken Open Air festival. In that mail he stated that the guys at Gibson wanted to get in touch with me to talk about a deal. Marcus is a Gibson addict as well and we’ve often dreamt of being with them through the years. He told me that he had recently hooked up with them and that they were interested in me as well and wanted to meet at the festival. I was completely blown away and really excited about meeting them.

I met with Alex Becker from Gibson and we hit it off instantly, as he shares the same passion I do for these amazing instruments. From that point on I’ve entered into a deal that I expect will last a lifetime. I’ve been playing their guitars for over 20 years and Gibson is the only company that I would ever consider being exclusive with, I love their guitars that much.

We have some pretty exciting things planned for the future and we will keep you posted at www.icedearth.com for info on upcoming news. I want to thank Alex and Ulf from Gibson and I look forward to years of working together. This is truly a dream come true for me.

Take care all, and remember, Armageddon is coming......... real soon!"

Framing Armageddon is due for release in Germany on September 7th, all of Europe on September 10th, and on September 11th in North America via SPV.

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Iced Earth Drummer Talks About Illegal Downloading

Adam Ortiz of Loucifer Speaks recently conducted an interview with ICED EARTH drummer Brent Smedley. A couple of excerpts from the chatfollow:

Loucifer Speaks: How did you get into ICED EARTH?

Smedley: "How I got into ICED EARTH is a rather interesting story. It goes something like this...I had heard of ICED EARTH and seen an ad for Century Media Records (the band's record label at the time) in a magazine. I sent for a free catalog for Century Media. A few days after the catalog arrived I received a Century Media sampler CD which had one song from most of their top bands on it. I believe it was the second Century Media sampler they made. Anyhow the CD had the song 'Last December' on it. I liked the song so much that I put the intro from it on my answering machine. I was referred to the band by a mutual friend by the name of Steve Woodham from Alabama. So when Jon Schaffer called me to ask me about auditioning he heard his song on my answering machine...I"ll never forget that message. It seemed it was fate for me to play in ICED EARTH. I was the next to the last person to audition, they had me play 'Last December' and 'Dante's Inferno'. The rest, as they say, is history."

Loucifer Speaks: The promo version of "Framing Armageddon" was leaked some time ago. How do you feel about people downloading albums before they are officially released?

Smedley: "As to how I feel about downloading of music. I think it is a crime and a shame that so much theft of music goes on today. If you were a master painter would you give your paintings away? Or a builder, would you build your homes or offices for free? Downloading has reduced the music industry by 20%. I think it is one of the biggest problems facing the music business in modern times."

Loucifer Speaks: Do you have formal training, as in did you study at institutions and clinics?

Smedley: "I took four and a half years of private drum lessons, a year and a half of marimba lessons (a mallet percussion instrument), I played in school band my last 4 years of high school including marching band, symphonic band, percussion ensemble, and jazz band. I also studied music at the University Of North Florida, taking drumset and percussion lessons, and percussion ensemble.

Loucifer Speaks: Do you have any goals that you want to accomplish with the band now?

Smedley: "Goals I wish to accomplish with the band would consist of making the best records we can possibly make, giving the best live shows we can and staying true to ourselves, the music we love to play, and to stay true to the fans."

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Iced Earth Vocalist Talks New Album & Beyond Fear

Rich Catino of Metal Asylum recently conducted an interview with ICED EARTH/ex-JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Metal Asylum: So before we start talking about the forthcoming ICED EARTH album "Framing Armageddon", I wanted to ask how your other band BEYOND FEAR was received by both fans and critics?

Owens: It went good, man. Probably that was one of the best reviewed albums I had been part of. I know I really liked that debut album. To go over how well it did with the fans and critics was great. We didn't get to tour as much as we would have liked, guess since it was our first album, but it was a good surprise. The next one is gonna be even better. We're gonna do what we did with the last one, take the best parts, and continue on.

Metal Asylum: Do you think you may try something different on the next album?

Owens: It will always be classic metal, but I think a lot of the later songs that we recorded for the debut, like "Scream Machine", became favorites for fans. And lyrics to a song like that were not so serious and more cliché metal lyrics, you know about a metal machine. (Laughs) so I think some of the new songs may go in that direction. We are still gonna have songs like "Save Me", but I think it will probably have some more aggression. We have been writing now, John Comprix [guitar] and I, for a while. I have a lot of ideas and melodies in my head that I really can't use anywhere else (laughs). It's nice I get to use 'em for BEYOND FEAR. I mean, I have been a writer for many years but I don't get to do it as much as I would like, and ICED EARTH just keeps me so busy, but it's nice that every once and a while I get to do my thing with BEYOND FEAR. And we get to take our time with this band and practice together. I mean, that's what I want to hear with all my influences on one album that's what I like to do with FEAR.

Metal Asylum: Do you find that "Framing Armageddon" is closer to what the fans, and critics, expectations may be for ICED EARTH than what came our of "The Glorious Burden"?

Owens: I don't know, really. (Laughs) To me it's the same type of thing that happened when I was in JUDAS PRIEST. And it's the fact the I'm in a band that has never really been the same with every record. I mean, with ICED EARTH musically you could tell, but musically things changed — choruses were different, moods were different. But I think this one as a whole is more back to the roots of ICED EARTH and taking everything they have done up till now and mixing it in one record. You know, people say ICED EARTH is really a heavy band but they do have a couple balls out heavy songs per album, and then you have a couple slow ones, and then there are the mid-tempo ones. I think "Framing Armageddon" is a great CD and I can't see an ICED EARTH fan not liking it.

Metal Asylum: Since "Glorious Burden" was the first ICED EARTH album you sang on, what is different the second time around now for you as a singer.

Owens: It's similar vocal-wise because Jon [Schaffer, guitar] has always said he always writes the same. He said he always wrote for a singer like me. He said in a lot of interviews that Matt [Barlow, former singer] use to write lyrics but Jon writes all the melodies and vocal parts. And he doesn't write 'em for the singer in the band at the time, he writes them the way he thinks they should be sung. I know I naturally have a higher voice but I do wish I could sing more of the lower parts. I know with this album I was there when it was written, I went in there and did the demos and sang the parts. Jon said, "Here's the lyrics and melody and I want you to deliver it. Here's what I would like you to deliver it like, but you do what you feel." So that's what was cool about this album. "The Glorious Burden" was probably an easier album for me to sing than this one, even though it was already written when I came into the band. But when I go back and try to sing some of the stuff on "Framing Armageddon", I'm just like, "Holy shit, what did I do?"

Metal Asylum: Speaking of what you are singing on "Framing Armageddon", I was going to ask was there anything challenging to do on this record?

Owens: Definitely. I think there is a difference between a songwriter and a singer and Jon is a songwriter and I think he forgets sometimes that I have to breathe. (Laughs) And I do to I have to remember also in the heat of the moment while I am in the studio recording, so it's my fault, but then again when I have to go back and sing some of this stuff again, you know… It's like, "Ten Thousand Strong", that's just balls-out and when we were doing it in rehearsal I was like, "Man, this is tough." It's a natural high voice with no room to breathe; it's fun and challenging. There was stuff we did for BEYOND FEAR that was the same way but the difference is we rehearsed those songs first before we recorded those. I mean, with the new ICED EARTH album there are some registers that Jon has me reaching that I don't use that often, that I used in the past but not so much of recent. Two singers that were always like that were Bruce Dickinson [IRON MAIDEN] and Ronnie Dio, those are two guys that were always tough to do.

Metal Asylum: Do you think the ICED EARTH fans at this point have become more comfortable with you as the new singer?

Owens: I don't know. I mean, the real ICED EARTH fans know that Jon Schaffer was always the driving force of the band. And Matt Barlow [former ICED EARTH vocalist] was a great singer, but decided to make a career change. If they don't accept me, then listen to someone else, I guess; it doesn't really hurt my feelings. I know Jon is doing exactly what he wants to do and it's still classic ICED EARTH. I mean, people have to realize that I followed Halford in PRIEST and coming into ICED EARTH now doesn't hold that much pressure.

Metal Asylum: Contributing vocals to any other projects?

Owens: Not right now. ICED EARTH keeps me pretty busy, but I would like to. I would love to do a project with maybe Scott Ian from ANTHRAX, Vinnie Paul [PANTERA, HELLYEAH] on drums. I mean, there are so many people I would love to work with. You know, someone else I would love to work with down the road is Jon Oliva [SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA]. I mean, his style and my vocals would be a phenomenal mix, I think. I mean, imagine Jon Oliva, myself singing, Scott Ian doing rhythms and bring in Chris Caffery [SAVATAGE] on leads. That would be awesome!

Metal Asylum: Now that you mention Jon Oliva, I think you would sound great singing the old SAVATAGE stuff. And have you ever considered doing some vocals on a TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA album?

Owens: Man, I love that old SAVATAGE stuff. If they ever get it back together again, I would love to jam with them. Concerning TSO, I did speak with Paul O'Neill [TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA mastermind] but he just didn't pursue the idea. It was really surprising. I mean, I think it would work pretty well and I would sing what fits TSO's music. That band has some great singers that travel with them as it is. I mean, I would love to be part of that.

Read the entire interview at www.metalasylum.net.

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Iced Earth Post New Song Online

You can check out a new song from ICED EARTH entitled “The Setian Massacre” online over at the band’s official myspace page. The track comes off the group’s upcoming new album, Framing Armageddon - Something Wicked Part I, which will be released on September 11th through SPV.

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Iced Earth's 'Ten Thousand Strong' Video Available

ICED EARTH's video for the song "Ten Thousand Strong" has been released. You can watch the clip on YouTube or below. The track comes off the group's new album, "Framing Armageddon - Something Wicked Part I", which is scheduled for release via SPV on the following dates:

Germany: September 7
Rest of Europe: September 10
North America: September 11

"Framing Armageddon - Something Wicked Part 1" (cover art) expands the "Something Wicked" storyline first introduced in the trilogy of the same name appearing on the 1998 release, "Something Wicked This way Comes". "Framing Armageddon" will be followed in February/March 2008 by the band's ninth full-length studio release, tentatively titled "Revelation Abomination - Something Wicked Part 2" , continuing where "Framing Armageddon" leaves off.

Video footage of ICED EARTH performing the song "A Charge to Keep" at this year's Wacken Open Air festival, which took place August 2-4 in Wacken, Germany, has been posted on you tube

ICED EARTH will embark on a European headlining tour in October/November. Support on all shows will come from DARK TRANQUILLITY. A list of dates can be found this location. A poster for the tour can be viewed here.

ICED EARTH will support HEAVEN AND HELL on a U.K. tour beginning on November 4 in Newcastle. More...

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Iced Earth To Tour Europe With Dark Tranquillity

ICED EARTH will embark on a European headlining tour in October/November. Support on all shows will come from DARK TRANQUILLITY. Confirmed dates are as follows:

Oct. 08 - D - Köln - Live Music Hall
Oct. 09 - D - München - Backstage Werk
Oct. 10 - I - Milan - Alcatraz
Oct. 12 - E - Barcelona - Sala Razzmatazz 1
Oct. 13 - E - Madrid - La Riviera
Oct. 15 - CH - Pratteln - Konzertfabrik Z7
Oct. 16 - A - Graz - Orpheum
Oct. 17 - A - Wien - Planet Music
Oct. 18 - CZ - Brno - Fleda
Oct. 19 - D - Berlin - Columbia Club
Oct. 21 - S - Malmö - Kulturbolaget
Oct. 22 - N - Oslo - Rockefeller
Oct. 23 - S - Gothenburg - Tradgarn
Oct. 25 - S - Stockholm - Tirol
Oct. 26 - DK - Kopenhagen - Pumpenhuset
Oct. 28 - D - Hamburg - Markthalle
Oct. 30 - D - Stuttgart - LKA Longhorn
Nov. 01 - NL - Tilburg - Club 013
Nov. 02 - B - Antwerpen - Hof Ter Lo

A poster for the tour can be found at this location. More...

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Breaking News

Watch Wacken Open Air Live Online 8/3-8/4

For those of you missing Wacken Open Air, several band performances, interviews, and other footage is being streamed online during festival hours. Keep in mind that Germany is 6 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time, so make appropriate adjustments when arranging to watch your favorite band.

Intended Stream Schedule (subject to change)

Extended Schedules, including the Headbangers Ballroom, can be found at the following locations:

Friday, Aug 3
Black Stage
23:00-00:15 DIMMU BORGIR
02:00-03:00 APO.REITER

True Metal Stage
21:15-22:45 BLIND GUARDIAN
00:30-01:45 ICED EARTH

Party Stage
(4am EST)11:00-11:45 BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
23:00-00:15 SCHANDMAUL
02:00-03:00 SAMAEL

Saturday Aug 4
Black Stage
(5am EST)12:00-12:45 SONIC SYNDICATE
13:55-14:40 MOONSPELL
16:00-17:00 DIR EN GREY
18:45-20:00 DESTRUCTION + guests
21:45-23:00 IMMORTAL
00:45-01:45 CANNIBAL CORPSE

True Metal Stage
12:50-13:50 SACRED REICH
14:45-15:45 STRATOVARIUS
17:15-18:30 RAGE
20:15-21:30 TYPE O NEGATIVE
23:15-00:30 IN FLAMES
02:00-03:00 SUBWAY TO SALLY

Party Stage
12:00-12:45 DISILLUSION
13:55-14:40 HEAVEN SHALL BURN
16:00-17:00 DIMENSION ZERO
18:45-19:45 NORTHER
21:45-23:00 STORMWARRIOR feat.Kai Hansen
00:45-01:45 HAGGARD

Headbanger's Ballroom Notable mentions:
18:10-18:40 SWALLOW THE SUN
21:25-22:10 MOONSORROW

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