Century Media Records has announced the signing of DEMONS & WIZARDS to a worldwide deal.
Founded in 1999 by Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN) and Jon Schaffer (ICED EARTH), DEMONS & WIZARDS released two highly acclaimed albums, 1999s' "Demons & Wizards" and 2005's "Touched By The Crimson King". The band is currently recording its as-yet-untitled third studio LP, which is scheduled to be released in early 2020.
Kürsch comments: "It is a great pleasure and a big honor for me to finally become a full part of the Century Media family. Jon and I both feel that Century Media is the perfect match for our upcoming DEMONS & WIZARDS missions. And there will be plenty of them.
"Right at the moment, we have not only finalized a re-boot of our first two albums, but are also working with full forces on the successor of 'Touched By The Crimson King'. Good things are on its way. Expect nothing but the best and do not miss us on the road this summer, unless you want to risk another 20 years of waiting."
Philipp Schulte of Century Media Records adds: "To say that we are stoked to be finally working with Hansi and Jon on a new DEMONS & WIZARDS album would be an understatement.
"This is a very important signing to the label: A top-tier metal band and a great addition to the label’s roster.
"The fans have been patiently waiting for DEMONS & WIZARDS’ return. And now the time is near!
"We start our cooperation by re-releasing the band's two classic albums, before they are conquering the festival stages all across Europe. And then, in the beginning of 2020, after 15 years of waiting, DEMONS & WIZARDS will finally return with a new studio album. It is time to hoist the sails for the storm to come. Welcome aboard!"
Prior to the release of the new studio album, Century Media will release DEMONS & WIZARDS' first two albums as reworked special editions. Remastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ICED EARTH, QUEENSRŸCHE, SANCTUARY), these two releases will be out on June 7 as limited-edition digipak and limited deluxe 2LP releases with bonus material and liner notes by both members.
On March 29, the digital standard versions of the remastered albums will be made available in order to promote the band's festival run in Europe.
Schaffer spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to "Touched By The Crimson King" during a December 2018 appearance on the ICED EARTH-centric podcast "Podcast In Stone". He said: "I have written some of the best instrumental pieces in my entire career in the last few weeks, and I'm very, very excited to hear what Hansi does on top of these things. So, the feeling is really good. He's very into what I sent him.
"We had three songs going that we started working on a few years ago, but everything got busy for me with ICED EARTH and him with BLIND GUARDIAN," Jon continued. "But I'm stoked with the stuff that I've written — I mean, very, very happy. We're gonna be taking people on a journey, man — for sure."
"Touched By The Crimson King" was partially based on the "The Dark Tower" series of books (written by Stephen King) in which the Crimson King is the main antagonist. The album was released in Japan in September 2005 with the following bonus tracks: "Lunar Lament", "Wicked Witch" (slow version) and "Spatial Architects". The CD also included the "Terror Train" video. The disc featured an appearance by HALFORD and SEBASTIAN BACH drummer Bobby Jarzombek.
Schaffer said in a 2009 interview that he felt "Touched By The Crimson King" was a bit rushed and he was determined to do things differently next time around. "We had this window of opportunity where we had to get it done and we kind of let time dictate the schedule instead of our feelings, and that was probably a mistake," he explained. "I mean, I'm proud of that record and it sold killer and it's a good album, but I think Hansi and I are capable of a lot more, especially when we get back to the root reasons of why we did this thing together."
DEMONS & WIZARDS tour dates:
May 31 - Garage, Saarbrücken (DE)
Jun. 01 - Z7, Pratteln (CH)
Jun. 02 - Batschkapp, Frankfurt (DE)
Jun. 19 - Copenhell Festival, Copenhagen (DK)
Jun. 21 - Hellfest, Clisson (FR)
Jun. 22 - Graspop Metal Meeting, Dessel (B)
Jun. 29 – Dokk'em Open Air, Dokkum (NL)
Jun. 30 - Islington Assembly Hall, London (UK)
Jul. 04 - Barcelona Rock Fest, Barcelona (ES)
Jul. 06 - Chania Rock Festival, Chania (GR)
Jul. 21 - Metaldays, Tolmin (SVN)
Aug. 01-03 - Wacken Open Air, Wacken (DE)
Sep. 5 - ProgPower, Atlanta (US)