ICED EARTH's new full-length studio album, "The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part II)", will be released through SPV Records on the following dates:Germany, Austria, Switzerland: September 5
Rest of Europe: September 8
USA, Canada: September 9 "The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part II)" track listing: 01. In Sacred Flames
02. Behold The Wicked Child
03. Minions Of The Watch
04. The Revealing
05. A Gift Or A Curse
06. Crown Of The Fallen
07. The Dimensional Gauntlet
08. I Walk Alone
09. Harbinger Of Fate
10. Crucify The King
11. Sacrificial Kingdoms
11. Something Wicked (Part 3)
12. Divide And Devour
14. Come What May
15. Epilogue "The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part II)" continues where ICED EARTH's 2007 release, "Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part I)" left off. "The Crucible of Man" features the return of frontman Matt Barlow who was mainman/guitarist Jon Schaffer's original voice of choice to introduce the "Something Wicked" saga back in 1998 as a trio of songs which concluded their album, "Something Wicked This Way Comes". While the 1998 album provided a general overview of the story Schaffer has been conceptualizing for well over a decade, the saga is being fully brought to life with the release of the back-to-back conceptual albums "Framing Armageddon" and "The Crucible of Man". While both albums provide answers to mysteries the previous releases would create, the timeliness of the story in today's world is guaranteed to keep people thinking and guessing. Schaffer's ability to convey the central themes and events of the story without always revealing exactly "why" characters' decisions are made and "how" events come to pass, will keep fans of the saga coming back as future mediums for the "Something Wicked" storyline are revealed. "The Crucible of Man"'s release will be followed by a North American tour that kicks off in September and features an appearance as headliner for the ProgPower USA IX festival in Atlanta, Georgia on September 27. The single from the new album is titled "I Walk Among You" and was released worldwide in June by Steamhammer/SPV and features the new track "I Walk Alone" as well as three additional songs from "Framing Armageddon" with new vocal performances by Matt Barlow. All tracks can be listened to in their entirety at both the band's official web site and MySpace pages with exception of the track "A Charge to Keep" which is an iTunes exclusive.
ICED EARTH's official web site, IcedEarth.com, caught up with the band's mainman, Jon Schaffer (guitar), on June 16, 2008 for an audio interview lasting 16 minutes which is available as a free MP3 download (15.2 MB) at this location. Topics include: * The choice of title for the forthcoming release, "The Crucible of Man - Something Wicked Part II"
* Choir arrangements used during recording, including the vocal arrangments (chants) used at the conclusion of the song, "The Coming Curse" from 1998's' "Something Wicked This Way Comes" release
* Thoughts on re-recording songs from the back-catalog as acoustic versions
* Technical talk about mastering, volume, compression, and dynamic range
* Playing live with the new touring lineup ICED EARTH sold 1,450 copies of its new EP, "I Walk Among You", in the United States in the single's first week of release — enough to land the EP at No. 2 on the Billboard Maxi Singles chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Top Singles chart. Professionally filmed video footage of ICED EARTH's June 28, 2008 performance at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium can be viewed below.