ICED EARTH mainman/guitarist Jon Schaffer (pictured below) has issued the following update:
"There's a lot happening in ICED EARTH world at the moment. We are just a few short weeks away from getting together in Germany to rehearse the new songs for the upcoming album, 'Plagues Of Babylon'. We have a few weeks of rehearsal, then we start tracking the new album in between a string of festivals in Europe, and one in India, which we are all excited about, since it'll be our first time there.
"Tracking will be done at a studio in Germany to try to keep the jetlag at a minimum. The numerous trips across the Atlantic during the 'Dystopia' recording were a bit brutal, so we are doing it smarter this time. If we stay on target, you will have the new album in October! It's a tight schedule, but we are intent on making it happen. I am very happy with the work so far, and it's only going to get better when we are all together cranking it out."
ICED EARTH recently parted ways with drummer Brent Smedley for "personal family reasons." His replacement, Raphael Saini (CHAOSWAVE), will join the group on the road starting this summer.
"I have family members that are elderly and frail and need my help here in Jacksonville," Smedley said in a statement. "It's been one of the hardest decisions of my life but I simply cannot commit to the kind of schedule the band deserves and requires so I decided to ask permission to step down from my post."
Added the remaning members of ICED EARTH: "Brent has been a valued member of the group for a long time. We thank him for his contributions, friendship and energy and wish him all the best for the future. We want to welcome Raphael with open arms and are expecting for our fans to give him the welcome he deserves."
Songtitles set to appear on "Plagues Of Babylon" (among others):
* Plagues of Babylon
* Among The Living Dead
* The Resistance
* If I Could See You
The first part of ICED EARTH's 2014-2015 world tour will kick off on January 9, 2014 in Saarbrücken, Germany.
ICED EARTH has been hitting it relentlessly, with the recent studio album, "Dystopia", being the most toured album in the band's illustrious history.
One of the many highlights of the "World Dystopia Tour", a headline show at the historic Kourion Amphitheatre in Cyprus, was recently released on Blu-ray, DVD and in many other formats under the title "Live In Ancient Kourion".
"Dystopia" was released in October 2011 via Century Media Records. The CD marked the band's recording debut with singer Stu Block (INTO ETERNITY), who joined ICED EARTH in March 2011 following the departure of Matt Barlow.