"Plagues Of Babylon", the new album from North American power metallers ICED EARTH, sold around 6,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 49 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The band's previous CD, "Dystopia", opened with around 6,100 units back in October 2011 to enter the chart at No. 67.
ICED EARTH's 2008 effort, "The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part II)", registered a first-week tally of 6,700 to debut at No. 79.
"Plagues Of Babylon" was recorded at Principal Studios (KREATOR, IN EXTREMO, GRAVE DIGGER) in Senden, Germany and was mixed at NHow Studios in Berlin, Germany. Guest vocals on "Highwayman" were laid down by VOLBEAT frontman Michael Poulsen and SYMPHONY X/ADRENALINE MOB singer Russell Allen. Guest vocals on "Plagues Of Babylon", "Among The Living Dead", "Democide", "Resistance" and "If I Could See You" are by BLIND GUARDIAN vocalist Hansi Kürsch. The cover and additional artwork was created by Eliran Kantor (TESTAMENT, ATHEIST, HATEBREED).
"Plagues Of Babylon" track listing:
01. Plagues Of Babylon
03. The Culling
04. Among The Living Dead
06. The End?
07. If I Could See You
11. Spirit Of The Times
Songs 1-6 form the "Plagues Of Babylon" story line, part of the ongoing "Something Wicked" Universe
ICED EARTH will promote the new CD in its North American homeland with the headlining "Worldwide Plagues Tour", which kicks off April 4 for a six-week run with SABATON and REVAMP in support.
"This is a seriously heavy album with a seriously brutal album cover," says ICED EARTH mainman/guitarist Jon Schaffer of "Plagues Of Babylon". "I'm sure it will go down as a classic in the epic ICED EARTH catalog.
"We feel that the package with SABATON and REVAMP is very strong and we are very excited to tour the U.S. and Canada again and kick some major ass!"
Jon Dette (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX) is sitting behind the drums for ICED EARTH's current European headlining tour, taking over for Raphael Saini, who filled in during the summer 2013 festivals, the recording of ICED EARTH's new album, and the club leg of the VOLBEAT tour.
Dette made his live debut with ICED EARTH on November 6, 2013 at O2 World in Berlin, Germany.
ICED EARTH last year parted ways with drummer Brent Smedley for "personal family reasons."