Former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens has officially joined ICED EARTH. Owens, whose split with PRIEST was said to have been amicable, has already finished laying down vocals to the group's new album, "The Glorious Burden", tentatively due this fall through SPV/Steamhammer Records.

"The album is done, and it's not just done, it rules!!" ICED EARTH guitarist/songwriter Jon Schaffer writes on the band's web site. "I have never been more pleased in all my years of recording. It came out the way it was supposed to be!"

With regards to Tim's performance on the album, Schaffer says, Tim "did an amazing job! I know there were a lot of people hoping that [Owens would be the group's new singer], and [he] is . . . I can honestly tell you I've never felt better and am truly looking to the future with more optimism than ever before."

ICED EARTH's web site is currently hosting MP3 clips of three songs from the forthcoming CD, including first single, "The Reckoning". Check them out:

01. The Reckoning (Schaffer) (44kHz, 3.35MB, 3:39)
02. Hollow Man (Schaffer) (44kHz, 2.98MB, 3:15)
03. Red Baron / Blue Max (Schaffer/Owens) (44kHz, 2.77MB, 3:01)


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