ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer has posted the following message on the band's official web site:
"As some of you may have heard I recently had lower back surgery. It seemed early on that things were going well with my recovery, however in recent weeks a new problem has developed. I will be undergoing some intense testing in the next week to 10 days to see what the next steps will be. Which leads to the bad news, due to the serious complications with my back, we're going to have to postpone the European leg of the tour and possibly even the first 2 weeks or so of the US Tour. It really depends on what the doctor says after all testing is done and the options are on the table. If another surgery is necessary it may push the tour back even more. Obviously this is the absolute last thing that we ever want to do, but my health has to come first, and the potential of causing permanent damage is very real.
"Those of you that have been following the band for a long time know that it's always top priority to give you the best show possible. At the current and very intense level of pain that I'm in, there's no way that I'd be able to do my part and give 100%, and you don't deserve anything less.
"The guys in the band are as disappointed as I am but they are understanding and supportive at the same time.
" 'The Glorious Burden' is by far the album that has received the best reviews in the band's history, charted the best around the world, sold more than double in the early stages compared with 'Horror Show' in all major territories, and continues to grow full steam ahead. It is the album that I knew it would be and I hate that we have to change our plans due to my back problems. However, in the big picture, it's the only decision that I can make.
"I hope you all can understand the seriousness of the situation. Please know that as much as this sucks, it's the best thing for me, the band, and for you.
"The tour WILL happen, and when it does, I guarantee you will see the best ICED EARTH show you ever have! I feel 10 years younger and am having fun again, it totally sucks that my back is causing these problems!
"I thank you in advance for your support through this tough time and will keep you posted as to my progress...
"Take care, Jon Schaffer"