In a recent interview with Maximum Metal, vocalist Stu Block confirmed that ICED EARTH's new album, "Incorruptible", is the band's last release for longtime label Century Media.
When asked why ICED EARTH has been saying in interviews that "Incorruptible" is the group's final recording under the current model, Block explained: "Well, basically, what we're trying to do is become more independent. Basically, we kind of see a lot of writing on the wall in a lot of factions in this industry, especially from the record labels. You can see that they are seeing the writing on the wall. They have to revamp their whole business model. You know, the bands have to revamp the way they do things.
"ICED EARTH is a legacy band," he continued. "ICED EARTH has been around for almost 30 years, which is pretty fuckin' impressive. You know, for a band to be around that long and still have a very strong leadership… Jon [Schaffer, ICED EARTH guitarist and main songwriter] has been a very, very strong leader. He's always had the vision and he has never faltered from it. 'Incorruptible' is really kind of based off of that. The band is incorruptible. We are never going to falter. You're never going to get a techno record or a metal techno record from an ICED EARTH album, you know what I mean? We're never going to stray off the path of what the vision is, right? Just to sell more records... we aren't going to change that."
He continued: "The independence aspect is how things have to change in the future, so we have to try to think of ways to be more independent. We have to think of how to sell direct to the fans and coming up with new packages and new exciting things that the fans actually want to buy. A lot of things needs to be taken into consideration and it's all really new. We are hoping to pave the way, you know, try to help people, help bands that maybe want to go more independent."
Regarding ICED EARTH's future after Century Media, Block said: ""Maybe a new record label, but hopefully paving our own path and having more control over our destiny. I think the band needs to be able to have more control over their future, that kind of thing. We only have our own selves to blame if things fall apart, right? [It] makes us work harder, makes everybody else work harder, makes the whole team work harder. With Jon's knowledge of the industry… he's got a plethora of knowledge. He has been there and done that. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes down to somebody who has been through almost every aspect of the business portion of the industry. He is very knowledgeable and we have to take all that and build off of it and I think it will be a really great future."
"Incorruptible", ICED EARTH's twelfth album, was released on June 16. The production duties were overseen by Schaffer, with the mix and mastering handled by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (HATEBREED, QUEENSRŸCHE). The fiery cover artwork and layout was created by David Newman-Stump and Roy Young. "Incorruptible" is also the first ICED EARTH album to feature new guitarist Jake Dreyer (WITHERFALL).