ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer has confirmed that he and BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch are working on material for the long-awaited third album from their side project DEMONS & WIZARDS.
DEMONS & WIZARDS was launched in 1997 and has released two full-length albums so far: 2000's self-titled effort and 2005's "Touched By The Crimson King". The latter was partially based on the "The Dark Tower" series of books (written by Stephen King) in which the Crimson King is the main antagonist.
In a brand new interview with Metal Wani, Schaffer revealed that songwriting sessions for the follow-up to "Touched By The Crimson King" have officially begun, but cautioned that "it's gonna take some time. [Hansi] did work up two songs that I sent him of vocal melodies and cadences and I still have to fly him into the sessions and move him around and experiment with him and stuff and see how it's feeling," he said. "We're gonna take our time, but at least now we're actually doing it. So I would hope that next year we'll have it out. I hope that we can get the songwriting all dialed in in this calendar year in between the holes — he's busy, I'm busy — but at least we're actually moving forward with it for the first time in twelve years or whatever."
"Touched By The Crimson King" was released in Japan in September 2005 with the following bonus tracks: "Lunar Lament", "Wicked Witch" (slow version) and "Spatial Architects". The CD also included the "Terror Train" video. The disc featured an appearance by HALFORD and SEBASTIAN BACH drummer Bobby Jarzombek.
Schaffer said in a 2009 interview that he felt "Touched By The Crimson King" was a bit rushed and he was determined to do things differently next time around. "We had this window of opportunity where we had to get it done and we kind of let time dictate the schedule instead of our feelings, and that was probably a mistake," he explained. "I mean, I'm proud of that record and it sold killer and it's a good album, but I think Hansi and I are capable of a lot more, especially when we get back to the root reasons of why we did this thing together."
ICED EARTH's new album, "Incorruptible", will be released on June 16 via Century Media. The cover artwork for the disc (as well as additional illustrations to every song) was created by David Newman-Stump from Skeleton Crew Tattoo (pencil illustrations) and Roy Young (colors).
BLIND GUARDIAN will release a new concert album titled "Live Beyond The Spheres" on July 7 as a 3-CD and 4-LP box via Nuclear Blast. The set will include material recorded at various shows during the band's European tour in 2015. It will contain old classics, new tracks as well as songs that were very rarely performed during BLIND GUARDIAN's live shows.