Iced Earth

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Iced Earth is a Heavy Metal band from the United States that was founded in 1984 by rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer. Their music tends to be a combination of traditional heavy metal, thrash metal, and Power Metal. Many of their songs alternate between lighter passages and heavier, more aggressive parts. Many of their songs have dark fantasy-based themes and/or involve hell and damnation, although there are exceptions.

Iced Earth's line-up changes very frequently; Jon Schaffer is the only musician who has always been in the band. One of their singers, Matt Barlow, temporarily left the band in 2003, returning in 2008 for The Crucible of Man. While he was gone, Tim "Ripper" Owens (the Replacement Scrappy for Judas Priest) sang in Iced Earth. And the fans raged as much as the Priest fans did during their own Owens era.

Barlow quit again in early 2011, and his replacement is Stu Block from Into Eternity.

Jon Schaffer also has two side projects, Demons and Wizards, with Blind Guardian singer Hansi Kürsch, and Sons of Liberty.

They also have two songs in Brutal Legend's soundtrack.

Related Acts:

Current Line-up:

  • Jon Schaffer (Rhythm Guitar, 1984–present)
  • Stu Block (Lead Vocals, 2011–present)
  • Troy Seele (Lead Guitar, 2007–present)
  • Freddie Vicales (Bass, 2008–present)
  • Bret Smedley (Drums, 1996-1997, 1998-1999, 2006-present)
  • 1990 - Iced Earth
  • 1991 - Night of the Stormrider
  • 1995 - Burnt Offerings
  • 1996 - The Dark Saga
  • 1998 - Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • 2001 - Horror Show
  • 2004 - The Glorious Burden
  • 2004 - The Blessed and the Damned
  • 2007 - Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part 1)
  • 2008 - The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part 2)
  • 2011 - Dystopia
Iced Earth provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Anti-Anti-Christ: Played with in The Crucible of Man. Set Abominae decides not to destroy humanity after all, but makes it pretty clear that if they fuck up too badly, he's on them.
  • Concept Album: Over half of their albums.[1]
  • Creator Breakdown: Burnt Offerings was recorded when Schaffer was going through an ugly divorce and a lot of in-fighting within the band, all while suffering from a bad back injury.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Although IE's music generally has very little swearing, Jon Schaffer has a tendency to do this in interviews.
  • Epic Rocking: Most notably the sixteen minute "Dante's Inferno", but also:
    • Gettysburg 1863: Three songs covering the three days of battle, approximately 30 minutes in total. Epic beyond words.
    • There's also the 'Dark Saga Trilogy' encompassing 'Suffering Scarred', 'Slave to the Dark', and 'A Question of Heaven', in total they're about 15–20 minutes put together.
      • Early classics "When The Night Falls" and "Travel In Stygian" last 8 and 9 minutes respectively.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Hold at All Costs

"Just a mile or so away
Is my dearest friend in this world
He wears the blue, and I, the gray
And God it hurts me so..."

  • Filk Song: The Dark Saga, Horror Show, Dystopia, and some others.
  • Heavy Mithril: Many of their songs, but their material ventures more into horror-esque and theological themes than high fantasy.
  • Heel Face Turn: Set Abominae at the end of The Crucible of Man.
  • Humanity on Trial: With Set Abominae as the judge.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: "Motivation of Man" covers humanity's attempt to gain power amongst other lifeforms. Through Warhammer levels of ethnic cleansing.
  • I Am the Band: Again, Jon Schaffer is Iced Earth.
  • Lighter and Softer: Earlier albums are more thrash/power metal and later albums are slightly more radio-friendly hard rock, though still fairly dark and aggressive.
    • Subverted with their 2011 album Dystopia which is the heaviest album they've put out since the 90s.
    • Burnt Offerings is probably their heaviest album, the title track verges on Black Metal with a power metal chorus.
  • Mascot: Set Abominae
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally a 7 or an 8, with their ballads often in 5 or 6 territory.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: In "Dante's Inferno", "Angels Holocaust," "The Awakening," "The Coming Curse," and "Damien," though it's not actually Latin.
    • Also "In Sacred Flames", the intro to Crucible of Man (which is real Latin, though it's isolated words rather than sentences).
  • One of Us: The Dark Saga is based on Spawn.
    • And officially accepted as well: Todd McFarlane provided the cover art for the album.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Night Of The Stormrider takes place from the point of view of a decidedly evil person, who we still feel sorry for as he meets his doom.
  • Protest Song: Little of Iced Earth's main output barring The Glorious Burden,[2] but Schaffer's side project Sons of Liberty is very politically charged.
  • Revolving Door Band: Aside from Jon Schaffer being the only constant member, they have had 5 different singers over the course of 10 albums. First Gene Adam, then John Greely, Matt Barlow, Tim 'Ripper' Owens (who you may know as being Rob Halford's very similar-sounding replacement in Judas Priest), back to Matt, and now Stu Block.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Inverted. The Setians are the original inhabitants of the earth, and the humans are alien invaders.
  • Villain Song: "Burning Times", along with quite a few songs on "Horror Show". Night of the Stormrider takes place entirely from the point of view of a villain.
  1. Night of the Stormrider, The Dark Saga, Horror Show, The Glorious Burden, the Something Wicked series, and Dystopia.
  2. The Glorious Burden is quite a political album. Various songs (e.g. The Gettysburg Trilogy) are about the US Civil War and When The Eagle Cries is about 9/11.