Iced Earth
1988
United States
Music group
Founded by the burning ambition of a 16-year-old runaway in Indiana, Jon Schaffer's vision has remained unadulterated since day one because of the obvious: nothing is more important to him than the music he writes and the fans who support his music.

Originally based in Indiana, USA, Jon Schaffer (rhythm guitarist and band leader) and Greg Seymour (drums) first worked together in the early 80s under the name Purgatory. The duo relocated to Florida in 1985, where they teamed up with Richard Bateman (bass), Bill Owen (guitar) and Gene Adam (vocals) to record demos and perform on the local club scene. Bateman and Owen were replaced by Dave Abell and Randall Shawver respectively, and the band were forced to change their name to Iced Earth when it transpired there was another outfit already known as Purgatory.

On June 25th, 1988 the band first played a liveshow under the name Iced Earth. Remaining faithful and dedicated to defiant, non-commercial heavy metal, Iced Earth have indisputably established themselves as one of the most dynamic and musically multi-dimensional bands in the world since. Terrorizer Magazine aptly describes their characteristic sound this way:
"Take the best bits off [Metallica's] Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets, combine them with equally classic Priest and a healthy shot of vintage Maiden and you're about halfway there."
Iced Earth's self-titled debut spread steadily throughout the European underground in 1991, while in North America the metal market was soon to undergo a drastic change. Through their persistence of vision and in spite of the U.S. trend-laden music scene, Iced Earth never succumbed to the pressure of going mainstream. Songwriter and guitarist Jon Schaffer added vocalist Matthew Barlow to the band's nucleus in 1995, which strengthened the band's writing and solidified its forceful delivery. The incredible praise Barlow earned for his work on Iced Earth's third studio album, Burnt Offerings, brought only a hint of the powerful things to come.

The Dark Saga, with its trademarked orchestral elements, was released in 1996 and heralded the band's breakthrough in the United States. Sales of Iced Earth's back catalog increased with every newfound fan. Band members frequently faced inquiries about their demo recordings and unreleased rarities.

Using the benefit of updated recording technology for their 1997 offering Days Of Purgatory, they meticulously reconstructed all of the material from their infamous Enter The Realm demo tape and reworked selected songs from their first two classics, Iced Earth and Night Of The Stormrider, so fans could enjoy classic Iced Earth material written between 1986-1994.

With the legacy of severeal albums, they have built an unwavering legion of loyal-to-the-death followers around the world. In turn, they have returned that loyalty ten-fold to their fans. In 1999, they embarked on a successful six-week national U.S. tour in support of Something Wicked This Way Comes.

In Europe, they dominated stages at the Gods Of Metal festival in Italy, the Dynamo festival in The Netherlands, and the legendary Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. Words often fail the attempts to describe first-hand accounts of the raw power felt at an Iced Earth concert.
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