Iced Earth

For more than twenty-five years now, Iced Earth has represented both the undying spirit of heavy metal and its penchant for rhythmic technical flair. So it is that the metal world pauses for at least a brief moment to bear witness to the birth of a new Iced Earth record, this time called “Plagues of Babylon.”

We metal fans are not above snobbery. We love our pedigrees as much as any blue-blood. When a new band comes along, we tend to look and see who the members may have played with in the past, hoping for an indicator of quality before we ever hear a note. Seeing a familiar old name attached to a project makes us feel better about getting involved with yet another new band, even if it does tip the scales before our brains are ready to make an informed decision.

Iced Earth, over the course of the band's roughly twenty-five year sojourn, has become the working epithet for guitarist and songwriter Jon Schaffer. As the band begins to solidify their lineup and re-ignites their fanbase with last year's "Dystopia," Iced Earth seems rejuvenated and ready to continue their march as the vanguard of speed metal's underground. Jon sat down to talk about his band then and now, his side projects, and what it took to get here.