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ICED EARTH To Release Massive Festivals Of The Wicked DVD; Trailers Available

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, June 6, 2011 @ 2:43 PM


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ICED EARTH will release Festivals Of The Wicked - the six-hour DVD extravaganza comprised of three full-length concerts (Wacken, Rock Hard, and Metal Camp), a 60-minute documentary, photo galleries, and video clips - in Europe later this month (June 27th) and America shortly thereafter (July 12th).

Check out two trailers for the massive DVD set below!

Click here for trailer #2.

The cover art can be seen above, featuring Iced Earth mascot Set Abominae emerging from the fires of Hell, riffing on a Les Paul. Festivals Of The Wicked boasts nearly six hours of Iced Earth – three full headliner shows (over 40 live tracks!), a photo gallery shot by famed rock photographer Ross Halfin, plus a 90-minute documentary. It will be released early in 2011.

“The last part of the DVD to be completed is the documentary,” said Iced Earth main man Jon Schaffer. “Thousands of hours were shot and edited down to 90 minutes. It’s very close to done. I have to say the footage of the band on stage is mind-blowing. Those who have already seen us will love it. Those who haven’t yet seen Iced Earth will be amazed by what this band can do on stage.”

Drummer Brent Smedley concurs: “The three festivals featured on the DVD were all extremely remarkable and each one memorable in its own way,” he said. “All three were amazing nights where the Metal and the Magic were fully flowing. I think the release of this DVD truly proves my mantra and favorite saying: METAL LIVES!”

Indeed it does. Festivals Of The Wicked shows Iced Earth in its favorite element – facing tens of thousands of screaming fans – and playing songs that demonstrate why Iced Earth fans are some of the most loyal in metal.

The three festivals are:

Wacken Open Air (2007) with Tim Owens on lead vocals. The blistering 13-song set begins with a jaw-dropping rendition of 'Burning Times' and closes with the band’s signature track, 'Iced Earth'.

Rock Hard Festival (2008) with Matt Barlow on lead vocals. This festival, the first to feature Matt’s return, storms through 15 songs, with 'Dark Saga' leading the charge.

Metal Camp (2008) with Matt Barlow on lead vocals. A not-to-be-missed 16-song face melter of a concert that proves why some say Iced Earth is one of the top live bands in the world.

Schaffer formed Iced Earth in Tampa, Florida, in 1984. Since then, he has released 10 studio albums, one live album, two compilations, and three boxed sets. With worldwide sales in the millions, Iced Earth has earned a seat in the pantheon of America’s most successful heavy-metal bands.

“I’m very proud of this DVD, and I’m grateful to fans for their patience,” said Schaffer. “Getting this ready for release has been an enormous job, but a true labor of love. It will be worth the wait. I promise.”

Back in March, 2011, in the wake of vocalist Matt Barlow’s retirement, dozens of demos and resumes flooded Iced Earth’s management team. But one name kept popping up - INTO ETERNITY vocalist Stu Block, who has been named the new lead singer for Iced Earth.

According to leader Jon Schaffer, Robert Kampf, CEO of Century Media, early on suggested Block, whose band Into Eternity was previously on the CM label. That reminded Schaffer of one night in September, 2008, when Into Eternity opened for Iced Earth.

“Iced Earth was backstage waiting to go on,” said Schaffer. “We heard one of Stu’s incredible wails. I remember turning to Matt and saying, ‘Damn, that dude has serious range.’”

So while Iced Earth’s management team sifted through the growing number of prospective vocalists, Schaffer got in touch with Block.

After several phone conversations with the then-prospective Iced Earth vocalist, Schaffer asked his manager to e-mail Block several key Iced Earth songs, with the vocals stripped. Block went into his studio and recorded himself singing, then sent the files back to the team.

The result landed Block an intense two days at Schaffer’s studio where the two musicians hit it off.

“I felt a lot of chemistry between us, we knocked out a couple of great original pieces of music in no time” said Schaffer. “He’s very good at coming up with catchy melodies, and will help with lyrical duties as well. There’s no doubt Stu has an amazing vocal range and a lot of energy, but he also has the touring experience, which is a big plus for our plans of performing in all corners of the world.”

In addition, Schaffer said Block has what Iced Earth needs in a front man: “stage presence that includes high energy, passion, and focused rage.”

“Stu is charismatic and understands the depth and varying emotions in Iced Earth’s music,” said Schaffer. “So he will embody not only the emotion of our songs, but he will be able to perform them in a dynamic way. I believe fans are in for some incredible records and live shows in the coming years.”

New Iced Earth vocalist Stu Block concurs: “Iced Earth fans are wonderful, wonderful people,” he said. “The music is so passionate. So they’re passionate, and very loyal to the band. I am, too. I’m a huge fan of Iced Earth myself. So I share that same passion, and I will show it on stage. I think the fans are really going to dig it.”

Block continues: “It’s a huge honor to be doing this, to be part of this team,” he said. “It’s a dream come true, for sure.”

Schaffer is totally stoked. “This is a new beginning,” he said. “It’s game-on time. Iced Earth is going to record and tour like it never has before. The band is really amped-up and ready to hit the ground running in November.”

And to prove it, Iced Earth has released the European leg of a world tour that will take the band to countries it has never previously played. All told, the 2011-2012 Iced Earth world tour will be the largest the band has undertaken since its inception.

Check out Iced Earth's tour schedule here.


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