U.S. metallers ASHES OF ARES – featuring vocalist Matt Barlow (ex-ICED EARTH), drummer Van Williams (ex-NEVERMORE), and guitarist/bassist Freddie Vidales(ex-ICED EARTH) – will be playing three shows in the northeastern U.S. this May with local support as openers.
“We are excited to announce our first series of shows of 2014!” shares ASHES OF ARES vocalist Matt Barlow. “If you get a pre-sale ticket, you will get to hang out for a Meet and Greet along with the show. We will see you for the Metal May-hem!!!”
Produced at Morrisound Recording by Jim Morris (DEATH, ICED EARTH, CONTROLDENIED), Ashes Of Ares debuted at #35 on the AmericanBillboard Heatseekers chart and and at #81 on the BillboardHard Music chart in September 2013.
Former ICED EARTH members Matt Barlow (vocals) and Freddie Vidales (bass, guitar) have joined forces with ex-NEVERMORE drummer Van Williams in a brand new project which is currently working on original material. A short taste of what is to come can be heard in the YouTube clip below.
Commented Barlow: “Well, though we are still in the early stages of progress, we are really excited about what we are hearing thus far. We hope that you have patience with us as we continue with this creative process and search for a record label that will help us bring our music to you all in the best way. Thanks for all your support…. More to come!”
Iced Earth led by mastermind guitarist Jon Schaffer has gone thru several difficult periods but always survived as a winner. When the bands longtime singer Matt Barlow announced his retirment from Iced Earth again, fans were entirely stunned. Last summer the band did a farewell tour with Barlow and after that the new singer Stu Block stepped in. Block was recruited from the Canadian band Into Eternity. The new Iced Earth album DYSTOPIA literally blew fans away by Stu Block’s skills to sing such a varied register and in general DYSTOPIA presented a more aggressive and still melodic Iced Earth. Before the show Metal-Rules.com had an utter pleasant task to interview Jon Schaffer.
Some eighteen years, and another eight albums, since the release of ICED EARTH’s eponymous debut album, it’s still band leader and guitarist Jon Schaffer’s unique vision and rule by iron hand that define every aspect of the band. After two albums, THE GLORIOUS BURDEN in 2004 and FRAMING ARMAGEDDON in 2007, with Tim "Ripper" Owens of JUDAS PRIEST fame, Jon has again, on the latest album, CRUCIBLE OF MAN in 2008, been rejoined by returning Matt Barlow on vocals. Matt originally appeared on some of the bands most classic albums such as BURNT OFFERINGS in 1995, THE DARG SAGA in 1996, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES in 1998 and HORROR SHOW in 2001.
In addition to his work with ICED EARTH, Jon and his good friend Hansi Kürsch of BLIND GUARDIAN, released two albums under the name of DEMONS & WIZARDS. ICED EARTH has currently just finished a co-headlining tour of Europe with SAXON. We had to opportunity to sit down with Jon to catch up about some of the recent developments in his band and learn some interesting things concerning his plans for the future.
One of the highlights of this year’s Bloodstock Open Air festival in England was the opportunity to see Iced Earth with Matt Barlow. Along with many other Iced Earth fans, I consider Matt Barlow to be the definitive voice of Iced Earth; and while Ripper Owens is a fine vocalist in his own right, the Iced Earth sound is pretty much incomplete without Matt’s soulful and emotional croon. When I was offered the chance to interview the man himself, I jumped at it, although I only had ten minutes.
The Iced Earth camp turned up late (stuck in traffic), and immediately Jon and Matt jumped off the bus to fulfil their publicity obligations, as true pros – even though they were due to be onstage in about two hours’ time. Matt looked pretty tired and flustered, but was anything but cold and distant, answering my somewhat inane questions with thoughtfulness and depth. Here’s the nine-minute interview…