Matt Barlow is retiring from Iced Earth again.

Barlow cites his commitment to his family and the need for Iced Earth to tour more as the reasons for his retirement. He'll still perform with Iced Earth on all 2011 European festival dates, which will be his last with the band. Barlow fronted Iced Earth from 1992 till 2003, and rejoined late 2007.

Matt Barlow's heartfelt statement reads as follows: "Let me begin by saying how much of an honor it has been to share my time in Iced Earth with Jon and the guys... and with all of you! Since my return to the band in 2007, it has truly been extraordinary. I have had the opportunity to travel the world and see old friends and meet new ones. Though we had originally thought that the Iced Earth touring schedule would be very limited, we were able to play our fair share of concerts.

During that time we were also able to have a live DVD produced [the forthcoming Festivals Of The Wicked]. However, due to the rapidly changing music industry, it has become increasingly clear to recording artists that the only way to keep a band viable and to truly reach its potential is through live performances. That means that a band must reach out to new regions of the globe and become pioneers for their own livelihood. Since 2007, Jon and I have always had the best intentions for the future of Iced Earth, and we still do. However, given the band's projected touring schedule, Iced Earth's future and mine must now take separate paths.

On my departure from Iced Earth in 2003, I made a commitment to my wife and to the idea that we would start, and raise, our family together. Two years later, my first child was born and two years after that, my second. My youngest son was born about a week before Jon asked me to return to Iced Earth. It was a very exciting and emotional time for all of us, but we were all clear on our intentions. It is apparent to us now that regardless of our belief at that time, time can change an intended outcome. In this instance, I hope that change will not be regarded as a bad thing, but rather as a necessary part of evolution.

Jon and the band must venture into new realms to continue to grow Iced Earth. I commend him for his ideals and wish nothing but to share in his vision. I know that this is not the last time Jon and I will work together, but it will be my last endeavor with Iced Earth. Iced Earth is a name and force of its own. It has been very good to me and has allowed me to live a dream that others would give most anything for. I have been truly blessed to share this experience with everyone. I will continue to support Jon and Iced Earth in every way. I will also continue to create and perform in my own capacity.

These next months will prove to be a very emotional time for me. I am extremely happy to be able to share the experience with Jon, Brent, Freddie, Troy and the Iced Earth family. I am proud to know them and honored that they consider me their friend. It is going to be phenomenal to share the love of this music during several summer festivals and I know that it will be a time we will never forget.

Please consider all that I have brought forth and all of Jon's offerings before passing judgment on the future of Iced Earth. This band has always strived to give its listeners the very best and I know that Jon, as always, will continue to lead that charge."

Band founder and leader Jon Schaffer reacted to his friend's decision with equal parts sadness and praise. Commented Schaffer: "I knew Matt wrestled with this for a long, long time. It wasn't an easy decision for him. But I love him dearly and I can't fault his reasons.

Matt is one of the most sincere people I know, and one of the most talented. His departure deeply saddens me, but I hope all fans of Schaffer will cut him some slack. I wish Matt well, respect him greatly, and I ask everyone else to do the same."

With a new album in the works, and a world tour pending, Schaffer has already begun the search for a new vocalist.

"I have a few guys in mind," said Schaffer. "And as you can imagine, it is a very important decision. One thing is for certain: we are not looking for a Matt Barlow 'clone' — we are looking for a front man that brings power and character of his own to the table. There's only one Matt, and that era of the band's history will always hold a special place in my heart."

Announcement of a new vocalist will be made through all social media outlets as soon as a decision is made.


Source: icedearth.com
Band profile: Iced Earth
 
Posted: 02.03.2011 by Thryce



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Angelic Storm - 02.03.2011 at 23:23  
Geez.... I bet Jon is secretly really regretting giving Ripper the boot now! lol Whoever is the new vocalist will no doubt face the same flak Ripper did when he replaced Matt. I do love Matt's vocals, and will miss him. But Im more worried about the shambles Iced Earth is quickly becoming.
swatata - 02.03.2011 at 23:31  
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :S:S:S:S:S::S
Valentin B - 02.03.2011 at 23:38  
Fuck fuck FUCK FUCKAAARRRH048HT0G[2G203GH283H.

now there's really a goddamned dillema: if i don't catch IE, my second favorite band of all time, at Wacken (and i don't have a ticket yet, they're all sold out too) it'll probably be a huge while before Barlow rejoins, and although Ripper is one of my favorite vocalists in the world, IE is NOT the same without Barlow.

i also even liked his lyrics. damn, i wish him the best but i wanted to catch at least one headlining show of theirs, with the monstrous rifs, the epic vocals, and of course "THIS ONE'S CALLED ICED FUCKING HRHREAAAAARTHH!", IE was by far the no. 1 band i wanted to see live even before this announcement, you can imagine how i feel now haha.
Baz Anderson - 02.03.2011 at 23:40  
Tim? The two with Tim are great...
Orphan Saint - 02.03.2011 at 23:42  
Kind of a bummer for the ole' Iced Earth camp. I'm not Matt Barlow or Iced Earth's biggest fan but he was a good fit for the band. My immediate response is to demand the return of Ripper. But then I remember how much I enjoyed the Charred Walls of the Damned record and don't want any setbacks on their new stuff. That said, I truly hope they find somebody brand new.

They could always hire Dan Nelson for a few month I suppose.
~NiGHTM4Re~ - 02.03.2011 at 23:43  
It's shitty when man has to choose between family and carier. It's easy to judge, hard to understand. One of my life wishes was to see them live along with Matt. Many will be pissed for this, but it's Matt's choise and I respect that. The guy has every rights to be with his family. I hope that Iced Earth will find decent replacement.
Angelic Storm - 02.03.2011 at 23:53  
Written by Orphan Saint on 02.03.2011 at 23:42
My immediate response is to demand the return of Ripper.


I think if Jon wasn't aware of the high likelyhood of Ripper telling him where to stick it, (and rightfully so) he would be the first guy he'd be asking to join Iced Earth. After the very cowardly and undignified way Jon fired Ripper in the first place, I seriously doubt he would ever rejoin the band. Which is a shame, cos as much as I do think Matt is the ideal singer for IE, Ripper did a great job as replacement, and if I had my way, Id definitely have him back in the band like a shot.
Vitriolic Hate - 02.03.2011 at 23:53  
Written by Angelic Storm on 02.03.2011 at 23:23

Geez.... I bet Jon is secretly really regretting giving Ripper the boot now! lol Whoever is the new vocalist will no doubt face the same flak Ripper did when he replaced Matt. I do love Matt's vocals, and will miss him. But Im more worried about the shambles Iced Earth is quickly becoming.

+1
Death To Posers - 02.03.2011 at 23:56  
Ouch, that fucking blows
ScreamingSteelUS - 02.03.2011 at 23:57  
Well...crap. I suppose he has his reasons, which I respect. Still, this sucks! Ripper is busy with about a half dozen other bands, so who could they possibly get to succeed Matt? I wonder who will sing on the third album in the Something Wicked Trilogy; they might end up with a different singer for each part.
kefa - 03.03.2011 at 00:01  
Fuck, shit, fuck :(:(
Holy Man - 03.03.2011 at 00:06  
Ya know... as sad is this is to hear... I'm actually kind of excited. I know that everybody's going to give the new guy shit, which is bound to happen, but I'm just hoping Jon can find somebody really really good to take over. I'm actually lookin forward to this new era... and to be honest, I kind of expected it... when you leave band or job or life or whatever, to devote time to your family, that's not exactly something that can just go away. I knew he'd be out again... best wishes to him, he's an amazing talent, truly one of a kind, and I hope this new guy wont' be held TOO CLOSELY to the standard Matt set... those are some awfully big boots to fill...
Vegard R - 03.03.2011 at 00:08  
Sad news, one of my favourite singers by far! And, please, don't hire Ripper again. He has some serious pipes, but his vocal melodies and stage presence are nothing but boring. Besides, he lacks the emotional singing skills that Barlow have. I don't think Ripper can do songs like Watching Over Me or Melancholy justice.
Valentin B - 03.03.2011 at 00:10  
Written by Angelic Storm on 02.03.2011 at 23:53

Written by Orphan Saint on 02.03.2011 at 23:42
My immediate response is to demand the return of Ripper.


I think if Jon wasn't aware of the high likelyhood of Ripper telling him where to stick it, (and rightfully so) he would be the first guy he'd be asking to join Iced Earth. After the very cowardly and undignified way Jon fired Ripper in the first place, I seriously doubt he would ever rejoin the band. Which is a shame, cos as much as I do think Matt is the ideal singer for IE, Ripper did a great job as replacement, and if I had my way, Id definitely have him back in the band like a shot.

i'm not so sure he was booted without dignity, i haven't seen any interviews in which Schaffer gets trashed by Ripper, he seems pretty cool with it actually: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=88317
Winterthrone - 03.03.2011 at 00:11  
So glad I saw them live with Barlow in Quebec City in 2007! So the downfall continues for Iced Earth... I respect Barlow's decision, but why did he came back to IE in 2007 only to leave 4 years later... It was already clear in 2007 that touring would be the main source of money for Metalbands in the downloading-music-without-caring-for-the artists-you-like era! I mean he shouldn't have said yes to Schaffer if he wasn't interested in Touring extensively!
Maudraum - 03.03.2011 at 00:13  
Bah, fucking great. Well, at least I'll see him perform with them one of his last times at Wacken.
Angelic Storm - 03.03.2011 at 00:21  
Written by Valentin B on 03.03.2011 at 00:10
i'm not so sure he was booted without dignity, i haven't seen any interviews in which Schaffer gets trashed by Ripper, he seems pretty cool with it actually: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=88317


Well, the first thing he said was that the split wasn't amicable. He also states later that Jon handled the situation badly. I think Ripper is keeping a lid on it just so as not to get into a public slanging match with Jon, but it is clear, not just in that interview, that he wasn't happy with the way he was fired. In every interview Ive seen when he's discussed it (and its usually clear he isnt comfortable discussing it) he has always stated that how Jon fired him was wrong. :\
TrollandDie - 03.03.2011 at 00:23  
Crap.

Oh well

He made some great material with the band and I hope the best for him.
( I think this calls for a Matt Barlow- Iced Earth marathon for me)
Jiri - 03.03.2011 at 00:46  
The instant Dragonforce chooses a new singer, Barlow calls it quits! What is going on here?
DoomGuard - 03.03.2011 at 00:49  
So glad I got to see him perform live, meet him then take pics. I feel bad for those who didn't

What's up with people saying this is a continued downfall? They've been putting out solid albums for a while in my opinion
bluegreengod - 03.03.2011 at 01:27  
YESSSS! Bring back Ripper now! (not that it's going to happen) I absolutely love the stuff they've realeased with Ripper on vocals, but personally I find their music with Barlow to be rather unlistenable.
Dark Seraphim - 03.03.2011 at 01:53  
Bring back Ripper, I loved his albums. But I doubt this will happen.
necrovamp - 03.03.2011 at 01:57  
What a complete dickhead. First he retires so that Iced earth employ tim, then, a few weeks after jon saying in an interview 'i can see tim bieng here for a good long time (or words tot hat effect) barlow says he wants to come back, so they just chuck tim out. Now, a mere 4 years after they kick tim out, matt fucks off again.

The guys a shit singer anyway and when i saw them live he had no stage presence whatsoever and jon had to do al the work, and that left a huge gap.

i enjoyed the albums with tim the most

i have no respect for this band anymore
Susan - 03.03.2011 at 03:56  
Dude, AGAIN?!?!?!??!?

I think it's time to retire Iced Earth in general. They've had an epic run - leave on top!!!!!
Wyrd - 03.03.2011 at 04:16  
Well this really is depressing news, but I truly hope for the best for the future of IE and Matt. I also pray to Set that Jon dosn't bring back that Ripper guy, he was just awful. His stuff with IE leaves a bad taste in my mouth even just thinking about it. Seeing a singer like Jens Carlsson with the band would be interesting though.
Adus11 - 03.03.2011 at 04:22  
Written by Angelic Storm on 03.03.2011 at 00:21

Written by Valentin B on 03.03.2011 at 00:10
i'm not so sure he was booted without dignity, i haven't seen any interviews in which Schaffer gets trashed by Ripper, he seems pretty cool with it actually: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=88317


Well, the first thing he said was that the split wasn't amicable. He also states later that Jon handled the situation badly. I think Ripper is keeping a lid on it just so as not to get into a public slanging match with Jon, but it is clear, not just in that interview, that he wasn't happy with the way he was fired. In every interview Ive seen when he's discussed it (and its usually clear he isnt comfortable discussing it) he has always stated that how Jon fired him was wrong. :\


Yeah really all it looked like was Tim saying he wasn't really happy with getting kicked but in a mostly professional way. I gotta respect that. Seems like he wants to write music as well as sing and Jon wants all the writing to himself. So I don't think Tim would choose to go back even if the circumstances had been better.

Anyway the news is disappointing, but not as disappointing as the first time I heard it, since the last few IE albums just haven't been too good. If anything maybe they'll find a new vocalist that really brings something interesting to the table.

If it were up to me, Jon would write for Demons & Wizards full time and Hansi would magically duplicate himself so he could do both Blind Guardian and D&W full time.
Nickferatu367 - 03.03.2011 at 04:27  
Tim owens is pissing himself.
thewall30 - 03.03.2011 at 04:29  
This is the worst news ive heard in a long, long time but I wish Matt Barlow the best! Cheers to the greatest singer of all time
Troy Killjoy - 03.03.2011 at 04:36  
Brett Favre syndrome.
VanHelsing - 03.03.2011 at 05:46  
Written by Death To Posers on 02.03.2011 at 23:56

Ouch, that fucking blows


+1
mikeprado30 - 03.03.2011 at 05:57  
Written by Susan on 03.03.2011 at 03:56

Dude, AGAIN?!?!?!??!?

I think it's time to retire Iced Earth in general. They've had an epic run - leave on top!!!!!

+1 to this. I think this is THE TIME to call it quits in Iced...
Chech-Crusher - 03.03.2011 at 07:15  
Sworn - 03.03.2011 at 08:25  
That's some bad news
Angelic Storm - 03.03.2011 at 09:49  
Written by Adus11 on 03.03.2011 at 04:22
Yeah really all it looked like was Tim saying he wasn't really happy with getting kicked but in a mostly professional way. I gotta respect that. Seems like he wants to write music as well as sing and Jon wants all the writing to himself. So I don't think Tim would choose to go back even if the circumstances had been better.


Yep, I have heard him mention the fact that he wasn't allowed to write for Iced Earth, and that was something that frustrated him. The way Iced Earth have been lately, I think it would help if Jon allowed someone else to take an active songwriting role in the band. But in that regard, he seems very much like a Dave Mustaine type character, and a bit of a dictator in the band. Tim has also said he wanted to write for Priest, but the difference seems to be that his split with Priest was amicable. Wheras with Iced Earth, it wasn't.
corrupt - 03.03.2011 at 10:03  
Written by Valentin B on 02.03.2011 at 23:38

Fuck fuck FUCK FUCKAAARRRH048HT0G[2G203GH283H.

now there's really a goddamned dillema: if i don't catch IE, my second favorite band of all time, at Wacken (and i don't have a ticket yet, they're all sold out too) it'll probably be a huge while before Barlow rejoins, and although Ripper is one of my favorite vocalists in the world, IE is NOT the same without Barlow.

i also even liked his lyrics. damn, i wish him the best but i wanted to catch at least one headlining show of theirs, with the monstrous rifs, the epic vocals, and of course "THIS ONE'S CALLED ICED FUCKING HRHREAAAAARTHH!", IE was by far the no. 1 band i wanted to see live even before this announcement, you can imagine how i feel now haha.

Hehe. When I read the headline, I knew exactly what to expect
Black_Sheep - 03.03.2011 at 10:28  
NOOOO!! ...This means i won't ever see IE with Matt.. ...Damn. This sucks. Big time. ...But i respecpt and understand his decision to dedicate his time for his family.
Papa_Ray - 03.03.2011 at 10:58  
Tim Owens did write some lyrics for Iced Earth, as did Matt Barlow. Jon swears he was going to kick out Tim anyway after the two Something Wicked albums because Tim placed more interest in Beyond Fear and other endeavors. Jon wanted someone completely committed to Iced Earth. Ripper isn't coming back.
Bad English - 03.03.2011 at 12:08  
Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife
RhaegarTargaryen - 03.03.2011 at 12:35  
Fuck. Guess I'm lucky to see them with Matt in 2008. But seriously this is ridiculous, people leave bands, come back, leave again... Well, I know who would I like to replace Matthew, and he already done it in other band.. Urban Breed!
Valentin B - 03.03.2011 at 12:48  
Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:08

Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife

Gene Adam couldn't sing for shit and Greely was a racist bastard, he (hopefully) won't be the new vocalist.
Bad English - 03.03.2011 at 12:49  
Written by Valentin B on 03.03.2011 at 12:48

Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:08

Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife

Gene Adam couldn't sing for shit and Greely was a racist bastard, he (hopefully) won't be the new vocalist.


where you read he was a racist? 1th hearing , since I know names and never actualy know much about those 2 singers
Valentin B - 03.03.2011 at 12:53  
Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:49

Written by Valentin B on 03.03.2011 at 12:48

Written by Bad English on 03.03.2011 at 12:08

Maybe thay shood aks Gene Adam or John Greely because Iced Earyh and Night Of The Stormrider are my fav albums from band + I love so much song Birth Of The Wicked...family for metalband is tabu road is my wife

Gene Adam couldn't sing for shit and Greely was a racist bastard, he (hopefully) won't be the new vocalist.


where you read he was a racist? 1th hearing , since I know names and never actualy know much about those 2 singers

check the trivia section of the band here. i also read somewhere(forgot where) that Adam was kicked out of IE because he refused to take singing lessons.
RavenKing - 03.03.2011 at 14:40  
Written by Angelic Storm on 02.03.2011 at 23:23

Geez.... I bet Jon is secretly really regretting giving Ripper the boot now! lol Whoever is the new vocalist will no doubt face the same flak Ripper did when he replaced Matt. I do love Matt's vocals, and will miss him. But Im more worried about the shambles Iced Earth is quickly becoming.


Poetic justice, if you ask me. Schaffer got what he deserves here.
I remember well that when he brought Barlow back, I told people that what is happening now would happen.

This band is finished. No future.
shadowdragonfly1 - 03.03.2011 at 19:07  
NOOOOOOOOOO! T_T
well i think i knew this would happen, ... again
They should disband and start fresh with a different focus and sound
Behdad K - 03.03.2011 at 19:10  
Very very bad news!
Damn... I love the way Matt sings. He's on of my favorite singers and I think Iced Earth without him is nothing!
Chidder - 03.03.2011 at 19:24  
Damn, it's sucks. But at least I will see him live with Iced Earth at Sweden Rock
Hammer34 - 03.03.2011 at 20:23  
Sorry to see Matt go, but understand. Glad I got to see them once with Matt in 2009 . . . was really looking forward to having the whole Something Wicked thing over with and hearing Matt on brand new IE, especially with Jon saying the new stuff was going back to a more aggressive, thrashy style. Oh, well.

That said, not interested in having Ripper back, move forward with someone new and different! My top 3 suggestions in no particular order:

1. Urban Breed (Pyramaze, ex-Tad Morose, ex-Bloodbound). If he was good enough to follow Matt in Pyramaze, why not IE . . . especially since Pyramaze looks to be on ice (pun intended) indefinitely? Breed has an awesome voice, great power and emotion, and ability to tackle aggressive and epic vocal parts equally well. Different sound, but a lot of the same qualities as Barlow. Though I know he does kind of have a rep for not lasting long with any band.

2. Toni Parviainen (Machine Men). Killer voice, younger guy who could inject some youth---and Machine Men just broke up so presumably he's free. His Dickinson-esque qualities along with ability to sing in a more aggressive style as well I think would be a really interesting match with Iced Earth.

3. Mikkel Sandager (ex-Mercenary). Still can't believe Mercenary parted ways with this guy---insane voice! Has the ability to sing harsh and aggressive and unbelievably soaring and epic. In some ways his clean voice might be too "polished" and "perfect" for Iced Earth, but would be an intriguing mix.
Novas - 03.03.2011 at 23:57  
Written by Angelic Storm on 03.03.2011 at 09:49

Written by Adus11 on 03.03.2011 at 04:22
Yeah really all it looked like was Tim saying he wasn't really happy with getting kicked but in a mostly professional way. I gotta respect that. Seems like he wants to write music as well as sing and Jon wants all the writing to himself. So I don't think Tim would choose to go back even if the circumstances had been better.


Yep, I have heard him mention the fact that he wasn't allowed to write for Iced Earth, and that was something that frustrated him. The way Iced Earth have been lately, I think it would help if Jon allowed someone else to take an active songwriting role in the band. But in that regard, he seems very much like a Dave Mustaine type character, and a bit of a dictator in the band. Tim has also said he wanted to write for Priest, but the difference seems to be that his split with Priest was amicable. Wheras with Iced Earth, it wasn't.


Well Ripper was in both Judas Priest and Iced Earth a "substitute" singer until Halford and Barlow got back. And he did both songwriting in both bands. Barlow did songwriting in their latest album as well. Barlow did most of the songwriting while he was in the band, just that Jon helped it to sound better with the music. I mean, i see it as Barlow's fault. After leaving in '02 to become a police officer and then Pyramaze's band founder asked him to front Immortal and Barlow decided to come back to Iced Earth. and now leaving again to start a family and decided to NEVER come back again ?
RavenKing - 04.03.2011 at 00:52  
Written by Angelic Storm on 02.03.2011 at 23:53

Written by Orphan Saint on 02.03.2011 at 23:42
My immediate response is to demand the return of Ripper.


I think if Jon wasn't aware of the high likelyhood of Ripper telling him where to stick it, (and rightfully so) he would be the first guy he'd be asking to join Iced Earth. After the very cowardly and undignified way Jon fired Ripper in the first place, I seriously doubt he would ever rejoin the band. Which is a shame, cos as much as I do think Matt is the ideal singer for IE, Ripper did a great job as replacement, and if I had my way, Id definitely have him back in the band like a shot.


I'm pretty sure Owens would show Schaffer the middle finger and tell him to fuck off.
And if it was me, let's say that's exactly what Schaffer would get.
Enemy of Reality - 04.03.2011 at 01:41  
Well i would suggest Nils Patrik Johansson from Wuthering Heights.
Check him right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec-P1qSm0ZE

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