ARTWORK AND TITLE OF NEW FULL-LENGTH ALBUM REVEALED
IcedEarth.com has posted the cover art for the band’s forthcoming full-length studio album, "The Crucible of Man – (Something Wicked Part II)" which continues where their 2007 release, "Framing Armageddon – (Something Wicked Part I)" left off. "The Crucible of Man" features the return of frontman Matt Barlow who was Schaffer’s original voice of choice to introduce the "Something Wicked" saga back in 1998 as a trio of songs which concluded their album, "Something Wicked This Way Comes."
While the 1998 album provided a general overview of the story Schaffer has been conceptualizing for well over a decade, the saga is being fully brought to life with the release of the back-to-back conceptual albums "Framing Armageddon" and "The Crucible of Man." While both albums provide answers to mysteries the previous releases would create, the timeliness of the story in today’s world is guaranteed to keep people thinking and guessing. Schaffer’s ability to convey the central themes and events of the story without always revealing exactly “why” characters’ decisions are made and “how” events come to pass, will keep fans of the saga coming back as future mediums for the "Something Wicked" storyline are revealed.
A finalized tracklisting for "The Crucible of Man" and audio interview with Jon Schaffer covering the new material will be featured at IcedEarth.com later this month. The band will begin rehearsals next week for a run of dates in June as direct support for Judas Priest in Europe, as well as the Hellfest, Bang Your Head, Graspop, and Gods of Metal European festivals.
"The Crucible of Man" is due for a late August or early September release on Steamhammer/SPV. The release will then be followed by a North American tour that kicks-off in September and features an appearance as headliner for the ProgPower USA IX festival in Atlanta, Georgia on September 27. The North American dates will be announced at IcedEarth.com when they are confirmed.
The single from the new album is titled, "I Walk Among You" and is being released worldwide this week by Steamhammer/SPV and features the new track, "I Walk Alone, " as well as three additional songs from “Framing Armageddon” with new vocal performances by Matt Barlow. All tracks can be listened to in their entirety at both the band’s official website and MySpace page with exception of the track, “'A Charge to Keep'” which is an iTunes exclusive.
– Germany, Austria, Switzerland: September 5, 2008
– United Kingdom and Europe: September 8, 2008
– USA and Canada: September 9, 2008