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DECEMBER.20.2007

MATT BARLOW Comments on His Return to ICED EARTH.

I'm sure that you are all well aware of things that are happening within Iced Earth, and a statement from me is well overdue. To that, I can only say that I am sorry for the delay, but there is good reason. Last week, following Jon's announcement, my wife gave birth to our second son. Everything is well, but of course, those of you who are parents know how taxing the first week can be. During that time, after all things had begun to settle, I realized that there are a lot of things on my plate. At this point, I needed to address them. As you know, family always comes first. Of course, Jon knows that and understands my decision to leave Iced Earth four years ago. My wife and I wanting a family was a huge factor. Family, is also the reason for my return. There is a kinship that goes beyond the obvious. I will speak of that later.

First, I feel that I need to acknowledge my friend Michael of Pyramaze. If not for his inquiry and persistance in asking me to be a member of that band, I may not have realized how much I have missed and been missed within the metal community. In recent days, however, I have come to realize that my participation in Pyramaze cannot go beyond the recording of the bands current work. This is due in part, to the fact that I can't be all places at all times. Michael and I have discussed this, and have come to an understanding. I know that the future success of Pyramaze will not be based solely on individual performances of band members, but in the song writing and total performance of the band, which is excellent. I know that I will give everything I have to the record and will support Pyramaze on a lot of other levels.

Let me proceed on the topic of kinship. For a great portion of our lives, Jon and I dedicated our selves to creating music that pleased, angered, saddened, and inspired. Though it can be argued that my contribution was limited, I always felt very proud of what we accomplished with every song. Whether a song was about a true love, a best friend, a ghost, a devil, or a savior; The songs that Jon wrote gave me the desire to engage each one on a very personal level. When Jon and I began to discuss the future of Iced Earth and his feeling on it's success or failure, he conveyed to me the desire to rediscover the passion of the songs that made Iced Earth so very special to so many people. In my journey of the last several years, I've had time to acknowledge that there are great stories yet to be told. Moreover, I have recognized my desire to be a part of those stories. As mentioned above, there are obvious time constraints where it relates to family, career, and music. One of those issues has already been addressed.

As for my career in law enforcement, it will continue as normal. Without going into specific detail, Jon and I will work on recording on my time between shifts. As Jon stated before, live performances will be more limited but grander in fashion. We will do our very best to get to the metal masses as often as possible. Jon understands that this schedule will be tougher to work with, but feels that it will be the best for the fans in the long run. There will be critics, no doubt. It has recently come to my attention that some people don't like the police ;-) Let's see if opinion can change on that issue!

As for the music, I will bring to Iced Earth the best performance possible. That has always been my desire, and I'm really excited to work with Jon and the guys again, to give you the best metal possible. If you think you're ready... let's do this!"

MATT BARLOW

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