Former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens has officially joined ICED EARTH as the band's new lead singer, according to a posting by ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer on the group's web site. Owens was previously said to have laid down vocals on the band's new album, "The Glorious Burden", but was not an official member of the group.
"Well everyone, it is official," Schaffer writes. "Tim Owens is the new frontman and lead vocalist of ICED EARTH and I couldn't be happier!
"There is no doubt that fate has played a big part in our lives in these last few months and I truly believe that this is the way it was meant to be. Everything happens for a reason!!
"Tim did an outstanding job on [the new ICED EARTH album, 'The Glorious Burden']. In 5 very relaxed days he nailed the parts, and I mean NAILED them, and I don't think I've ever laughed as much and had as much fun in the studio before. He is definitely bringing new life into the band and the future looks very bright for us as a team. Tim knows who he is, what he stands for and is very dedicated, and he's funny as hell, all very important traits!
"One of the greatest things about all of it is that 'The Glorious Burden' is a new beginning. I'm very, very excited to see what Tim and I can do together as a writing team. There is real chemistry between the two of us and I'm 100% confident that [ICED EARTH]'s best work is in our future. I feel like I'm 10 years younger and am having more fun than I've ever had before. I see us having a very long and fulfilling career together!
"The art is done and the layouts are almost there and before you know it the best ICED EARTH album to date will be unleashed. In my opinion, nothing we've ever done comes close to 'The Glorious Burden'. It is by far the best album so far, in all ways, writing, performance and spirit. It is now the way it was meant to be!
"On another bit of news my historical collectibles shop is now open. We are open Friday & Saturday 10:00am to 8:00pm and Sunday 10:00am to 6:00pm. It is truly one of the most unique places in the country. If you love history, art, miniatures, models, battlefield relics, etc.. you've got to come and see Spirit of '76 Collectibles. The web site is in the works and you can get a good look at the shop and a sample of our products at www.spirit-of-76.com. The site is being handled by Todd Brown and he's working on it pretty steadily so try to check back often.
"Look for ICED EARTH on our 'Glorious World Tour' starting in early 2004. I'm so psyched I can hardly wait!!
"The Revolution Is Closer Than Ever Before!!
ICED EARTH's "The Glorious Burden" is due in the fall through SPV Records.