ICED EARTH have set "The Glorious Burden" as the title for their next full-length album, which they hope to begin recording by January.
"What I've been doing right now is writing for ICED EARTH and DEMONS & WIZARDS [side project with BLIND GUARDIAN's Hansi Kursch] simultaneously," ICED EARTH mastermind Jon Schaffer told Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. "I've got 14 songs at the moment that I'm playing with, that I've already programmed drums for, for the demos, for the guys to listen to. So I'm just building upon all those basic ideas. I guess that's the biggest news, that we're getting prepared for the next record. I would like to be starting the recording in January. We were talking late December/January, [but] that could change. I've still not decided on a record company. We're getting down to the wire here if we do want to record then. The decision is close to being made, but I don't have anything final I can tell you on that yet. I would say that within the next month or so, the deal will be done and then we'll lay out a 'for sure' schedule."
When asked whether he would record ICED EARTH first, or DEMONS & WIZARDS, Jon answers unequivocally, "ICED EARTH. Actually, a bit of both, because Richard Christy will be playing drums on the DEMONS & WIZARDS album. So if Hansi and I say, 'OK, these are done arrangements, OK, go ahead,' we'll knock out the drum tracks at the same time, you know what I mean? For some of those songs, not for the entire record. We may end up having Richard record 15, 16 tunes and 11 of them will be ICED EARTH or whatever. We'll have to see how the writing goes between now and then."
"The ICED EARTH album is going to be called 'The Glorious Burden'," explained Jon. "That will be the title of it. It's not going to be a concept album. It's going to be a lot of songs not really related to each other. But it's going to be a lot of personal stuff, a lot of heavy stuff, emotion, with a lot of depth. I think it's going to be the kind of ICED EARTH album that will have the staying power of 'Stormrider' or 'Something Wicked' did, one of the ones that ends up being a fan favorite. That's always my goal, but I can kind of tell that, by the time 'Horror Show' was finished, that… it's a good record and I'm certainly not disappointed, but it doesn't have the personal attachment that a lot of stuff on 'Wicked' or 'Stormrider' does. Those are albums that stayed in the reader's charts for a couple years, dominating in the big magazines and stuff in Europe. That wasn't the case with 'Horror Show' and I knew it. I knew it was going to be that way. And I think it has something to do with the theme, you know what I mean? That's one of the things that makes ICED EARTH fans I think pretty rabid, is that there's usually something lyrically that they can personally connect with. And obviously, the lyrical and musical connection all become one thing. When the fans can actually feel personal emotion, it makes it different. And that's what I think is missing in 'Horror Show', and that's what we're going for on this album. And with a lot of the stuff that has happened in the world lately, that's affected us. So there's going to be more of our patriotism certainly showing through on these tunes. I would say it's going to be a roller coaster of emotion, in that sense like 'Something Wicked' is, where you have a wide range of emotions from really heavy raging stuff to downright sad, depressing you'll have all that. But I would say that the extremes are going to be even more. I mean, the stuff that's really heavy is really fucking heavy, really intense. And the stuff that is a little more ballad-oriented or personal, the touching stuff, is really going to hit home with a lot of people. I'm excited about it."