Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida. It was formed in 1985 under the name Purgatory by guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer and original drummer Greg Seymour. Iced Earth released their debut album in 1990 and have since released eleven studio albums, four EPs, three compilations, three box sets, three live albums and one cover album.
After releasing their first two studio albums in 1990 and 1991, respectively, Iced Earth took a three-year layoff from 1992 to 1995, after which the band returned with new lead vocalist Matt Barlow. Iced Earth went on to release four studio albums with Barlow between 1995 and 2001, respectively; 1995’s Burnt Offerings, 1996’s The Dark Saga, 1998’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and 2001’s Horror Show.
After Horror Show, Barlow quit the band and joined the police force, while Iced Earth continued on with Tim "Ripper" Owens, of Judas Priest fame, on vocals. With Owens, the band released two studio albums (2004’s The Glorious Burden and 2007’s Framing Armageddon). In late 2007, Matt Barlow rejoined the band. Iced Earth recorded the album The Crucible of Man with Barlow in 2008. In 2011 Barlow left the band again. Later that year, Into Eternity frontman Stu Block became Iced Earth’s new lead vocalist. Dystopia, Block’s first album with the group, was released in October 2011. It received a positive response; some critics called Dystopia one of Iced Earth’s best albums. Block’s second album with the group, Plagues of Babylon, was released in January 2014.
Before arriving at their current lineup, Iced Earth has had numerous line-up changes, with founder Jon Schaffer staying as the last remaining member. As of 2013, there have been over twenty musicians in and out of Iced Earth since its formation in 1985 (see: List of Iced Earth band members for more details). Currently, the band is composed of rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer, lead guitarist Jake Dreyer, singer Stu Block, bassist Luke Appleton and drummer Brent Smedley.