“New” Old Singer for Iced Earth

KNAC.com is reporting that Matthew Barlow is returning to singing duties for power metalists Iced Earth, so soon in fact that he will be recording the vocals for the upcoming Something Wicked Part II concept CD.  The way KNAC reports it, band founder Jon Schaffer reached out to Barlow when he heard that the once and future singer was again working in the music industry.  Not sure if this was instigated due to a dis-satisfaction with previous singer (& former Judas Priest frontman) Tim “Ripper” Owens, or just a desire to reunite with Barlow and bring back what many fans consider to be the glory days of Iced Earth.

Reading between the lines here, I’ve read interviews where Schaffer seemed less than enthusiastic about his relationship with Owens, and Barlow returning to the music industry might have been just the catalyst that was needed to force a move.  I’ve witnessed both incarnations of the band live on tour, and while I think Owens is an extremely talented singer, Barlow has a unique vocal quality that is capable of everything from bloodboiling screams all the way to soft spoken whispers.  Coupled with his intimidating stage presence, I think this signals a positive transition for the band and look forward to again seeing the dynamic Barlow and his long flowing locks thrashing about stage.  Hopefully his stint with Homeland Security didn’t remove said locks, but if so, I doubt Barlow has any Samsonian weakness tied in with his vocal chords.

In the press release, Schaffer wishes Owens well – inferring there are no hard feelings.  However, this would be the second time Owens has been ousted from a band – Judas Priest left him to establish a re-united tour with the legendary Rob Halford.   If I were Owens, I would continue on with the side project Beyond Fear and establish a name with them, since no one seems to want him for more than a couple of albums anyways.

If you’d like to read KNAC’s article, you can see it HERE

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