Ex-JUDAS PRIEST screamer, Tim “The Ripper” Owens has officially joined ICED EARTH, according to guitarist Jon Schaffer’s post on the band’s official website:
“Well everyone, it is official. 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 beleive that this is the way it was meant to be. Everything happens for a reason!! Tim did an outstanding job on this record. In five 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 new album] 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 fullfilling 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!”
Owens, who amicably left JUDAS PRIEST to make way for Rob Halford’s reunion with the band, was originally recruited as just a guest vocalist for the band’s forthcoming new album following the sudden departure of long-time frontman, Matt Barlow.
The Glorious Burden is tentatively set for a fall release through SPV Records. The band are also planning a world tour in early 2004 to be called the Glorious World Tour.