Hey All, Well, there are times and events when you have to take stock and re evaluate your life, work, and trajectory for the future. That being said I have informed Jon and his current management that I must announce my resignation from Iced Earth with immediate effect.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested Jon Schaffer, founder of the Heavy Metal band Iced Earth for his role in the recent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. A Tweet from the FBI went out a few short hours ago and has been included below the photograph that we snapped during a 2018 performance by the band in NYC.
Jon Schaffer, Columbus, IN, has been arrested in connection to Jan 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol. Schaffer faces 6 charges including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building. Schaffer was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with "bear spray."
According to the FBI Indianapolis Field Office; Schaffer is facing the following charges:
1. Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
2. Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business
3. Knowingly Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds
4. Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building
5. Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building
6. Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building
Washington, D.C., police officer Christina Laury said cops were being sprayed with bear mace — a significantly stronger version of pepper spray — as they held the line outside.
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PiercingMetal Thoughts: Over 100 arrests have been made so far from this horrible occurrence.
As a fan of the crushing Metal that the band Iced Earth consistently puts out there, it was great to hear the news about their re-issuing their crushing live album “Alive In Athens” for its own 20th Anniversary. Take a look down below for the full press release about it.
The Press Release:
American heavy metal group ICED EARTH announce the first vinyl edition of the classic 1999 live opus Alive in Athens out on December 6th, 2019 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the recording.
It’s once again with great sadness that I must share the news about another of our Heavy Metal stalwarts having passed with guitarist Ralph Santolla. Recently, his personal Facebook profile found the musician noting that he was not feeling well and not long after he would suffer a heart attack and soon fall into a coma. Despite the efforts to save him, the doctors found there was no promising change or hope of recovery and he was taken off of life support late Wednesday evening and would leave us at the age of 51. Such a shame.
Santolla was most famously known as one of the axe wielders in some incredible acts like Obituary, Iced Earth and Deicide. At one point in his career he kept up pace with the legendary Chuck Schuldiner in Death’s live shows but he didn’t record anything with them sadly. Ralph worked on a number of other projects that you can learn more about in his Wikipedia entry down below. One of them was a solo effort that his family maintains will see the light of day posthumously as soon as its possible to be addressed. A family member mentioned online that Ralph was an organ donor and that should some musical ability or razor sharp sarcasm come into play in someone’s life that it was likely due to Ralph’s presence with them. At least during this sad time that some other people can have a chance on a longer life. More should consider being a donor because its not like we need the stuff anymore once we pass on.
I met Ralph several times over the years thanks to the shows I was covering and sharing some mutual friends. He was a talented and interesting person for sure and the photos in this memorial reflection all feature Ralph from some Obituary tours that I covered back around 2007-2009. Two of these shows took place at the now shuttered B.B. King Blues Club while the other was at the Gramercy Theatre which might have been called The Blender Theatre at the time. I didn’t remember seeing him in Deicide or Iced Earth but I could be wrong since those shows are so long ago in my memory at this point. Ralph was truly an excellent player that I think we only ever got to see a small part of since his talents were far deeper than only the Heavy Metal stuff that so many of us bore witness to.
Though there were many news outlets reporting on his passing days before, we opted to wait until the news was 100% final out of proper respect. We wish his family, friends and numerous band mates over the years the deepest of condolences during this sad time. Thank you Ralph for giving us some incendiary riffs for many years. May you Rest In Peace. We welcome fans of the musician to add their own reflections down below in the comments.
Attention all ye Metalheads, the mighty Iced Earth has announced “The Worldwide Plagues Tour” that will be hitting our side of the Atlantic in 2014. According to the press release they will be bringing along Sabaton as direct support and Revamp as the lead in opener. This is going to be a good one for sure. More after the poster.
The last time that I caught Iced Earth they were doing one of those co-headlining tours with the great Symphony X and of course since that band is from New Jersey, they got to close the NYC appearance. The show was great and was the first time that I got to see Mr. Stu Block laying waste to the Metal legions as their new vocalist. I’ve long been a fan of the sonic range that Block has from his years with Into Eternity and needless to say this show was a killer. As far as Iced Earth goes, I am not ashamed to admit that I was a very latecomer to the band but have done my best to support their efforts as a music scribe and photographer since becoming this back in 2003. It’s been fun to catch up to what I had missed before and help further their cause. Continue reading Iced Earth Will Bring “The Worldwide Plagues Tour” To 2014→