Iced Earth have announced that drummer Brent Smedley has split with the band due to personal family reasons. His replacement will be Raphael Saini (Chaoswave/Ex-Emergency Gate), who will start with the band on its tour dates this summer.
Smedley explained: “I have family members that are elderly and frail and need my help here in Jacksonville. Itâ€™s been one of the hardest decisions of my life but I simply cannot commit to the kind of schedule the band deserves and requires so I decided to ask permission to step down from my post.”
The band commented: “Brent has been a valued member of the group for a long time. We thank him for his contributions, friendship and energy and wish him all the best for the future. We want to welcome Raphael with open arms and are expecting for our fans to give him the welcome he deserves.”
In addition to live dates, the band’s summer will also be spent recording and mixing the new studio album entitled â€œPlagues of Babylon.”