ICED EARTH: New Guitarist Found?

Allentown, Pennsylvania's 91.7 FM WMUH radio station has announced that Ernie Carletti, formerly of SLIKHELVETIKA, has been added as the second guitarist for ICED EARTH. He was allegedly auditioned just over a week ago by ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer and was accepted as a member. At press time, there has been no official confirmation from the band regarding Carletti's addition to the group.

According to Carletti's official bio on ErnieCarletti.com, Ernie is "a master guitarist who not only performs live, but is a renowned instructor residing in Maryland, USA and instructing in diverse performance styles including classical, rock, jazz and metal.

"Mastering his craft beyond 18 years and teaching in excess of 15, Ernie's skills are currently in demand by more than 100 students weekly in the Elkton, MD and Wilmington, DE areas. In addition to personal student sessions, Ernie offers email; video and member download instruction to students world-wide via ErnieCarletti.com.

"In 2005, Ernie struck a deal with famed guitar luthier Bernie Rico Jr. to produce and market two Carletti signature guitar models, the 'Dr. Jekyll', and the 'Mr. Hyde'. In February of 2006, Ernie was personally invited by Rico Jr. to appear as a featured artist in Rico Jr.'s booth at NAMM, the annual international music conference held in Anaheim, CA. Here Ernie had the distinct pleasure of jamming with legendary guitar God Larry Coryell — dubbed as the 'Godfather of fusion' — who has recorded more than 70 albums in 35 plus years of being a true Renaissance musician."

Schaffer is currently working on a concept album based on the "Something Wicked This Way Comes" story that first appeared on ICED EARTH's 1998 album of the same name. A 2007 release is expected.

ICED EARTH's last release was the "Gettysburg (1863)" DVD, which came out in June 2005. The main program, a CGI-rendered video presentation of the epic "Gettysburg" trilogy from 2004's acclaimed album "The Glorious Burden", drew praise from fans and media alike. The DVD was also reportedly being used as a teaching tool in several high schools across the country.

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