Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida that combines influences from thrash metal, power metal, progressive metal, opera, speed metal and NWOBHM. Iced Earth has been known to have a volatile and oft changing line-up. Founding member, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer being the only original member who has remained, handling nearly all of the songwriting and leading the band. Current vocalist Matt Barlow and former lead guitarist Randall Shawver are the next longest-tenured members, the only people besides Schaffer to have spent a full decade in the band. Shawver, the first lead guitarist to record with the band, joined in 1988 and remained until 1998. Barlow joined in 1994 and remained until 2003, when he was inspired by the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. to leave the band and become a law enforcement officer. However, he returned to the group in late 2007, making his live return at the 2008 Chicago Powerfest. In 1999 Jon Schaffer teamed up with Blind Guardian vocalist Hansi Kürsch to form a side project called Demons & Wizards and have released two albums to date.