ICED EARTH guitarist/mainman Jon Schaffer — who celebrated his 45th birthday yesterday (Friday, March 15) — has posted the following message on the band’s Facebook page:

“Hello friends!

“I want to thank you very much for the happy birthday wishes! Myself and the band are blessed to have fans like you guys.

“As you can see in the photo [below], Stu [Block, ICED EARTH singer] and I are about to chow on a very funny cake that friends and family made for me.

“We are in South America working on the songs for the next ICED EARTH studio album and hanging out with some very dear friends.

“The metal is most certainly flowing! You’re going to love this next one!!!

“Best to you all, and thanks again!”

ICED EARTH‘s first officially filmed headline show, “Live In Ancient Kourion”, will hit stores on April 15 in Europe and April 16 in North America via Century Media. This incredibly powerful package will come to you in various configurations and, a first for Century Media Records, also on Blu-ray disc. The limited-edition deluxe book features the main show and a plethora of bonus content on DVD and a Blu-ray disc, as well as the entire concert on a 2CD set (4 discs in total). You can also enjoy the audio version of the full concert in a 3LP gatefold vinyl package or as a 2CD set. A standard DVD and digital audio download will also be available.

ICED EARTH‘s latest album, “Dystopia”, sold around 6,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 67 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The band’s previous CD, “The Crucible of Man (Something Wicked Part II)”, opened with 6,700 units in September 2008 to debut at No. 79.

ICED EARTH‘s 10th studio offering, “Dystopia”, was released in Europe on October 17, 2011 and in the U.S. on October 18 via Century Media Records. Two bonus tracks were also recorded for inclusion on special editions of the album.