Matt Barlow’s voice is legendary within the Metal world. Today being his 41st birthday, and just a few days over a year since his final departure from the music world, we felt it necessary to take a look back at his legacy.
Joining Iced Earth in 1995, he more or less framed the signature sound that this American power metal band has come to be known for, with his deep, clean melodic vocals as well as the hoarse, screamier vocal style of singing on the more aggresive songs. Barlow is most known for his dark, verismo tone and powerful highs. A high baritone, he is often confused for a much lower voice type due to his hefty dramatic timbre and gravelly delivery.
In 2003, faced with the need to do more for his country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, he left Iced Earth to work as a police officer. With other officers in his department, he led another band that played in high schools with the aim to foster positive ideas through music, such as discouraging teenagers from drugs and other antisocial activities.
Barlow couldn’t be kept away from the music scene for long, and in 2007, after briefly singing for Danish Prog-Metal band Pyramaze, he officially rejoined Iced Earth again later that year until 2011. March 3, 2011 was his last ever concert, and he officially retired, citing the need to spend more time with his family.
Matt may not be singing officially, but his is a voice that enthralled an entire generation of metal fans, and will continue to do so for years to come. Once again, happy birthday Matt! We look forward to seeing you make atleast a few guest appearances in the years to come!