ASHES OF ARES, the band featuring former ICED EARTH members Matt Barlow and Freddie Vidales, will release its third studio album, “Emperors And Fools”, on January 21, 2022 via ROAR! Rock Of Angels. The official music video for the LP’s first single, “By My Blade”, can be seen below.

Nine years after forming ASHES OF ARES, Barlow and Vidales return with an LP that sees the duo take the darkness and aggression from their previous effort, “Well Of Souls”, to a higher echelon. The writing process began almost immediately after “Well Of Souls” was released. As usual, it was a true collaborative effort between the two, with ideas originating from one or the other, then evolving and being refined to what is presented on “Emperors And Fools”. The album flow is designed to keep the listeners on edge while bringing them from fast, heavy, pounding anthems to somber, melancholic, emotional pieces. The album ends with the eleven-minute long epic “Monster’s Lament” which features the long-imagined joining of forces between Barlow and another former ICED EARTH singer, Tim “Ripper” Owens.

“Emperors And Fools” will be released as a digipak CD, limited turquoise/black splatter vinyl (300 copies worldwide), limited red/black splatter vinyl (300 copies worldwide) and digital streaming and download format.

“Emperors And Fools” was produced by ASHES OF ARES, and mixed and mastered by Byron Filson at Villain Recording in Phoenix, Arizona. The cover artwork was created by Kamil Pietruczynik.

Track listing:

01. A City In Decay (intro)
02. I Am The Night
03. Our Last Sunrise
04. Primed
05. Where God Fears To Go
06. Emperors And Fools
07. By My Blade
08. What Tomorrow Will Bring
09. The Iron Throne
10. Gone
11. Throne Of Iniquity (CD-exclusive track)
12. Monster’s Lament


Matt Barlow – Vocals
Freddie Vidales – Guitars, Bass


* Drums on all tracks by Van Williams
* Keyboard intro composed by Jonah Weingarten
* First solo “The Iron Throne” by Wiley Arnett of SACRED REICH
* Second solo “The Iron Throne” by Charlie Mark
* Second solo “Monster’s Lament” by Bill Hudson
* Guest vocals “Monster’s Lament” by Tim “Ripper” Owens
* Keyboards “Monster’s Lament” by Brian Trainor

Last December ASHES OF ARES released the 12-inch black vinyl EP, “Throne Of Iniquity”. Limited to 300 copies, the EP contained one new ASHES OF ARES song, “Throne Of Iniquity”, as well as two cover tracks, CHICAGO‘s “25 Or 6 To 4” and KANSAS‘s “Dust In The Wind”.

ASHES OF ARES‘s second album, “Well Of Souls”, came out in November 2018 via ROAR! Rock Of Angels. It was the follow-up to ASHES OF ARES‘s self-titled debut album, which was released in September 2013 via Nuclear Blast.

Three years ago, Barlow told “The Classic Metal Show” about ASHES OF ARES: “Sometimes it’s hard to escape the comparisons [to ICED EARTH], because my voice is still my voice no matter what, and I’m still gonna deliver things emotionally like I have before, so people are always gonna draw comparisons with ICED EARTH, and that’s fine; I’m completely cool with that. I’m proud of my time in ICED EARTH, proud of everything that I’ve done with them, proud of them right now, going on and kicking ass. So I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever — the comparisons. But that being said, I want ASHES to have its own identity as well. I think, again, as my writing partner, Freddie deserves that — he deserves to have his own identity in ASHES — and I think that’s really important; that’s what we’re striving to do. And also, hey, man, there’s already an ICED EARTH out there; they’re touring and they’re kicking ass, as I stated before. Why would I wanna do ICED EARTH stuff?”