Metal File: Hard And Heavy News On Killswitch Engage, Rob Zombie, Ministry, Opeth And More

Hey, how the hell are ya? Iann Robinson here with this week's "Metal File," and man, it's a big week. It looks like Danzig is practically replacing his whole band, and Strapping Young Lad heading out with Meshuggah should be pretty killer. The next big thing in metal — as I see it — is the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival that kicks off May 16. It looks like everybody is gonna be there: Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Mastodon, the Haunted and tons more ... what better way to spend a weekend? I recently heard some of the new Lamb of God, and I'm telling you, it's pretty amazing. I was also really impressed with the new Cradle of Filth album, Damnation and a Day, really epic sounding. The metal gods must also be smiling on Anthrax, because after years of really not liking what they were doing, I think the new album, We've Come for You All, is really good. I'd also recommend the Black Flag tribute album Back in Black on Initial Records. It's got Converge, Anodyne, Coalesce, the Dillinger Escape Plan and more, all doing Black Flag tunes — amazing stuff. Well, read on for some choice metal news and remember, if you think Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit are metal, this isn't for you!!!

Nothingface left Ministry's Fornica Tour after the trek's stop on Saturday in Phoenix. There's no word on the reason behind the move. ... Meanwhile, Ministry have replaced drummer Tia Sprockett with Rey Wisham, formerly of Jesus Lizard. …

Danzig have added former Deadlights/ Nothingface bassist Jerry Montano to their lineup. Montano replaces Howie Pyro, formerly of D Generation. … Soulfly are set to return to the U.S. for a tour this spring. E-Town Concrete and Sworn Enemy have signed on as opening acts for the trek, which kicks off on April 12. …

The man who once sang about a rat feasting on a "tender" cat could take you out to dinner. The WWE and Lion's Gate Films are offering a chance to win a date with Rob Zombie, as part of the promotion of his film "House of 1000 Corpses." Details can be found at the World Wrestling Entertainment Web site, wwe.com. ... Speedealer have reformed and are working on material for a new album, which they plan to record in late April/early May with Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers). …

Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello will produce the next album from veteran American punks Anti-Flag. … Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman will release his solo album Music for Speeding on May 20. The album will be released on Steve Vai's Favored Nations record label. … Opeth are hitting the road with Lacuna Coil in May. The trek, dubbed the Fair Judgement Tour, kicks off on April 29 in Seattle. …

Bathory's new album, Nordland II, will be released on April 29 in North America through Black Mark Records. … Freya, the Syracuse, New York, hardcore band that formerly went by the names Nemesis and The End Begins, have completed their debut album. Freya's lineup includes former Earth Crisis members Karl Buechner (vocals), Ian "Bulldog" Edwards (bass) and Erick Edwards (guitar). ...

When Killswitch Engage enlisted frontman Howard Jones, many thought that could spell the end for his band Blood Has Been Shed, but on the contrary, the Connecticut band has completed a new album and a short tour with Shadows Fall. ... Former Zao guitarists Scott Mellinger and Russ Cogdell have resurfaced in a new band called Jade Meridian, with Mellinger handling both guitar and vocal duties. The group is currently demoing material. ...

Apparently he missed playing in two bands at once, as former Converge and current Bane guitarist Aaron Dalbec has joined Velocity Engine. ... Deceased have parted ways with Relapse Records. ... Possessed 13 is the title of the next record from Swedish death metal outfit the Crown, who have reunited with former At the Gates vocalist Johan Lindstrand. ...

Drummer Nalle Osterman (ex-Gandalf), bassist Oppu Laine (ex-Amorphis, Mannhai), guitarist Marko Tarvonen (Moonsorrow), guitarist Esa Holopainen (Amorphis), and vocalist Taneli Jarva (ex-Sentenced, the Black League) have formed a Finnish death metal supergroup called Chaosbreed. … Reunited Tampa death metallers Brutality have backed out of their previously announced plan to sign a one-album deal with Poland's Still Dead Productions. No reason was given for the change. …

Tomahawk will release their new record Mit Gas on May 6 on Ipecac Records. The album will include "Birdsong," "Rape This Day," "You Can't Win," "Mayday," "Rotgut," "Capt. Midnight," "Desastre Natural," "When the Stars Begin to Fall," "Harelip," "Harlem Clowns," "Aktion F1413" and "What a Feeling (Flashdance)." ... Alabama's Haste will deliver their latest, The Mercury Lift, this summer. In addition to a stop at May's New England Metal and Hardcore Festival and a stint on June's Radio Takeover Tour, the band is planning its own full U.S. tour. ...

— Compiled by

Iann Robinson, Ryan J. Downey, Robert Mancini and Jon Wiederhorn