Metal File: Hard And Heavy News On Prong, Halford, Vader, Ministry, Dimmu Borgir, Rob Zombie, Living Sacrifice & More

 

Hey fellow metallers, how’s it going? Iann Robinson here, finally back from L.A., and I’m ringing in my return by heading to the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. Lots of amazing bands for two days of real metal. So what did you think of the “Headbangers Ball” premiere? I know there are some kinks to work out, but how cool was it to see videos from Shadows Fall and High on Fire?

Phil from 16 sent me their new record, Zoloft Smile, and it’s brilliant. You guys should attack them with e-mails requesting it to be released ASAP in America. I also checked out the new Himsa, which is a totally great hardcore/metal blend, so expect big things from them. Well, that’s it for now. Next week I’ll give you a full report on the festival, and until then, see you at the shows:

Rob Zombie hosts this week’s edition of “Headbangers Ball,” airing Saturday at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT on MTV2. Staind will also be stopping by the set. … CKY have been invited to open Metallica‘s homecoming show at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Sunday. The show will be the first for guitarist Chad I Ginsburg since he broke his tailbone in March. … The Metal Gods tour, featuring Halford, Testament, Immortal, Carnal Forge, Primal Fear, Pain Museum and Amon Amarth, has been derailed. Reasons for the move remain unclear, though organizers said the problems facing the tour have nothing to do with any of the bands on the bill. …

A deafening Ministry performance on May 6 in Philadelphia was pumped with even more firepower when former Skinny Puppy vocalist Nivek Ogre and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian took the stage for the band’s trademark “Stigmata.” The track was originally featured on the 1988 album The Land of Rape and Honey.40 Grit bassist Kevin Young was ordered by doctors to sit out for seven dates after he suffered a herniated disc during a show in Ladd, Illinois, with Pissing Razors, Society 1 and Luxt. A Pissing Razors guitar tech will fill in for Young for the next week. …

Vehemence are writing material for their next album, tentatively titled Helping the World to See. Bassist Mark Kozuback should have his hands full since he’ll be working on the disc and learning to be a father at the same time. Kozuback’s baby girl is due in August. … Polish metal warriors Vader will release an EP this fall that will combine their import EP Reign Forever World (2001) with a second EP of new material. … High on Fire will launch a tour for their album Surrounded by Thieves on June 12 in Los Angeles. Dates run through late July. Support acts will include Drunk Horse, Chinese Stars, Hidden Hand, Floor, the Whip and Camarosmith. …

Leadfoot, a band featuring ex-Corrosion of Conformity members Karl Agell (vocals) and Phil Swisher (bass), have recalled all 1,400 copies of their third record, We Drink for Free, because the discs contain multiple digital errors that cause them to skip and pause. Anyone who bought the album should return it to the place of purchase. … Dio will release the live DVD “Evil or Divine” on July 1. The concert was recorded at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on December 13. The DVD includes backstage footage, an interview with frontman Ronnie James Dio, and the video for “Push,” which features Tenacious D. … Alabama Thunder Pussy have split with vocalist Johnny Throckmorton, who joined the band when it formed more than six years ago. Daring souls should contact alabamathunder@hotmail.com or relapse@relapse.com. The band has nine new songs completed for its next record. …

You think you’ve heard it all? Not yet. Agoraphobic Nosebleed have released the three-inch CD called Altered States of America, featuring 100 chaotic, disjointed and blistering songs in a mere 21 minutes. The band will follow up the project in early 2004 by releasing a split CD with Jesu, the new band featuring ex-Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick and his former bandmates Ted Parsons and Paul Neville. … Life of Agony are getting ready to release a double live CD titled River Runs Again Live 2003. The CDs will contain their biggest songs as well as four bonus tracks. … The Crown recently headed back into the studio to record a new album. Vocalist Johan Lindstrand is now back with the band. …

Long-running Christian thrash metal band Living Sacrifice, whose guitarist, Rocky Gray, has recently been drumming for Evanescence, have announced plans to disband following their next few scheduled performances, including a July 5 appearance at the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, Illinois. The band had previously planned to replace singer/guitarist/founding member Bruce Fitzhugh after their upcoming gigs and continue on, but has opted to split instead, according to the group’s Web site. … Norwegian black metal outfit Dimmu Borgir are mixing their next album, Death Cult Armageddon, at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden. The band has reportedly recorded a cover version of an old Bathory song as well. …

Henry Rollins and his band will revisit the former Black Flag frontman’s roots: Rollins and company will play only Black Flag songs on an upcoming tour to benefit the West Memphis Three — the young Arkansas men convicted of the grisly murders of three boys. Dates for the tour can be found at Rollins’ Web site, 21361.com. … New York legends Prong are putting the finishing touches on a new album called Scorpio Rising, which was co-produced by Tommy Victor. The album should hit stores next month on Locomotive Music. …

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