Metal File: Korn, Motorhead, Ozzfest, Black Dahlia Murder And Life Of Agony In This Week's Hard News

The scoop on Life of Agony's new LP, Ozzfest's stiff competition and more.

Life of Agony had been making brutal Noo Yawk hardcore since the days when George W. Bush was busy mismanaging the Texas Rangers, but sometime around 1997, frontman Keith Caputo lost the fire and decided to ditch the band.

Fast-forward six years — past an aborted solo career — and Caputo was taking the stage with his former mates at New York's Irving Plaza for the first of two sold-out reunion shows. Suffice to say, his fire was about to be relit.

"We had two fabulous evenings of celebrating love, music and our fans," he said. "The relentlessness, the drive, the love, the family that never really left me, but it had to be brought back to the forefront. And those shows did it. It just felt right. How could it not?"

After those Irving shows — and the tour that followed — Life of Agony decided it was time to hit the studio. The result is Broken Valley, their first album in almost a decade. It's 10 tracks of the NYC thuddery they're known for, but with something extra: a maturity born of nearly 20 years in the game, of loss and of brotherhood.

"It's called Broken Valley because it's what Brooklyn [LOA's hometown] means in Dutch," Caputo said. "And because it works for this record. Our music has always been about struggles and stuff like that, but with these new songs, so much went into them. Everything leading up to this record was like walking through a broken valley of life."

Broken Valley hits stores May 31.

The rest of this week's metal news:

Look out, Ozzfest, because for the first time in 10 years, you'll face some stiff — scratch that, actual — competition from an impressive roster of beloved underground acts led by Clutch, Lamb of God, Opeth and Strapping Young Lad. The Sounds of the Underground festival takes to the blacktop June 25, with the last stop on the trek scheduled for August 1. More concrete dates are still being finalized, but sources said it will hit "all the usual cities." While organizers expect to add one more "heavyweight" headliner to the bill later this month, they have secured the likes of Poison the Well, High on Fire, Norma Jean, From Autumn to Ashes, Unearth, Every Time I Dieand Gwar for the tour's inaugural run. Tickets will set you back $30. ...

In related news, scheduling conflicts have forced the cancellation of an Ozzfest 2005 press conference tentatively planned for Tuesday, according to a publicist for the perennial summer metal festival. Official details on the tour's dates and lineup could emerge as early as next week. ... The Black Dahlia Murder's Miasma, which the technical death metal merchants began recording in Richmond, Virginia, with producer (and Scarlet drummer) Andreas Magnusson on Thursday, will be in stores July 12. According to singer Trevor Strnad, Miasma will feature nine or 10 songs, including "I'm Charming," "Miscarriage" and "Statutory Ape." The Dahlia will take 20 days to record Miasma, after which they'll load up the van for the upcoming King Diamond, Nile and Behemoth jaunt. ...

Southern noisecore veterans Soilent Green recently put the finishing touches on the long-awaited follow-up to 2001's A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down. The Eric Rutan-produced Confrontation will feature 15 brutal tracks, including "Leaves of Three," "Forgive and Regret" and "A Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem." Look for it June 7. ... Ozzfest veterans Shadows Fall are touring the nation's sports arenas with Slipknot (whose album Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses - will be re-released April 12 with two new songs and six live tracks). The Massachusetts metalheads will make "a major summer tour announcement" in the next few days (wink, wink), according to a Century Media press release. The band just shot a video for the track "Inspiration on Demand" in Puerto Rico that will debut on MTV2's "Headbangers Ball" this Saturday. ...

Metal's "it" band of the moment, As I Lay Dying, will join forces with Throwdown and All That Remains on March 24, the first of 19 dates on the band's upcoming North American Minions of Mosh run. The AILD boys recently finished tracking Shadows Are Security — one of the most eagerly awaited metal discs of 2005 — which should see the fuzzy fluorescent glow of retail June 14. On a related note, AILD's Tim Lambesis has signed Life in Pictures to his newly founded Pluto Records imprint, Clockwork. ... A week after confirming their split with guitarist Tripp Eisen — who was recently arrested on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor — Static-X leader Wayne Static announced on the band's Web site Monday that former guitarist Koichi Fukuda has rejoined the fold. ...

Seminal British metallers Motörhead — fronted by the always charming, always leather-clad Lemmy Kilmister — have teamed up with speed-punkers Zeke and American thrashers Corrosion of Conformity for a 16-date, high-octane American outing that commenced Wednesday at New Jersey's Starland Ballroom. The tour makes stops in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seattle before screeching to a halt in Spokane, Washington, April 11. ... Metal experimentalists Nile have hired bassist Joe Payne to play their European tour, which started Wednesday in Manchester, England. The group will tour with King Diamond in the U.S. starting April 14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 19-year-old bassist replaced Jon Vesano, who quit in February due to personal and professional differences. Nile's fourth full album, Annihilation of the Wicked, is due May 27. ...

Ex-Deicide guitarist Eric Hoffman has joined Tampa, Florida, death metal band Unholy Ghost. The group is currently in pre-production for its second album, tentatively titled Blasphemy of the Grand Devine. Hoffman left Deicide in November following several no-shows for various tours. He was replaced on tour by former Cannibal Corpse axeman Jack Owen. ... Sevendust have hired ex-Snot and Amen guitarist Sonny Mayo to replace Clint Lowery, who quit the in December to join Dark New Day, which also features, ex-Creed bassist Brett Hestla on vocals, ex-Scrape drummer Will Hunt, former Stereomud bassist Corey Lowery and Double Drive guitarist Troy McLawhorn. Mayo's first show with Sevendust will be April 6 in Tampa, Florida. The band is currently at work on the follow-up to 2003's Seasons. Dark New Day's debut, Twelve Year Silence, is due this summer. ...

Korn and rapper Xzibit have recorded a cover of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" for the soundtrack for "XXX: State of the Union." The album will hit stores April 19, and the film, which stars Samuel Jackson, Ice Cube and Willem Defoe, comes 10 days later. ... German metal legends Accept will reunite this summer for a series of festival performances. The lineup will feature original members Udo Dirkschneider on vocals, Wolf Hoffman and Herman Frank on guitars, and Peter Baltes on bass. They will be joined by drummer Stefan Schwarzmann. The band will begin rehearsals later this month in Hanover, Germany, and its first show of the year is scheduled for April 25 in St. Petersburg, Russia. ...

Acrobatic extreme metal band Dillinger Escape Plan will join Slipknot for five shows, starting April 19 in West Valley City, Utah, and running through April 24 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dillinger Escape Plan will also take part in this year's Warped Tour, which kicks off in June. Other bands recently added to Warped include MxPx, Gogol Bordello, My American Heart and Dead 60's. Pre-sale for the event starts Tuesday. ...