Metal File: Between The Buried And Me, Crown, Vader, Absence & More In This Week's Hard News

Band doesn't party hard, but tour with Black Dahlia Murder will pack a punch.

In comparison to their beer-swillin', hard-livin' contemporaries, the dudes from Between the Buried and Me are fairly tame. After all, this is a band that counts the Counting Crows as one of its guiltiest pleasures (its name was actually inspired by a lyric in the Crows' "Ghost Train," and the band contributed to Dead and Dreaming: A Counting Crows Tribute). When BTBAM are on tour, they're all business: they hit the stage, play their gigs and turn in early.

"We're a pretty boring band," frontman Tommy Rogers said. "We get good sleep. Eat well. We don't really party at all, which is going to make our tour with the Black Dahlia Murder pretty interesting. I hear they're pretty 'party hard' guys." (BDM will be fresh off their summer stint as one of Ozzfest's second-stage attractions.)

The tour kicks off September 23 in Buffalo, New York, and runs through October 14 in Phoenix; Cephalic Carnage and Into the Moat are also on the bill. The Raleigh, North Carolina, grindcore band's third disc, Alaska, will hit stores Tuesday.

Formed in 2000, Between the Buried and Me have endured numerous lineup shifts, with six different members coming and going within the last two years alone. Rogers and guitarist Paul Waggoner are the only original members; drummer Blake Richardson and guitarist Dusty Waring, who're also members of Glass Casket, and bassist Dan Briggs round out the current roster. Rogers, though, thinks this lineup's solid — at least for a while.

"The band, as it is right now, is the best we've ever been," he said. "I know that, just with the writing of Alaska and the touring we've done with this lineup, that this is what we really needed; this is the band we needed to be. I'm just pleased with the personalities, the musicianship, and just what we've done with this record. It's like we're all on the same page."

It's a rather unique experience for Rogers and Waggoner, who've clashed with past BTBAM members over creative issues as well as personality differences. "We have three new guys that came into the writing process, which was amazing because in the past, it was just me and Paul writing everything," Rogers explained. "Now we have three guys who are really eager to put a lot of input into the songs. It brought so many different ideas to the mix, things we never would have come up with. It's a big group record, which we'd never done in the past.

"I think this record is a step ahead for us, from what we've done in the past," he continued. "It's a good mix of both of our previous records, and then some. On this record, we went back to some of the melodic death metal ideas that we'd had going on with the first record. We also experimented with different elements."

The band recently shot a video in Los Angeles for the album's title track with director Shane Drake (Trivium, Chimaira). "It's the first video we've been involved with, as far as filming," he said of the performance-based clip. "With videos, our big thing is, everything out there today looks the same. So we wanted to make something different. No big shots of how cool our hair looks, but lots of close-up shots of the instruments instead because, I mean, we don't have an image."

Look for Alaska on September 6.

The rest of the week's metal news:

Krzysztof "Doc" Raczkowski, former drummer of Polish death-metal band Vader, has died from an undisclosed ailment. The 35-year-old Raczkowski was buried in his hometown of Korsze. After attending his funeral on August 25, the band said in a statement: "Goodbye to our friend and great musician. We accompany him on his last journey with great sadness, pain and sorrow." Raczkowski played with Vader from their 1992 debut until he was fired in March because of a serious drinking problem. He was replaced by ex-Vesania drummer Daray. ... The Crown's posthumous triple-DVD set will be released January 10. The package will trace the band's history from its inception in 1990 to its breakup in March 2004. On the Crown's Web site, the band called the as-yet-untitled box "a colossal damage to head and eyes," adding, "this magnificent hail to the fans will take you on a dangerous roller-coaster ride deep within the halls of hell." Where do we sign up? ... Founding Crown guitarist Marko Tervonen has built himself a new recording facility called Studio MT in Trollhattan, Sweden. He's about to start recording there with his new thrashy death band Angel Blake. The group features Tervonen on all instruments and Transport League singer Tony Jelencovich. ... The benefit release Friend in Need Benefit Compilation, Vol. 1, a double 12-inch colored vinyl and DVD package, will include tracks by Cattle Decapitation, Winter Solstice, Curl Up and Die, Norma Jean, From a Second Story Window, Cursed and Underoath. The set will be released in October and all proceeds from sales of the disc will go to cancer awareness and treatment programs. ...

Drowningman, Vermont's grind-inclined mathcore band, will shoot a video this weekend in Washington, D.C., with director Joseph Pattisall for "White People Are Stupid." The track is from the band's forthcoming disc, Don't Push Us When We're Hot, which hits stores on October 11. ... The latest offering from Norwegian black-metal act Carpathian Forest will surface on January 17 through Season of Mist. According to their site, they've "almost finished with all recordings" and have "only a few details left." ... Combat Records will released Austin's At All Cost's first full-length, It's Time to Decide, September 20. The disc will feature "Death to Distraction," "Polish the Nightmare" and "It Burns Black." ... The second album from Los Angeles post-hardcore band From First to Last will be produced by Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot). He'll join the band at its studio in Albany, Georgia, this week to begin preproduction and start tracking the album September 12 in California. ... Fort Lauderdale, Florida's Into the Moat were forced to cancel a week of dates with Soilent Green after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on their hometown. The band was unable to get its van out of the shop, which was closed in the wake of the storm. Into the Moat will return to the tour, which also features Watch Them Die, on September 3 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and will remain on the road through October 3 in Kansas City, Missouri. ...

Melodic Floridian death-metal band the Absence will tour with Chicago metallers Dead to Fall starting September 19 in Orlando. Dates run through September 29 in Fargo, North Dakota. The Absence's debut album, From Your Grave, comes out September 19. ... Wilmington, North Carolina, alt-metal band Sourvein will release their second album, Emerald Vulture, this fall. The group's first disc, Will to Mangle, came out in 2002. ... Ultralord, an underground sludge group featuring members of Fistula and Rue, are currently in the studio with Beaten Back to Pure frontman Vince Burke. Expect a new album in early 2006. ... Also scheduled for early next year is a new album from Long Island, New York's Negative Reaction. It's titled Under the Ancient Penalty.... Christian right-wing metalcore band Winter Solstice have lost founding guitarist JT Turner, who quit the band to pursue other career ventures. Jeff Cohn of If the Accident Will is filling in temporarily, but the band is currently looking for a full-time replacement. Interested Christian Bush-supporting axemen should e-mail WSGuitaristSearch@yahoo.com. ... Texas hyper-metalcore band Losa will launch a tour with Jacknife starting September 15 in Beaumont, Texas. Dates run through October 2 in Fargo, North Dakota.