Metal File: Horse The Band, Opeth, Lacuna Coil & More In This Week's Hard News

Horse are hoping to turn people on to 'Nintendocore' — when they're not destroying hotel rooms.

Guitarist David Isen says his group, Horse the Band, are in agreement about at least one thing when it comes to the video for "Birdo," the first single from their latest disc: "All we have agreed on is that it won't be us rocking out in a graveyard or a warehouse," he joked. "Aside from that, we're not too sure."

One of the first signings to Koch imprint Combat Records, Horse the Band, who've been hailed as champions of an experimental, demented metal sound some have dubbed "Nintendocore," isn't the sort of group you can take seriously — at least not when it's listing "gay porn and fried chicken" as musical influences and telling you its sound's reminiscent of "having sex with a dead body."

"We don't take ourselves very seriously at all," Isen said. "It used to be a problem because we also sucked. So, between us sucking and also not taking ourselves seriously, people thought we were a joke. But now that we're really awesome at playing music, it's a good balance of humor and talent there."

The Mechanical Hand, which will be in stores September 20, contains 13 tracks, including "A Million Exploding Suns," "Octopus on Fire" and "Lord Gold Throneroom." They enlisted none other than Matt Bayles (Isis, Botch, Mastodon) to produce the effort, which was written between January and April of this year. This summer, the five-piece released "Effing 69 2004 World Tour," a DVD featuring live footage and behind-the-scenes action.

"For some reason, everything I film involves someone putting something in someone else's [behind]," Isen said. "Every five minutes, that happens on the DVD."

Horse the Band are planning to head back out on the road this fall for a headlining tour that should launch in October — which is bad news for the nation's hotel chains.

"When we were recording the album, we stayed in a Motel 6 in Seattle for a month in a room we destroyed," he explained. "We were fined thousands of dollars for it. [Keyboardist] Erik [Engstrom]'s girlfriend came to town, and it was her birthday, so we threw a party for her. We hung a piñata from the fire sprinkler, and we were swinging at it, blindfolded, with a toilet plunger, and eventually I swung and took off the whole pipe — it snapped in half. It was like there was a fire hydrant in the ceiling. And then it was total pandemonium."

Thirty minutes later, "we had four inches of water throughout the room, and it soaked through the floor and started coming out of the light fixtures in the room below us. We basically flooded like three rooms. We ran away, and when we came back the next morning, we were charged a few thousand dollars."

The rest of the week's metal news:

Swedish metal act Opeth will embark on a North American headlining tour, with two different bands providing support on two separate legs of the 25-date run. The trek launches October 9 in Tempe, Arizona, and runs through October 22 in San Antonio with Pelican opening things up; and then resumes in Lawrence, Kansas, October 24 with Nevermore onboard. Opeth will make stops in Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York, among other cities, before winding down on November 11 in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida. ... As I Lay Dying won the Artist of the Year prize at this year's San Diego Music Awards, held September 12. The band beat out Unwritten Law, Louis XIV, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Switchfoot and Nickel Creek to claim the honor. The award for Best Hard Rock Album went to the Locust for Safety Second, Body Last. ... As first reported by Metal File two months ago, Children of Bodom and Trivium will embark on a North American tour starting November 9 in Quebec City; Amon Amarth are also on the bill. Dates run through December 14 in New York. Children of Bodom's Are You Dead Yet? is released domestically October 25. ... Unearth will hit the road with Slipknot and Dillinger Escape Plan starting October 14 in Cincinnati (As I Lay Dying play in Dillinger's stead in Chicago on October 19). After the tour, Unearth will start work on the follow up to 2004's The Oncoming Storm, slated for release around August 2006. ... Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad, Darkane and It Dies Today kick off their tour October 18 in Lawrence, Kansas, with IDT playing on the first nine dates only. Soilwork join the tour November 8 in New York and remain on the bill until December 1, when things wind down in San Francisco. ...

Rochester, New York, tech-metal outfit Psyopus have replaced drummer Lee Fisher with ex-Paria member Corey Barnes. The band will start writing songs for its second album immediately, with three weeks' worth of studio time booked for January at Watchman Studios in Buffalo. ... Phoenix black/death-metal band Vehemence have hired ex-Glass Casket singer Adam Cody to replace Sean Vandegrift, who is now pursuing other ventures. Cody's working on new lyrics and vocal parts for the band's next record. Vehemence are also in the process of remixing and remastering their 2000 outing, The Thoughts From Which I Hide, which they'll sell at shows and on their Web site. ... Grind surgeons Impaled and Disgorge will be joined by noisecore stars Blessing the Hogs for a tour that starts September 23 in Hollywood. Dates run through October 5 in Salt Lake City, with more to come. ... Italian goth-metal band Lacuna Coil will enter the studio September 3 to begin tracking their new album, Karmacode. It will be co-produced by the band and Waldemar Sorychta and mastered in Belgium. The album, scheduled for early 2006, follows 2002's Comalies, which broke the band in North America. ... Avenged Sevenfold and Death by Stereo will tour together starting October 6 in San Diego. Dates run through December 2 in Las Vegas. ... West Virginia doom-metal band Hyatari will release their debut, The Light Carriers, October 4. The band features ex-members of Chum and Karma to Burn. Tracks include "Sheet of Flames," "Fourth Realm" and "14,000,000,000 Years Ago." ...

Swiss hardcore-metal band Unfold will release their second album, Aeon-Aony, in North America October 18. The disc was issued in Europe in 2002 and includes "Baron Rouge," "Superman Diabolico" and "Enter Sinus." ... Director Chandler Owen will helm the video for "Breathe From Coma," the next single from Hopesfall's latest, A Types. The band is also mapping out a North American tour with Funeral for a Friend and A Static Lullaby that is expected to start in December, followed by the Trustkill Global Takeover Tour, a package run with Open Hand and Roses Are Red that'll bring the band to Japan and Australia early in the new year. ... British doom-metal act Esoteric are in need of a new drummer following Andy Semmens' recent decision to hit the bricks. Applicants interested in joining the band and working on its forthcoming fifth album should e-mail or ... Domination Black's debut, Fearbringer, will drop this fall through Poison Arrow Records and feature "Nightmare Asylum," "Haunted Hellhouse" and "Frozen Tears." ... San Antonio's Power of Omens have thrown in the towel. In an official statement on the split, axeman David Gallegos said, "over the last several months, the progress of this band continued to deteriorate in regards to our original plan to release the new CD by the summer. The lack of dedication and heart soon became extremely evident, not only in myself, but with everyone else. I personally kept looking back to a time when this band was fun and enjoyable to play in."