Metal File: Brand New Sin, Zao, High On Fire & More In This Week’s Hard News

New York thrash band supercharging 520-pound WWE wrestler Big Show.

Starting next week, whenever the WWE’s Big Show — a man infamous for finishing off the competition with his trademark “Chokeslam” move — enters the square circle, he’ll do so to the Southern-influenced thrashing of Syracuse, New York’s Brand New Sin. That’s because the band, formerly known as God Below, was recruited a few weeks back to supercharge the 7-foot-plus, 520-pound behemoth’s theme song by Vince McMahon’s music director — who, coincidentally, was turned on to the Empire State metallers by Triple H.

“We went up to Stamford, Connecticut, [the home of the WWE's nerve center] and we spent the day there running around and looking at how they put everything together,” frontman Joe Altier said. “And then we spent six, seven hours taking the song he’s got now and taking it on, Brand New Sin style. Then on [November 7] we were invited to WWE Raw in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and we met Big Show.”

And, not surprisingly, the dude was real big.

“To see someone who’s 7’2″, 520 pounds — I mean, it sounds big, but you cannot fathom it until the guy comes walking towards you,” Altier said. “I’m 5’10″, 230 pounds. I’m not a small guy. Our drummer’s 6’3″ — we’re not a band of skinny little dudes. But we looked like little kids hanging out with him.”

It turns out that Brand New Sin are just the first band to contribute a track to the WWE’s forthcoming, tentatively titled Forceable Entry 2, which should hit stores sometime early next year. The first Forceable Entry compilation, released three years ago, featured Limp Bizkit, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Sevendust, Disturbed, Kid Rock and Drowning Pool.

Brand New Sin, who’ve been on the road with Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society since last month on a tour that wraps November 20 in San Francisco, are in the midst of planning a two-week headlining trek of the Northeast — and will be touring the States for much of 2006, too. So how’s it been, touring with Zakk?

“He’s calmed his ways down a little bit since the first time we went out with him, because I think after all the things that have happened to him in the past year, he was like, ‘OK, I need to chill out a little bit,’ ” Altier said. “But him calming down, even a little bit — I mean, he still has more fun than 98 percent of the rest of the bands out there.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:

As soon as they’re through road trippin’ with Slipknot and Unearth, As I Lay Dying will launch a new tour with A Life Once Lost, Norma Jean and Madball. The jaunt runs from November 26 in Atlanta through December 21 in Hollywood. … Shadows Fall will release the DVD “The Art of Touring” November 15. The nearly two-hour disc will include live performances, behind-the-scenes footage and all six videos from the band’s last two albums, 2002′s The Art of Balance and 2004′s The War Within. The disc also features a special tribute to “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, filmed during the Shad’s tour with Damageplan. … Trivium will start pre-production on their next disc, The Crusade, in January. The band will once again team with producer Jason Suecof (Capharnaum, God Forbid) for the outing, which is eyeing a fall 2006 release. … Carcass frontman Jeff Walker will release an album of country and blues covers called Welcome to Carcass Cu–ry by March 2006. The disc will include versions of popular songs by Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Connie Smith, Skeeter Davis and John Denver. Contributing to the odd project was ex-Carcass guitarist Bill Steer, ex-Carcass drummer Ken Owen, ex-Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, Amorphis guitarists Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari, and H.I.M. frontman Ville Valo and drummer Gas. …

Northern California experimental doom band Giant Squid will reissue their self-released debut, Metridium Field, in spring 2006. The band is currently writing songs for its sophomore offering, which it plans to unveil later in the year. … Zao will enter Chicago’s Electrical Audio Studio in two months with producer Steve Albini (Helmet, the Pixies), to record the band’s as-yet-untitled seventh album. Zao’s two-DVD set, “Zao: The Lesser Lights of Heaven,” hits stores November 15. … Drummer Jeff Lohrber has left Today Is the Day, thanks to “personal and musical differences with [frontman] Steve Austin.” Lohrber, who was in the band for just eight months, will return to Harlots full-time. … Stoner drone band Earth — whose frontman, Dylan Carlson, bought Kurt Cobain the shotgun he used to kill himself — will emerge from hiding to play a rare run of shows. Dates run from November 17 in Baltimore to November 21 in Boston, providing Carlson doesn’t get arrested for something before then. … South American black-metal band Goat Semen have finished writing and rehearsing tracks for their upcoming full-length and plan to begin recording in early 2006. … Rumors of Infinited Hate’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. While vocalist Rachel Kloosterwaard-Heyzer has left the band, the singing slot has been filled by ex-drummer Aad Kloosterwaard. The band’s currently writing material for its third album, the follow-up to 2005′s Heaven Termination. Drums on the album will be handled by Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Aborted). …

Animosity are set to shoot a video for “The Black Page” November 26 in San Francisco; director Richie Valdez (Taste of Blood, Contra) will helm it. … xBishopx‘s forthcoming debut, Suicide Party, will surface January 10 through Ferret. Look for the album to contain “xBishopx Basically Owns Your Face,” “Hookers & Blow” and “Go F— Yourself.” … High on Fire will perform “Devilution” and “Brother in the Wind” during a taping of the Discovery Channel program “Monster Garage” Friday night (November 11). No word yet on when the episode will air. In the meantime, High on Fire will hit the road in January for a North American tour with the Bronx, Big Business and Buried Inside. The 29-date trek kicks off January 18 in San Francisco and winds down February 19 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. … Setherial will begin work on their fifth disc November 21; no word yet on album or song titles, but the band promises the tracks will be “more technical than previous albums — but the aggression still remains.” … Portuguese metal act Moonspell have signed with SPV/Steamhammer Records and are hard at work on Memorial, what will be the band’s first post-Century Media release. The album will contain up to 10 tracks, including “Blood Tells,” “Upon the Blood of Men” and “At the Image of Pain.” …

Faster Pussycat guitarist Brent Muscat underwent surgery on November 8 to remove oral cancer; he was diagnosed just a few weeks ago. In an online posting, Muscat’s wife, EJ, wrote that that the surgery “went very well” and that “the doctors were very satisfied with the surgery. He’s doing very good and everything seems [to be] going well so far.” … Thrashin’ Swedes Raise Hell will release City of the Damned early next year through Black Lodge Records. … Hate have a new guitarist: Hellbeast. That’s all. … Chilean thrash band Ammit will release their third album, Hammer of Darkness, November 28. The disc features a cover of Accept‘s “Fast as a Shark” and is the follow-up to 2003′s Extreme Speed Satan.Lecherous Nocturne — which features Nile axeman Dallas Toler-Wade behind the kit — will issue their debut LP, Adoration of the Blade, early next year; look for the album to include “Release in Flame,” “Singe Este Viata” and “Whorrified.” … Connecticut hardcore dudes the Distance have signed with Abacus Recordings. In two months the band will hit the studio with Shep Goodman (Bayside, Mandy Moore) to begin recording their debut, The Rise, the Fall, and Everything in Between. … Love in the Time of Cholera have officially shortened their name to Time of Cholera. The Virginia metalcore band’s forthcoming EP, Collapse of the Forsaken, hits stores December 6.