Metal File: Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Opeth & More In This Week's Hard News

British black metallers branch out with risky covers, feature #1 fan Bam Margera on DVD.

British black metallers Cradle of Filth have spent the last month toiling the days away inside Lincolnshire, England's Chapel Studios, working on what will be the band's seventh LP — which is being slated for an early June release through Roadrunner Records. Somewhere, Bam Margera's smiling.

Before Cradle of Filth began working on the as-yet-untitled outing, frontman Dani Filth said the band recorded a cover of Samhain's "Halloween II," which will appear on the soundtrack to the forthcoming film "Underworld: Evolution." When the new disc arrives in stores, fans will hear two very interesting covers the Filth's been perfecting: U.K. techno-pop trio Heaven 17's "Temptation" and "Stay" by Shakespear's Sister.

"We picked those because they are interesting," Filth said. "It's going to be a challenge, and that's the whole point. If you're going to do something, don't just do it for the sake of doing it. It has to be something you can make your own."

The band's reunited with Rob Caggiano (Bleeding Through, Anthrax), who produced 2004's Nymphetamine and 2003's Damnation and a Day, and at this point in the process, Filth said "all the drum and bass tracks are pretty much done, and I've already started recording vocals." The Filth will work on the album until the end of the month before breaking for a two-week U.K. tour; they'll reconvene on the sessions in mid-January.

The album, he said, will end up containing about 10 tracks, including "Libertina Grim," "Lovesick for Mina," "The Byronic Man" and "Cemetery and Sundown."

"This record heightens our rhythm, and there are lots of cool off-beats. It's just as meandering as much of our stuff, but there are also some really catchy tracks there," Filth said. "I've introduced more sing-y type parts. It's a bigger, better-sounding Cradle of Filth, and more direct and to the point."

The band's DVD, "Peace Through Superior Firepower," which hits stores November 22, features Filth's #1 fan, Bam Margera, skating and causing his usual mayhem at the start of the "Postcards From Vulgaria" documentary. And Filth says he caught some slack from his peers for the move, as he does for the whole Margera connection. His response? "I just say, 'F--- you. We'll choose our bloody friends. I get on well with the guy — so what?' "

The rest of the week's metal news:

As I Lay Dying, Diecast, Between the Buried and Me, Underoath, Horse the Band, Avenged Sevenfold, Madball, Most Precious Blood and others have contributed tracks to Metal=Life, a CD/DVD compilation that'll be sold exclusively at Hot Topic. Proceeds will benefit the Hot Topic Foundation, which funds children's music and art organizations. ... The Black Dahlia Murder need a new drummer. Think you're up to the task of death-metal pounding? All you need to do is record yourself playing "Flies," a track from the band's latest album, Miasma, to a metronome, and then send it to blackdahliamurder@hotmail.com. If you're good, you might just be heading to Europe in January with the Dahlia for a full European tour with Liar. ... We Put Out Records will reissue God Forbid's first official recording, the Out Of Misery EP, December 6. The release will feature new album art along with five live bonus tracks, including a cover of Sepultura's "Propaganda." ... Scarlet, the Esoteric, Calico System and Fight Paris will hit the road together starting January 13 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dates run through February 25 in St. Louis. ... Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt hopes Leon Whitman, who served as the band's tour bus driver on its most recent North American tour, "will stay [behind bars] for a long time." According to the St. Petersburg Times, Whitman was arrested on November 13 in Tampa, Florida, for having sex with an underage girl, using a child for a sexual performance and computer pornography. Police confiscated Whitman's camera, camcorder and computer, and found pictures of the girl posing in a lewd manner, along with pictures of other girls. "We're appalled by the fact that we'd employed this bastard and even more disgusted by his deeds and obviously we will be much more detailed in our background check for future employments," Åkerfeldt wrote in a post on the band's Web site. "We feel genuinely happy that he is caught." ...

In other police news, Mortician vocalist and bassist Will Rahmer's being held in a Polish jail and faces robbery with a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer charges, all stemming from an incident over the weekend in the town of Krosno Odrzanskie. Rahmer was detained on November 13 for allegedly assaulting a taxi driver with a knife; he's also accused of stealing the taxi cab. According to Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, he could remain behind bars for months as prosecutors build their case against him. Mortician were in the midst of a European tour with Blood Red Throne and Akercocke; the band will continue the trek, with members of both opening bands filling in on bass and vocals. ... Zao have been added to the forthcoming In Flames/ Trivium/ Devildriver North American tour, set to launch in late January. The itinerary's still being worked out. ... Brujeria have booked five U.S. dates for 2006, with Cattle Decapitation opening on three of them. The band performs in Houston on February 4; Santa Ana, California, on February 8; Hollywood the following evening; San Francisco on February 11; and Ventura, California, on February 12. ... Deicide frontman Glen Benton, Mayhem bassist Necrobutcher and members of Dissection will be featured in an hour-long BBC documentary called "Death Metal Murders," airing November 24 at 9 p.m. on BBC2. The program will explore the link between metal, Satanism and murder and will cover various acts of violence in which musicians were either involved or accused of influencing. The program is an episode of the station's series "This World." ...

Disgorge, Dr. Know, Impaled, Phobia and Anal Blast will play the Los Angeles Murderfest Version 2, which takes place February 18 and 19. Other bands confirmed for the show include Blow Your F---ing Brains Out, Crematorium, Immortality, Sepsism, Severed, the Faceless, Cerebus, Embrace the End and Nocturnal Altar. ... The Mercy Clinic, the new band featuring former Damageplan frontman Patrick Lachman, will play their first two gigs opening for Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society and Brand New Sin on November 19 at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theater and November 20 at the Fillmore in San Francisco. "Not a bad way to start," Lachman said. ... Former Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder will release his first solo album, TunnelVision Brilliance, January 24. The 13-track disc was written, performed, produced and engineered entirely by Reeder. An MP3 of the album track "The Day Of Neverending" is now available at his label's Web site, LiquorAndPokerMusic.com. ... Brooklyn, New York, hardcore band Most Precious Blood recently shot a video for "Shark Ethic" with Jesse Smith, who has previously worked with DMX, Redman and Lil' Kim. In the clip the band takes over a commercial radio station and punishes a fictional fashion-core pop band called the Soundscans. Sick of It All frontman Lou Koller plays a security guard in the video. Most Precious Blood's third album, Merciless, came out September 20. ...

Norway's Zyklon, which features Emperor guitarist Samoth and drummer Trym, will start recording their third album, tentatively titled Disintegrate, later this month in Norway. The disc, which will include "Wrenched," "Cold Grave" and "Skinned and Endangered," will come out in the spring. Zyklon will also release the DVD "Storm Detonation Live" in early 2006. ... Meanwhile, black-metal legends Emperor recently reunited after a four-year silence to play a surprise three-song set at a party to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Norwegian metal magazine Scream. At the October 2 show, Samoth announced that the band will headline next year's Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany and the Inferno Festival in Oslo, Norway. ... Finnish death-metal band Torture Killer will release their second album, Swarm, February 21. The new track, "Day of Cadavers," is available at MySpace.com/torturekiller. The band's debut, For Maggots to Devour, came out in March 2004. ... Leipzig, Germany, prog-metal band Disillusion are at Salvation Recording Studio in their hometown working on their second album, which should be ready for release by summer 2006. Disillusion's debut, Back to Times of Splendor, came out in April 2004. ... Massachusetts death metallers Beyond the Embrace need a new drummer following the departure of Kevin Camille. Those interested in auditioning and live in the vicinity of New Bedford should send a sample recording in MP3 form to mail@beyondtheembrace.com. The band is working on material for its forthcoming album, slated for an early 2006 release. ... Portland, Oregon, experimental post-hardcore outfit the Burning Room will start work on their full-length debut, We Invented Thunder!, next month. The album should surface in late February, preceded by a full U.S. trek featuring Inked in Blood, Countdown to Life and New Dead Radio.