Metal File: Machine Head, Shelter, Darkthrone & More In This Week's Hard News

Band's brutally honest 'Elegies' DVD makes frontman Robert Flynn cringe.

For Machine Head frontman Robert Flynn, the idea of releasing a DVD — as the band did just a couple of months back in the form of "Elegies" — was something the group had long resisted.

"We just never felt like, with the budgets we were being given, that we could do something that would do what we wanted to do," said Flynn, fresh from last week's Roadrunner United concert. "We wanted to have something we felt represented the band, that captured the band the right way. If we do something, it has to be done right. We want to be able to stand behind the things we put out. If we can't, we just don't put it out."

"Elegies" is something Machine Head are proud of — Flynn said it's already become Roadrunner's bestselling DVD after Slipknot's 2002 release "Disasterpieces." The DVD features tons of live footage captured at London's Brixton Academy a little more than a year ago, as well as "life-on-the-road bits and segments with us being just the stupidest people you've seen in your life, drunk out of our minds." But what Flynn's perhaps most satisfied with is the DVD's documentary, "The Making of Through the Ashes of Empires," which focuses on the band's 2003 album. The segment chronicles one of the toughest times in Machine Head's history, he said — and the response from fans has been overwhelming.

"After our fourth album, [2001's] Supercharger, we negotiated off of Roadrunner, and were unsigned for two years," he explained. "We were basically rejected by every label in the business. Thirty here in the States rejected us. For a while there, it looked like we would never be a band again. But we worked out a deal [with Roadrunner International] and [the album] ended up coming out in Europe and it exploded. Four months later, a lot of the labels that passed on us were like, 'Hey. What's going on? That record is so good.' And I'm like, 'The one we sent you four months ago? Yeah, it is.' "

In time Machine Head would re-sign with Roadrunner, ending years of uncertainty, but the film on "Elegies" documents the band's struggles in finding a label home and the internal strife that unfolded within the group during that period.

"For the four of us, it's a tough section to watch," Flynn admitted. "It's brutally honest with moments that I watch and I just cringe. It's tough for me to watch, but we've always maintained an extra honest relationship with our fans."

The rest of the week's metal news:

New York hardcore legends Shelter have inked a deal with Good Life Recordings to release the tentatively titled Eternal next year — the band's first album since 2001's The Purpose, the Passion. According to Good Life's Web site, the disc will feature 11 tracks, including a reworking of "In Defense of Reality," which first appeared on 1995's Quest for Certainty. ... The Esoteric recently shot their forthcoming "Your New Burden" video in Palm Springs, California, with director Matt Bass (Black Dahlia Murder, Nonpoint) behind the lens. The band's about to hit the road with Scarlet, Calico System and Fight Paris for a 43-date tour that kicks off January 13 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dates run through February 25 in Washington, Illinois. ... On March 14, Type O Negative will issue "Symphony for the Devil (The World of Type O Negative)," a DVD featuring live footage shot back in 1999 at Germany's Bizarre Festival, as well as behind-the-scenes material and other goodies. The DVD will also boast a CD single featuring a six-minute medley of the Santana songs "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va" and "Black Magic Woman." ... Indianapolis thrash band Demiricious will release their debut album, One, January 24. The disc was produced by Zeuss and includes "Repentagram," "Perfection and the Infection" and "To Serve Is to Destroy." On December 17 the band shot a video for "Vagrant Idol" with producer Dale Resteghini in Queens, New York — it takes a stab at corporate corruption and features disgruntled workers destroying a luxury car. ... Left Hand Pathology, the full-length debut by Swedish grindcore kings General Surgery, will drop sometime this spring. Look for the album to feature "Fulguration," "Necrodecontamination" and "Convivial Corpse Disposal Methodology." ...

Ibex, which features members of Yakuza and erstwhile metallers Corpse Vomit, have posted three demo on MySpace: "Lessons in Deception," "Fall of the Savior" and "Stillborn Amputee." The band's expected to hit the studio soon to record with producer Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Deicide). ... Ex-Amen bassist John "Tumor" Fahnestock and former Gwar merch salesman/ singer Crazy White Sean are gearing up for the release of the debut album by their new band KCUF, which should be out early next year. Modern Primitive features guest appearances by System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson and Korn guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer, who also produced two tracks. ... Dutch death-metallers Pyaemia have parted ways. The band, in a statement, said drummer Robbert Vrijenhoek has been unable to recover from a wrist injury he suffered some time ago. "Some of you may have guessed we are not willing to work with anybody else but Robbert and thus have no way to go on for the moment and most likely for quite some time to come," the statement read. "We have decided to pull the plug." ... Canadian power-rockers Danko Jones will release their new album Sleep Is the Enemy in May. The first single will be "First Date," for which the band will shoot a video in February. Danko Jones are supporting Nickelback on a Canadian tour that starts January 17 in Prince George, British Columbia, and runs through February 18 in Ottawa. ... Tad Morose is down a frontman following the departure of singer Urban Breed. In a statement, Breed blamed the exit on "personal differences" and said, "had I not made this decision, someone else would've made it for me eventually. We just didn't share the same vision." Nosferatu, the debut disc from Breed's new band, Bloodbound, will be released in Europe February 24. ... Look for AssassiNation, the new album from Brazilian death-metal band Krisiun, to hit stores February 21. ...

While there's still no definitive U.S. release date for Machinemade God's forthcoming album The Infinity Complex, the disc — produced by Hatesphere frontman Jacob Bredahl — will feature 13 cuts, including "Friendster Is Sooo 2 Months Ago," "Butterfly Coma" and "Angel Wings." ... Boston's Burn in Silence hit the recording studio earlier this week with Unearth's Ken Susi, who will be producing the band's Angel Maker. The effort is slated for an April release. ... Massachusetts melodic death-metal band Beyond the Embrace have hired ex-Kage drummer Steve Bolognese to replace Kevin Camille, who left after Beyond's 2004 album Insect Song. Bolognese's first show with Beyond will be December 23 in New Bedford, and they'll return to the road for a full tour in February. Early next year the band will also begin writing material for its third album, tentatively scheduled for release next summer. ... Multinational melodic metal band Head Control System will release their debut album Murder Nature April 4. The band features Ulver singer Kristoffer Garm Rygg (Borknagar, Arcturus) and former Sirius and Re:aktor guitarist Daniel Cordoso. Tracks include "Skin Flick" and "Rapid Eye Movement," which are both available for previewing on MySpace.com/spiralsektor. ... Legendary Norwegian black-metal band Darkthrone will issue The Cult Is Alive February 27. The disc will include "Atomic Coming," a tribute to late Voivod guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, who died of colon cancer in August. Voivod are currently assembling a new album with producer Glen Robinson using guitar parts D'Amour recorded on his laptop with ProTools before his death. ... Portland, Oregon, hardcore-metal outfit Facedowninsh-- will release their new record NPON in April. The disc, an acronym for "Nothing Positive, Only Negative," was recorded at Pontchartrain Studios in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with engineer Jay Murphy. Tracks include "Plasma Center Blues," "Ten Strip" and "Rough Sleep." Facedowninsh-- will tour with Deadbird starting March 13 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with dates running through March 31 in Richmond, Virginia.