Metal File: Behemoth, Black Sabbath, Sodom, Zao & More In This Week's Hard News

Polish death-metal power trio amped to bring their 'extreme, dangerous metal' to the U.S.

Nergal — the frontman for Polish death-metal power trio Behemoth — has one mission in mind for this summer: bringing his band's "extreme, dangerous metal to the masses" in the U.S.

Just how does Nergal intend to do that? Well, Behemoth are one of the dozens of metal and hardcore acts who've been embroiled in ongoing discussions with the Sounds of the Underground camp. And Nergal's hoping that, when the tour's second installment kicks off in July, Behemoth will be along for the ride.

"I believe people need bands that do the technical, fast sh-- with no wimping out. [Bands that] deliver great, quality music," Nergal explained. "I hope this summer will be a breaking point for us. Having a festival like that for five weeks, it would be a great experience for us to do it. I really hope it happens."

If Behemoth do land on the festival's bill, they'll at least be warmed up for the trek. Fresh from a brief Australian run, the band will tour with Krisiun and Despised Icon on April 2 through May 1 to support Morbid Angel's Monsters of Chaos Tour.

"We've been so lucky [over the past year], because we've gotten a chance to support our all-time favorite bands," Nergal explained, before spouting off names like Nile, King Diamond, Suffocation and Danzig (Behemoth were part of last fall's Blackest of the Black run). "We've toured with bands we totally admire and look up to. Morbid Angel, there's no death- or black-metal band that they didn't have an impact on. It's an honor to share the stage with your idols, and it's great to see [frontman] David Vincent coming back to the band and doing all these shows with them. It's going to be a crazy tour. I can't really think of a package with that many extreme bands, one after another. I can't wait."

On Tuesday Behemoth released a six-track EP, Slaves Shall Serve. The undersized offering features rarities, two covers — of Fields of the Nephilim's "Penetration" and Danzig's "Until You Call on the Dark" — and a live version of Behemoth's latest single, the title track, which first appeared on last year's Demigod.

The EP also includes the uncensored version of Behemoth's "Slaves Shall Serve" clip, which was edited to air in the U.S. What Nergal calls "the fun version" of the video includes anti-Christian images (one part features Behemoth dressed like disciples at the Last Supper, for instance) and women, in various stages of undress, engaged in sadomasochistic activities.

In addition, Behemoth are working on new material that Nergal said will be "very technical, insane and very well-produced." The band has no immediate plans to record those songs, but Nergal said chances are there'll be a fresh batch of Behemoth sometime next year.

The rest of the week's metal news:

On March 14, the day after Black Sabbath are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they'll issue Greatest Hits 1970-1978. The disc features 16 tracks from all eight studio albums recorded by the band's original lineup — singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. A few weeks earlier, a batch of metal icons will appear on Flying High Again: The World's Greatest Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne. Yngwie Malmsteen and ex-Judas Priest singer Tim "Ripper" Owens cover "Mr. Crowley"; ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch joins Icarus Witch for "S.A.T.O."; Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister and guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen cover "Desire"; Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider teams up with Dio guitarist Doug Aldrich and drummer Jason Bonham (son of the late Led Zeppelin basher John Bonham) for "Crazy Train"; and Children of Bodom take a crack at "Shot in the Dark." ... According to a post on Judas Priest's Web site, the band took a holiday break following two solid years of touring. But now, "They are raring to go and are starting work on their new studio album. For this reason, they have decided not to do any touring this year but to work straight through on the new album." Of course, this is news that rules. ... Shadows Fall mainman Brian Fair has posted an update on the band's Web site regarding its forthcoming final Century Media effort. Called Fallout From the War, it should surface before the summer; the band's full-length Atlantic Records debut will be out sometime next year, according to Fair. Fallout From the War, which the singer described as "a companion piece to 2004's The War Within," features 11 tracks, including three covers (of Leeway's "Mark of the Squealer" and Only Living Witness' "December" and Dangerous Toys' "Teas'n, Pleas'n "). Other Shad compositions on the EP include "Will to Rebuild," "Haunting Me Endlessly" and "Going, Going, Gone." ...

Zao have set The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here as the title to their forthcoming Steve Albini-engineered album, which is tentatively set for a June 13 release. Zao have also called on fans to help them compile a set list for Ferret's 10th anniversary Under the Gun Tour, which they're co-headlining with Madball and Remembering Never. Suggestions should be posted on the band's MySpace page. ... Cult of Luna have completed their next album, Somewhere Along the Highway, which drops April 24. The band spent a week in a cottage in the woods, just outside the Luna's hometown of Umea, Sweden, working on the disc. According to percussionist/guitarist Magnus Lindberg, the secluded locale — as well as the discovery of "Wicca witch women dancing in the woods" — all impacted the sound of the disc, which will feature seven tracks, including "Marching to the Heartbeats," "And With Her Came the Birds" and "Dark City, Dead Man." ... Legendary German thrash band Sodom will release the double-DVD "Lords of Depravity" February 21. The package features a subtitled, three-hour-long documentary of the band that includes historical footage and interviews with present and former members. The second disc contains more than two hours of concert footage shot at various shows in Europe. Sodom's yet-untitled follow-up to 2001's M-16 will come out April 21. ... Angel Blake, former Crown guitarist Marko Tervonen's one-man project, has secured a touring lineup. Joining Tervonen will be drummer Janne Saarenpää (Crown), guitarists Tony Jelencovich (Mnemic) and Christian Älvestam (Scar Symmetry) and bassist Örjan Wressel. Angel Blake's self-titled debut hits stores April 4 and will include "The Force," "Retaliate" and "Self-Terminate." ...

Annihilator will release their two-DVD "10 Years in Hell" February 21. The package contains band interviews, seven music videos, backstage footage and numerous live performances spanning the band's decade-long career. ... Guitarist Stefan Van Neerven will leave Dutch metallers Born From Pain at the end of the month because of personal issues. He'll be replaced by Zero Mentality's Dominik Stammen. ... Swiss metalcore act Cataract are working in Eversound Studios in Effretikon, Switzerland, on their fourth full-length. The band has reunited with Tue Madsen, who produced their 2004 disc With Triumph Comes Loss. Cataract are working from demos of 10 finished tracks and plan to write additional material in the studio. ... Tampa Bay, Florida's the Absence shot their first video February 3 in Toledo, Ohio, with directors Brian Taylor and Dave Ayling. The clip is for the title track from their new album From Your Grave and was filmed at a arts center that used to be a convent for the Ursuline Order of the Sacred Heart. The space is allegedly haunted, though any resident apparitions were apparently too spooked by the noise to make an appearance. ... German hardcore-metal band Neaera are holed away in Denmark recording their second album, Let the Tempest Come, with producer Jacob Hansen (Hatesphere, Raunchy). The disc is tentatively scheduled for release May 2 and will feature numerous well-known but yet-unnamed guest singers. ...

Two East Coast guitar-heavy, bass-free, grindcore trios, Magrudergrind and Sh--storm, will release a split LP March 14. Magrudergrind are based in Washington, D.C., and contribute 10 songs including "Siphon Then Slit," "I Saw Jehova Sippin' a 40 at the Corner of Georgia Ave." and "Emo Holocaust." Sh--storm, who hail from Miami and feature two members of Torche, contribute 14 tracks to the split, including "Desensitized," "Crack Lady" and "Ignorant Extermination." ... Cleveland rockers Switched will hit the road for the first time in two years, starting April 7 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The monthlong tour will be in support of their recently released double-disc collection, Ghosts in the Machine, which featured one disc of new material and a second disc of B-sides, demos and rarities. ... Ligeia will tour with Demiricous, August Burns Red, Ion Dissonance and Ringworm starting February 7 in Baltimore. Dates run through March 10 in Marietta, Georgia. The band's sophomore album, Your Ghost Is a Gift, comes out March 21 and was produced by Unearth guitarist Ken Susi. ... Belfast, Ireland's Therapy? have set One Cure Fits All as the title to their forthcoming album, the follow-up to 2004's Never Apologize Never Explain. According to the band's Web site, the record's undergoing the final mix and the album art should be completed within the next few weeks. A late April/ early May release is being eyed. ... Drummer Adam Sagan is leaving Into Eternity. "I'm very sad to announce to all of you that I am no longer a member of [the band]," Sagan wrote in his official statement on the matter. "This is not what I wanted, but the simple truth is, for personal and professional reasons, I cannot continue to play in Into Eternity at this point in my life." The band is in the midst of writing its next album, which will be the first to feature new singer Stu Block.