After jumping the Coal Chamber ship three years ago, singer Dez Fafara found himself back at square one.
Fafara had joined an unknown band, DevilDriver, and was about to start working his way back up the metal ladder. Fafara says he wouldn't have approached the transition any other way.
"People kind of expected me to jump right out after Coal Chamber and start headlining, but I want to do it the right way, which is open up for everybody under the sun," Fafara explained.
This spring, for the first time since the band's inception, DevilDriver will headline their own U.S. club tour with Bury Your Dead, Darkest Hour, If Hope Dies and Remembering Never in the supporting slots.
"It's one hell of a metal package," Dez reflected. "It's going to be killer for us because after 40 minutes — which is [the set length] we're doing now [in Canada with Opeth and Dark Tranquility] — I get off the stage and I'm ready to go for another hour. So on this next tour we will be playing an hour and 20 minutes and giving the kids everything they want."
Before the summer and after DevilDriver's first headlining jaunt, Dez said he and the rest of the band will hit the road for seven U.S. shows in support of Venom.
"I'm doing it just to get the shirt," he joked.
While Fafara said his summer's still wide open — he believes DevilDriver will tour in July and August as part of a big U.S. festival, but confirmed that the quintet "won't be doing Ozzfest and we won't be doing Sounds of the Underground." He added that there will be another headlining run kicking off in mid-September, with dates scheduled into early December. No accompanying bands have been confirmed for the trek yet, but Dez promises another brutal bill.
Before the year's out, Fafara hopes to have at least enough new songs written for DevilDriver's third album, which he said they could start recording by this time next year. He said they've written four songs while they've been on the road and they're "heavy and brutal with lots of hooks, but definitely more technical — there's going to be a lot more riffage, because we want to kick it up for this next album."
The rest of the week's metal news:
Between the Buried and Me will issue an album's worth of covers called The Anatomy Of sometime in June. The band puts its stamp on Pantera's "Cemetery Gates," Sepultura's "Territory," Soundgarden's "The Day I Tried to Live," Mötley Crüe's "Kickstart My Heart," Pink Floyd's "Us and Them," Queen's "Bicycle Race," Metallica's "Orion" and "Blackened," and Faith No More's "Malpractice." The boys also tackle "People Are Strange" by the Doors, Depeche Mode's "Little 15," "Geek U.S.A." by the Smashing Pumpkins and Blind Melon's "Change." ... In addition to persevering with their new heavy-metal crusade, Judas Priest continue to celebrate their glory years. On April 4 the band will release its latest DVD "Live Vengeance '82," which captures an arena performance in Memphis, Tennessee, from the band's Screaming for Vengeance tour. Originally released on home video as "Judas Priest — Live" in 1983, the concert was also included as a bonus disc on the first pressing of the 2004 box set Metalogy, before the band decided to repackage it for a wider audience. ... In Flames will embark on a North American tour in May with Throwdown, Nevermore and Evergrey supporting. So far just four dates have been revealed for the Come Clarity tour: May 5 in New Haven, Connecticut; May 6 in Burlington, Vermont; May 8 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and May 9 in Jacksonville, North Carolina. More dates are expected to be announced soon. ...
All That Remains have entered Zing Recording Studios in Westfield, Massachusetts, to document the follow-up to 2004's This Darkened Heart. The yet-untitled disc will feature 12 tracks, including "This Calling" and an update on "Follow," which appeared on the band's 2002 debut, Behind Silence and Solitude. ... The Sounds of the Underground Tour is going international: A European edition will launch in Manchester, England, on May 10, with All That Remains, Chimaira, Madball, Unearth, Terror and Manntis anchoring the bill. Dates have still not been released for the U.S. edition of the tour, which will feature As I Lay Dying, the Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse and more. ... Ozzfest 2005 vets It Dies Today have started writing new material for their forthcoming album. In April the band will hit the studio with producer GGGarth (L7, Bloodsimple) to begin recording the disc, which should hit stores September 5. ... Hyperactive psychedelic metallists An Albatross will release the follow-up to their eight-minute long 2003 EP, We Are the Lazer Viking, in June. Titled Blessphemy (Of the Peace-Beast Feastgiver and the Bear-Warp Kumite), the breakneck album will include "In the Court of the Bear King," "Lysergically Yours, My Psychedelic Bride" and "Dimensional Gymnastics." The Philadelphian freaks will offer a live dose of the madness on a tour that starts March 16 in Austin, Texas, during South by Southwest and runs through April 15 in Oberlin, Ohio. ... Walls of Jericho will release their latest album, With Devils Amongst Us All, June 27. ...
Various Norwegian black-metal dudes have done time for burning churches or murdering their fellow musicians since the early '90s. Dissection frontman Jon Nötveidt upped the ante by fatally stabbing an Algerian immigrant who had nothing to do with religion or black metal. The killing uprooted his band for 11 years while Nötveidt sat in jail, but he's been a free man since 2004, and Dissection are about the unveil their new album, Reinkaos. The disc, which comes out May 16, took 11 months to record and includes "Dark Mother Divine," "Internal Fire" and "Starless Aeon." In addition to releasing the disc, the band's North American label will reissue the group's influential 1993 album, The Somberlain, and their 1996 offering, Storm of the Light's Bane. A documentary film on Dissection is also in the works. ... Maybe Lemmy's just trying to get lucky, but Motörhead continue to actively support mostly female Swedish band Meldrum. In 2005 he invited the headbanging chicks (and their male drummer) to join Motörhead's 30th anniversary tour of Europe, and now he has co-written some tunes with them and handpicked them to open Motörhead's four scheduled West Coast shows. The hard-rockin' quartet has also opened for Black Label Society, Sepultura, Danzig and Nashville Pussy. Following the Motörhead dates, Meldrum will return to Los Angeles to finish their second, yet-untitled disc. ... Crucified Barbara, another female Swedish metal band, will release their U.S. debut, In Distortion We Trust, May 30. The disc features a cover of Motörhead's "Killed by Death." ...
Long-running Florida death metallers Malevolent Creation have begun work on their 10th studio album. Called Doomsday X, the outing should hit record store shelves later this year. ... D.R.I. and Subzero will travel the U.S. this spring as part of a 29-date tour that kicks off May 22 in Seattle. Dates run through June 25 in San Antonio, Texas. ... Michael Murland, who fronts the Jonbenet, has been sidelined with a serious ankle injury, forcing the band to cut short its current U.S. tour, which was expected to run through March 19. The band's April run with At All Cost is still on, and Murland should be healed by that time, according to a statement from the Houston post-hardcore act. ... Entombed were hoping to finish their new album Serpent Saints in time to get it out by June 6 so they could celebrate their kinship with the Dark Lord (6/6/06, get it?). But the songs weren't progressing fast enough, and the band has rescheduled the album's release for September 18. They'll still commemorate the wicked date with an EP called When in Sodom, which will be its first unholy offering since the departure of guitarist Uffe Cederlund in September. ... Baltimore's heaviest drone-group Darsombra will release their debut full-length, Ecdysis, March 28. Songs include "Thinning the Herd," "Swelter" and "The Place Where There Is No Darkness." The band is the side project of Meatjack frontman Brian Daniloski and will launch a tour April 14 in Cleveland and wrap it up May 1 in the band's hometown. ... New York doom warriors Black Cobra will release their first album, Bestial, April 25. A tour to promote the disc launches in New York on April Fools' Day.