Metal File: Eyes Of Fire, Haunted, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Sigh & More News That Rules

Band's new video depicts old men gathering at birthday bash for pampered feline.

The only thing Eyes of Fire frontman Dan Kaufman knows about the video for “It All Dies Today” — the first single off the Orange County ambient-metal quintet’s sophomore disc, Prisons — is that it’s “f—ing bizarre.”

Of course, there’s an underlying plotline to the clip — girl moves into creepy apartment building, deranged spirits haunt girl, girl loses mind. But Kaufman said Gary Smithson’s warped vision is responsible for the entire video — so don’t ask him to explain, say, the one scene involving a collection of old men gathered at a birthday bash for a pampered feline.

“I’m just glad there’s not a whole lot of us in it,” he joked. “You can see we’re playing and tell who we are. We’re in there when we need to be I guess. But when I watch it, all I can think is ’The Grudge’ meets ’The Shining’ with a David Lynch twist.”

Kaufman said much of the video’s imagery was inspired by the paintings of Francis Bacon. Smithson — who has worked with Exodus, the Eagles of Death Metal and High on Fire — is a fan of the English artist. Kaufman — who, with bassist Matt Fisher, spent much of the late ’90s in Mindrot — added that he’s hoping the disturbing clip will help Eyes of Fire keep their collective asses in a van, traveling from one city to the next.

Playing a steady stream of shows has been something of a problem for the band in the past, according to Kaufman. Eleven months after Eyes of Fire dropped their 2004 debut, Ashes to Embers, they secured their first national tour — an opening slot on Glenn Danzig’s Blackest of the Black run.

“We were bidding on tours left and right [but] for some reason nothing came together,” he explained. “We were in the process of recording Prisons with [producer] Matt [Bayles, who has worked with Mastodon and Isis] when Danzig got a hold of us for the tour, and so we had to relearn all of the old songs. It was stressful. As soon as we got done recording, we had a week and a half to practice before we had to head to St. Louis, where the tour started. And we played with Danzig, Trivium, Apocalyptica and Kataklysm for a month.”

Eyes of Fire’s headlining run with Losa in the support slot wrapped up a few weeks ago, and now they’re waiting to see what fate will hand them next tourwise. Kaufman said it’s possible they’ll head out with one of the bands on Roadrunner’s roster, and they’ve expressed interest in participating in Sounds of the Underground or Gigantour 2. “We just want to stay on the road for as long as we can,” he said. “Being a band like us, we’re not going to get radio play. You just need to be in everybody’s face and be out there.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:
Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society have signed with Roadrunner Records and are working with producer Michael Beinhorn (Social Distortion, Soundgarden) on Shot to Hell, the follow-up to last year’s Mafia. “After spending a lifetime as Wylde Z. Coyote, I guess it was just a matter of time before I’d catch the Roadrunner,” Wylde joked. … Queensrÿche will begin their 2006 tour August 26 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Dates run through October 25 in Billings, Montana. The band’s new disc, Operation: Mindcrime II — which picks up where 1988’s epic Operation: Mindcrime left off — will be released April 4. … Three classic Motörhead albums — 1983’s Another Perfect Day, 1986’s Orgasmatron and 1987’s Rock ’N’ Roll — will be reissued as expanded double-disc deluxe editions March 28. Each will include bonus cuts, B-sides, live tracks and other rarities. … Former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath singer Ian Gillan will release Gillan’s Inn April 18. Not only will the disc feature songs from the singer’s past, it will also showcase guests from many of the bands with which he recorded. Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi plays on “Trashed,” Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott contributes to “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” and Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers riffs away on “Bluesy Blue Sea.” Ronnie James Dio, Joe Satriani, and Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice also play on the disc. …

Swedish thrash band the Haunted — who survived last summer’s Ozzfest — will enter a Danish studio in May to start recording their still-untitled LP, which is being eyed for a late October release. Tue Madsen (Aborted, Panzerchrist) will produce the disc. “We’re going forward,” frontman Peter Dolving wrote on the band’s Web site. “This is exciting and scary. So far we’ve got 12 songs that are evolving smoothly. … I’d say the stuff is much heavier than previous records; I get a feeling like [At the Gates] meets King Crimson. It’s hard to describe, but personally I think we’re coming up with some heavy sh–. Sometimes I feel like, ’Whoa! This is turning into a Pink Floyd record for the dysfunctional.’ ” … Several bands have recorded covers of Metallica classics for Remastered, a forthcoming compilation that pays tribute to the band’s Master of Puppets — which marks its 20th anniversary this year. The disc, commissioned by Kerrang! magazine, will include Machine Head (“Battery”), Trivium (“Master of Puppets”), Bullet for My Valentine (“Welcome Home [Sanitarium]”), Chimaira (“Disposable Heroes”), Mastodon (“Orion”) and Funeral for a Friend (“Damage, Inc.”). … Buffalo, New York, metalcore dudes Every Time I Die plan to shoot a video for “The New Black,” which appears on their Gutter Phenomenon — and they need some warm bodies, ages 18 and up, to serve as extras. The shoot’s set for April 6 in Los Angeles. Interested? Send the band a recent snapshot of yourself, as well as a scanned copy of your driver’s license, to etidvideo@aol.com. …

Swedish grindcore vets Regurgitate are in the studio working on the follow-up to their 2003 disc, Deviant. They hope to have the record completed by the end of April and release it in the fall. Regurgitate started writing and demoing material at the beginning of the year. “[The songs are] a bit rougher and not too polished,” singer Rikard Jansson said. “It is grindcore, after all.” … Norma Jean, who’ll appear on the Ozzfest second stage, will commence preproduction of their forthcoming LP in early April with producer Ross Robinson (Korn, From First to Last). The album should surface in late July. … Massachusetts speedcore lunatics Agoraphobic Nosebleed will reissue their six-minute-long 1999 vinyl EP, PCP Tornado, as a double CD April 25. The revised package will include tons of bonus material, including remixes by James Plotkin, Vidna Obmana, Dev Null and ex-Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick. … Meanwhile, Broadrick is putting out the new Jesu EP, Silver, April 11. The disc is the follow-up to last year’s self-titled full-length and features more electronic and ambient sounds, along with the usual fountains of distortion. … Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, extreme metallers the Classic Struggle have been forced to drop off their trek with Exodus and Full Blown Chaos in the wake of drummer Tyler Solnosky suffering severe head trauma. He’s been confined to a hospital bed but is showing some signs of improvement — he’ll remain under hospital care for an indefinite amount of time. Alas, Solnosky doesn’t have medical insurance, which is why the band has established a PayPal account for fans to help out with his treatment costs. Use the address theclassicstruggle@yahoo.com to donate. …

Nineties doom band Celestial Season will reissue their most popular disc, Solar Lovers, March 28. The Dutch band’s third album was recorded in 1995 and includes “Body as Canvas,” “Fandago” and “The Holy Snake.” Celestial Season broke up in 2002. … Taiwanese black metallers Surrender of Divinity will release Manifest Blasphemy: The Abortion of the Immaculate Conception March 28. The album was recorded in Bangkok and includes “Deglorification of the Dogs,” “Prophetic Tales of Armageddon” and “Satanic Storm.” “Expect a total infernal piece of blasphemous, evil and brutal black metal for Satan,” the band’s Web site cautions. … New Jersey thrashers Whiplash will re-release their 1990 album, Insult to Injury, with the bonus live CD CBGBs 1986 March 28. … The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza will hit the road with Lye by Mistake July 8 in Glendale, Arizona, for a trek that’ll see the band playing mostly Midwest and West Coast dates. Dates run through July 25 in Toledo, Ohio. … Milwaukee metalcore mavens Misery Signals have welcomed singer Karl Schubach into the fold. Schubach, who has never fronted a band before, will join the group this summer for the Warped Tour and will also head into the studio with the boys in May to start work on album number two. Ben Schigel (Allele, Chimaira) will produce the offering, which will drop this fall. …

Bay Area thrashers Light This City are working on the follow-up to 2005’s Remains of the Gods. Drummer Ben Murray said fans should expect “[2005’s] Remains of the Gods, but more brutal, yet more intricate and melodic at the same time.” Zack Ohren (Animosity, All Shall Perish) is producing the effort, which will feature guest vocals from Black Dahlia Murder mainman Trevor Strnad. … Japanese experimental-metal band Sigh are working on their new album, Hangman’s Hymn, which they plan to release before year’s end. Frontman Mirai Kawashima describes the music as “thrash metal meets German symphonies,” adding that it’s “fast, heavy, bombastic and majestic.” … Technical death metallers All Shall Perish have entered a California studio to work on the yet-untitled follow-up to 2005’s Hate. Malice. Revenge. Look for the disc to feature “We Hold These Truths,” “The Day of Justice” and “The True Beast and Prisoner of War” when it’s released late this summer. … Candlemass recently recorded four new tracks with producer Andy Sneap (Pissing Razors, Earth Crisis). “The songs are pretty much in the same vein as the stuff on the [self-titled 2005] reunion album, maybe a bit darker,” said bassist/songwriter Leif Edling. The band’s next studio session is scheduled for May. … Pitch Black Progress, the second album by Swedish power-metallists Scar Symmetry, will drop May 2. Tracks include “The Illusionist,” “Slaves to the Subliminal” and “Mind Machine.”