Metal File: Lacuna Coil, Voivod, Queensryche, Carpathian Forest and More News That Rules

Lacuna's fetching frontwoman understands the fixation on her looks, but would like people to focus on music.

Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia thinks too much is made about … well, how freakin’ gorgeous she is. In the Italian metalists’ press shots, all six members are present, but Scabbia’s front and center, striking a seductive pose. She even graces the cover of Revolver‘s March issue, next to the headline, “The Hottest Chicks in Metal.” When the band’s on the road, countless male fans seek Scabbia out, proposing marriage. But while the media seems to be fixated on her looks, she said she wants fans to focus on the Coil’s music.

“You’ll never see ‘The Hottest Men in Metal,’ because it’s not that common for the metal scene to have girls up front,” she said. “So it’s the easiest thing to [comment on], because it’s obvious I’m the different element to the band. You can take advantage of [the attention] if you’re sure of your own potential, if you’re sure of what the band can give. You can play with your image and the image of the band itself. But when people buy the record, they don’t buy the image. They buy it for the music. So when you’re sure you can put out a good album, it doesn’t matter. It’s just more appealing. Even if you advertise tires for a car, you see a naked woman in the ads — and that’s not the point, but it’s just more appealing. It’s a representation of art, in a way.”

The Milanese band’s latest album, Karmacode, hit record stores on Tuesday — some four years after the band’s previous LP, Comalies. According to a spokesperson for the band’s label, the album’s on track to sell about 40,000 copies in its first week, which could earn Lacuna Coil a Billboard top-20 debut next week.

During those four years in between records, Scabbia said the band has evolved as people and as musicians, and that’s reflected on Karmacode.

“We’ve grown, so this time we spontaneously decided to mix up the European [metal] sound with the American one,” she said. “You can still recognize our style, which is more melodic and aggressive, but you can also feel the European vibe given by the real strings we put in the album, the Mediterranean influences. We have some Arabian sounds on the record. But at the same time, every single instrument has a bigger importance. The rhythm section is huge, the guitars are really loud — there is an American sound, which is really big compared to European productions. I cannot think of a band that mixed up the two things; most bands are doing one style or the other.”

And this summer, Lacuna Coil will be bringing that sound to American audiences, as the main-stage openers on this year’s Ozzfest. Coil co-vocalist Andrea Ferro (who is male, by the way) said with pride that it marks the first time an Italian band has been asked to perform on the main stage, as well as the first time a female-fronted group has been asked to do it.

While Karmacode isn’t an out-and-out concept record, Scabbia said the lyrics have a common thematic thread. “It’s about how spirituality can live in the modern days. We’re not talking about any religion, but a relationship you can have with people and the environment around you. Today, everything is so chaotic, everything is so fast with the Internet. Everyone has a cell phone and laptop, and sometimes you lose touch with reality.”

The band’s video for “Our Truth,” the album’s first single, was filmed in Los Angeles with the Fort Awesome (Disturbed, System of a Down) directorial duo. In it, the band is seen performing within the confines of a snow globe. The shoot was exhausting, as “they wanted us to do everything at double the speed, because they needed to slow down the tape so it looked like the snow was falling slower, like in an actual snow globe,” Ferro said. “We had to do it a lot of times, because they need to shoot from different angles, so you end up hating the song at the end of the day! You don’t want to hear it anymore,” Scabbia said.

The group has also shot a video for the second single, “Closer,” which should start airing in late June. Neither Scabbia nor Ferro would discuss the concept, other than to say it includes no performance footage and is “more like a little movie.”

Fans can catch the band on tour with Rob Zombie and Bullet for My Valentine; dates for that trek run through May 5.

The rest of the week’s metal news:

Queensrÿche‘s 1988 conceptual masterpiece, Operation: Mindcrime, will be getting the big-screen treatment, according to frontman Geoff Tate. He said the band has hired a screenwriter to adapt the LP into a feature film, and that they’re in the midst of shopping it to Hollywood studios. “I worked over the last year and a half with a Hollywood screenwriter named Mark Shepherd,” Tate said. “He developed a screenplay out of the story. It’s incredible; I hope that it can be made into a movie soon. Our agency is shopping it around Hollywood. I think it’s going to be an incredibly powerful film. It starts with one part, and then we have plans for a sequel as well.” The band’s latest disc, Operation: Mindcrime II, hit stores this week. …

After Canadian documentarian Sam Dunn interviewed members of Voivod for his upcoming movie “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey,” Voivod recruited him to make a film about their group. “It was a real honor to be asked, and we’ve already started shooting,” said Dunn. “The documentary is going to be about Piggy’s life [the band’s founding guitarist, Denis D’Amour, who passed away of colon cancer last year] and the making of the new record and how those are tied together.” No release date has been set for the project. “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” will come out as a double-DVD on May 23. …

Trivium‘s breakout 2005 LP Ascendancy will be re-released on May 9 as a special expanded edition with a DVD, exclusive previously unreleased tracks, live and promo video footage and new artwork. Fans can catch the band this summer, on the second installment of the Sounds of the Underground festival. …

Walls of Jericho, who are on the bill for this summer’s Ozzfest, finished recording the forthcoming With Devils Amongst Us All on Wednesday; the album is being produced by Ben Schigel (Allele, Chimaira). A June 27 release date has been set. Frontwoman Candace Kucsulain said the disc will feature either 11 or 12 tracks, none of which has been titled yet. …

Who knew Dane Cook was a stoner metal fan? The clean and sober comic has decided to use Nebula‘s “Lightbringer” in his new HBO series “Tourgasm,” which starts airing May 7. The track, which is from the band’s new album Apollo, will play while Cook addresses the camera to explain the setup for one of the scenes in the show. …

San Diego’s gore-grind dudes Cattle Decapitation will issue Karma.Bloody.Karma in either June or July. According to a statement from the band, “This will be the most nihilistic, pessimistic and hateful record we’ve ever done lyrically, and musically you can expect, [as] one of our friends has said perfectly about it, a very ‘schizophrenic’ release.” The disc will feature a dozen songs, including “Success Is … (Hanging By the Neck),” “Total Gore” and “Of Human Pride & Flatulence.” The band is also searching for a new drummer, following the departure of Michael Laughlin; he cited “personal reasons” for his decision. Want to audition? Check the band’s MySpace page. Cattle Decapitation has also added a second guitarist, Kevin “Fetus” Bernier. …

Shai Hulud‘s 1997 albums A Profound Hatred of Man and Hearts Once Nourished With Hope and Compassion have been remastered and will be released this summer via Revelation Records. Both will feature new artwork and unreleased bonus material. …

British chaoscore act Sikth‘s forthcoming Death of a Dead Day will hit stores on June 6; look for the release to boast a dozen cuts, including “Flogging the Horses,” “Way Beyond the Fond Old River” and “Sanguine Seas Of Bigotry.” …

Atlanta extreme death metallers Daath have signed with Roadrunner Records. Look for the band’s forthcoming LP, which is being produced by ex-Obituary guitarist James Murphy — to land in stores this fall. Called The Hinderers, the disc will feature the tracks “Festival Mass Soulform,” “Ovum,” and “Who Will Take The Blame.” …

British metallists DragonForce have also inked a deal with Roadrunner. The label will release the band’s Inhuman Rampage LP, which was released overseas back in January, this summer.