Metal File: Walls of Jericho, Shadows Fall, Chimaira, Starkweather & More News That Rules

Candace Kucsulain's going to have to set her alarm to stumble onto Ozzfest second stage by 9 a.m.

Candace Kucsulain isn’t a morning person — not in the slightest. So this summer’s Ozzfest should be interesting for the tattoo-veneered singer who fronts Detroit metalcore collective Walls of Jericho.

It’s bad enough Kucsulain’s going to have to get up at the crack of dawn — she’ll also be expected to scream at the top of her lungs for hundreds if not thousands of rabid metalheads trying to pound enough brewskis to get them through the morning. But it’s not as though she’s complaining — she’s more than willing to adjust her snoozing schedule for the greater good. It is Ozzfest, after all. “You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do,” she said, with a hesitant laugh.

“It’s such a huge step for us,” she added. “We have to get up there and give it our all. We have to prove ourselves [to the crowd] because there are so many great bands on Ozzfest this year. You know whoever’s playing after you will show you up, so you have to make sure you hold your own out there” — even if you’re taking the second stage at the profane hour of 9 a.m.

But a huge step it is. Walls of Jericho, she said, are used to rattling the walls of nasty dives in front of 300 kids (tops). They’re used to hitting the road crammed in rundown vans (this summer they’ll share a bus with All That Remains) and crashing on strangers’ couches. They’re all still working full-time jobs to pay the bills.

“It’s nice to think you might be able to go out, play to more kids and do this on a regular basis without worrying about those bills,” Kucsulain said. “We never even thought we’d get on Ozzfest. We’ve been together eight years, and all we want to do is make music and have people like it. Ozzfest is perfect for us, and it’s a great time to be doing it, with our record coming out — a record that we know is one of our most important, and what we’ve been putting everything we have into.”

That album, With Devils Amongst Us All, will be in stores June 27 — two days before Ozzfest kicks off in Auburn, Washington. Produced by Ben Schigel (Chimaira, Zao), it will feature about a dozen tracks, none of which have official titles yet. The band started recording the disc March 6 and wrapped things up April 4.

Before Ozzfest, the band will do a run of shows with Bullet for My Valentine and Roses Are Red as part of the Trustkill Takeover Tour. It kicks off May 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and winds down May 28 in Sayreville, New Jersey.

The rest of the week’s metal news:

Alien splatter metal band Gwar will release their new album, Go to Hell, August 6. The band is currently in the studio with producer Devin Townsend (he of Strapping Young Lad fame) and claim the disc will be their “sickest effort yet.” For those who crave more bloodletting, Gwar will release the DVD “Blood-Bath and Beyond” June 20. The DVD will chronicle the band’s 20-year career and include previously unseen footage of frontman Oderus Urungus attempting to direct the adult film “Filthy Chunks.” “Blood-Bath and Beyond” will be a spectacle that, according to a press statement, “will have even the most pimply Gwar fan saying, ‘Huh?’ ” … Speaking of SYL, the Canadian extreme-metallists have begun mixing their forthcoming release, The New Black, which will hit stores this July. Townsend promises it will be the group’s definitive release. …Shadows Fall will headline the 2006 Strhess Tour, which should kick off in July — the scheduling is still being finalized. Poison the Well, It Dies Today, Still Remains, Darkest Hour, Bury Your Dead, Himsa and Suffocation are also on the bill. … The reunited Overcast — which features Killswitch Engage bassist Mike D’Antonio and dreaded Shadows Fall frontman Brian Fair — have commenced recording their forthcoming Reborn to Kill Again, which is being produced by Killswitch guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz. The band’s lined up a gig in Chicopee, Massachusetts, April 23 — that should act as a fine primer to this year’s New England Metal and Hardcore Festival April 29. …

Chimaira and longtime label home Roadrunner Records have parted ways. The band has described the divorce as amicable. “We asked to be let out of the contract and [Roadrunner] graciously agreed to our request,” the band said in a statement. “We (the band and the label) had not been seeing eye to eye on some key issues and came to a mutual agreement to end our relationship.” … Polish death-metal masters Vader need help coming up with a new logo, and they want fans to help. More information on the contest can be found at the band’s Web site. Entrees must be submitted by April 25, and the winner’s art will be featured on the group’s next LP, Impressions in Red, which is due in stores in September. … Norwegian black-metal kingpins Satyricon were in London last week to film the video for their new single, “K.I.N.G.” “The cast was a gathering of some of the most bizarre people from London’s underground club scene that were to inflict pain upon each other, themselves and the band,” frontman Satyr said. “The video has all the ingredients of a good rock and roll video and sets a new metal video standard for good photography and clever editing.” Satyricon’s new album, Now Diabolical, has been scheduled for release June 13, and the band’s upcoming North American tour will be announced soon. …

One of the forefathers of the hardcore-metal movement, Starkweather, will release their new album, Croatoan, May 2. The disc will be the band’s first offering in 10 years and their third studio album overall. … Serjical Strike Records, the label owned by System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian, has signed Dallas quintet Fair to Midland to a record deal. “They are one of the best live unsigned bands I have ever seen,” Tankian said in a statement. “Their songs are moody and dynamic, not dependent on one catchy beat or emotion to present their art.” … The release date for the fourth Cult of Luna record, Somewhere Along the Highway, has been bumped two weeks to July 11. Tracks include “Marching to the Heartbeats,” “Finland” and “Dim.” … More than two years since the release of the scathing That Within Blood Ill-Tempered, math-metal provocateurs Shai Hulud are rehearsing for select dates with the Red Chord, which will be announced shortly. Bandmember Double L said of the gigs: “Don’t call it a comeback. We haven’t gone anywhere, just been here in Poughkeepsie [New York] with our slide rules, protractor and complete works of Shakespeare working on new material, inaugurating singers, craving curries and what have you.” … Hipster Montreal metal band Priestess will release their first album, Hello Master, June 13. The group recently toured with the Sword and Early Man and is currently planning upcoming dates with Dinosaur Jr. and Dead Meadow. …

The eighth album by Norway’s the Carpathian Forest, lovingly titled F— You All, comes out May 22. Tracks include “The Frostbitten Woodlands of Norway,” “Submit to Satan” and “Start Up the Incinerator (Here Comes Another Useless Fool).” … Prog-metallers Halcyon Way have signed a deal with Bombworks Records, which will release the band’s debut album, Manifesto for Domination, later this summer. … Kamelot and Epica will team up for a North American tour this fall. So far they’ve lined up 18 gigs in all — the first being in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, September 15. Dates run through October 11 in Los Angeles. … Macabre‘s “Live in Holland – True Tales of Slaughter and Slaying” DVD will be in stores June 2. The outing includes footage captured during the band’s Murder Metal gigs last summer. … Norwegian industrial-tinged metallists Theatre of Tragedy will release their new album, Storm, in North America June 27. The disc came out in Europe on March 24 and is the band’s first not to feature singer Liv Kristine. She was fired in 2004 due to musical differences and replaced by ex-Crest singer Nell Sigland. …

French underground blasphemers Blut Aus Nord are in the studio working on their new album, M.o.R.T. (Metamorphosis of Realistic Theories), tentatively scheduled for release this fall. Working titles include “Ruins of the Genesis (Antiparticles),” “Dis-Harmonization of All Visual Echoes” and “Samsaric Ocean.” In related news, Blut Aus Nord’s Appease Me Records will release The Near Death Experience, the second album by industrial black-metal duo Spektr, June 13. … The Minor Times are hard at work on the follow-up to 2004’s Making Enemies and expect to enter the studio in July. The upcoming disc will be the Pennsylvania band’s first to feature guitarist Lou Millinghausen, who replaced Chris Masciotti. … U.K. stoner-metal vets Orange Goblin will return to North America for a brief tour that starts May 16 in Boston and runs through May 26 in Youngstown, Ohio, at the Emissions From the Monolith festival. The four-day festival will also feature Scissorfight, Stinking Lizaveta, Kylesa, Facedowninsh–, Atomic Bitchwax, Boris, SunnO))), Rwake and many others.