Metal File: Norma Jean, Motorhead, Necrophobic, Walls Of Jericho, Estradasphere & More News That Rules

Georgia band revels in Ozzfest, recording with Ross Robinson.

AUBURN, Washington — Most of the bands that have worked with master metal producer Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, At the Drive-In) characterize the experience as life-changing. And for GeorgiaGeorgia metalcore band Norma Jean, it was no different.

“I’d wanted to record with him for 10 years,” explained drummer Daniel Davison, who tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend three weeks ago — a life-altering experience in itself. “His input and insight into the songs [that will appear on the band's fifth LP, Redeemer, due in stores August 15] was subtle — small things that gave the record a little more character. He was just the most positive and encouraging person I have ever met, and he had this way of bringing a lot out of us, emotionally, and he got the most intense sounds out of us.”

Norma Jean — who, on Wednesday, were rehearsing for their summer appearance on Ozzfest’s second stage — are still reeling from the Robinson experience, which began back in January. The band, which had spent most of 2005 on the road in support of its rabid O God, the Aftermath, considered the entire undertaking therapeutic, said Davison.

“We would talk about each song for, like, two hours,” he recalled. “We’d talk about the lyrics and what certain lines meant and what they meant to each of us, where certain lyrics came from, what inspired the songs. And that’s going to stick with us forever. This record just blows away anything we’ve ever done, and Ross captured all of the raw intensity of the entire recording process.”

Before Redeemer‘s release in August, of course, there’s Ozzfest, which kicked off here Thursday. Norma Jean are nervous about playing before some of the biggest crowds they’ve ever seen, but just because “we’ve only practiced once since we returned from the studio” earlier this month; Davison was on his honeymoon for two weeks.

“But we did play the Sounds of the Underground last year, which was a neat way to be introduced to summer festival tours — it was a good primer for Ozzfest,” he noted. “I think we offer something a little different than the straight-up metal bands on the bill, so it should be awesome.”

Norma Jean plan to spend the rest of the year promoting the album. This fall, they’ll follow Ozzfest with a U.S. headlining trek, along with Between the Buried and Me, Fear Before the March of Flames and two other to-be-determined openers. The first single from the 11-track LP will be “A Grand Scene for a Color Film,” but the band has no plans to shoot a video yet.

More news that rules:

The Haunted are currently mastering their new disc, the follow-up to 2004′s rEVOLVEr. “I’m proud as f—,” wrote singer Peter Dolving on the band’s Web site. “It’s bigger, better, madder and thicker. It rocks. Big time.” While the album will likely be heavier than a suspension bridge, Dolving said it’s not as fast as the group’s other albums. “We were sick of the whole 900-[beats per minute]-chugga-chugga-AAARRRGGGGH-PUKE-end,” he wrote. “This album is simply more diverse and dynamic. Bands like Trouble, Autopsy, G-Anx, Masters of the Universe, King Crimson and early Metallica have all had a great influence on us, and I think this album really draws a lot in color from those artists.” …

Motörhead’s Kiss of Death will contain 13 new tracks, including a remake of the band’s 1991 tribute to the Ramones, “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” The disc, which comes out August 29, will also feature “Sucker,” “Trigger,” “Devil I Know,” “God Was Never on Your Side,” “Sword of Glory,” “Be My Baby,” “Kingdom of the Worm” and similarly subtle titles. The album was produced by Cameron Webb, who also worked on the band’s 2004 album, Inferno. And, yes, Motörhead still sound very much like Motörhead. …

Chicago art-metal trio American Heritage will release their fourth album, Millenarian, September 19. The disc was recorded and mixed at Chicago’s Volume Studios by Pelican and Yakuza engineer Sanford Parker. Tracks include “BrOOtal: Axxes of Evil,” “Toilet Paper and Leotards” and “Spina Bifida.” …

Swedish death-metal vets Necrophobic will release their sixth album, Hrimthursum, August 22. The 60-minute-long record was produced by the band with engineers Anders Bentell and Fredrik Folkare, and will be Necrophobic’s first new offering since 2002′s Bloodhymns. The new track “I Strike With Wrath” can can be heard at MySpace.com/CandlelightRecordsUSA. …

Walls of Jericho have confirmed August 22 as the release date for their third album, With Devils Amongst Us. The band recently shot a video for the first single, “A Trigger Full of Promises,” with director Dale Resteghini (Hatebreed, Fall Out Boy). Walls of Jericho will be the only female-fronted group on the second stage of this year’s Ozzfest. …

After laying waste to North America, Slayer, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Mastodon and Thine Eyes Bleed will head to Europe for Unholy Alliance Chapter II: Preaching to the Perverted. The tour launches October 20 in Holland and runs through November 20 in London. The U.S. leg of Unholy Alliance wraps July 26 in Denver. …

Swedish metal band Wolf are working on their fourth album, The Black Flame, with producer Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman in Sweden. The producer also worked with the band on its second full disc, 2002′s Black Wings. The new record is tentatively scheduled for release this fall. …

A DVD of Ronnie James Dio-era Rainbow titled “Live in Munich” will be released August 22. The recording is the only available live footage of the band’s 1977-78 lineup, which featured Dio, drummer Cozy Powell, bassist Bob Daisley, keyboardist David Stone and, of course, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. A double-CD of the performance came out June 13. …

Look for the fourth album by experimental instrumental metal band Estradasphere, Palace of Mirrors, September 19. Tim Smolens, bassist for the Santa Cruz, California, outfit said, “The album distills the elements in the group that are clearly the strongest, while trimming the fat of our previous efforts. Expect to hear Romanian gypsy death metal, heavy doses of ’60s foreign-cinema rock, expansive orchestrations, progressive spaghetti westerns, no lead vocals and even an automated calliope band that can be struck up for just a quarter.” …

All That Remains have posted their new video for the song “This Calling” at MySpace. The clip was directed by Frankie Nasso (Mudvayne, Hatebreed) and shot at the end of May at the decommissioned Hancock Naval Base in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. All That Remains’ third album, The Fall of Ideals will be released on July 11. …

Phoenix grindcore band Landmine Marathon will release their debut Wounded July 25. The group is largely influenced by early Earache Records acts, including Bolt Thrower and Napalm Death, and is fronted by dynamic she-beast Grace Perry. Tracks include “25th Hour,” “Crisscross Thoughts” and “Thunder Blasted Bodies.” …

Oakland, California’s modern-death-metal mavens All Shall Perish will release their second album, The Price of Brutality, August 8. The band will preview material from the disc on its upcoming tour, which runs from July 14 in Ogden, Utah, to September 6 in Sacramento, California. …

Following two weeks of rehearsals and pre-production, Mnemic have started tracking drums for their new album in a California studio with Warren Riker and Fear Factory‘s Christian Olde Wolbers. The upcoming disc will be the first to feature new singer Guillaume Bideau, who replaced Tony Jelencovich in late May. “Things are sounding great and we’re just getting started,” the band said in a statement.