Metal File: All That Remains, Ozzy Osbourne, Necrophagia, Trouble & More News That Rules

New England metalcore champs feeling positive as Ozzfest gives them album-sales boost.

New England metalcore champs All That Remains have become one of the standout acts on this summer’s Ozzfest, decimating one sun-soaked crowd after another and delivering ferocious sets that obviously leave a lasting impression with the audiences at each stop on the tour.

The proof’s in the pudding, as they say. All That Remains’ latest, crushing LP, The Fall of Ideals, opened at #75 on Billboard‘s album sales chart two weeks ago, selling close to 13,000 copies its first week in stores. The following week, the disc took a bit of a slide, falling to #139 with around 6,000 units sold. The Fall of Ideals is on pace to outsell the band’s previous offering, This Darkened Heart, which racked up first-week sales of 1,050 copies when it was released two years ago. The album failed to chart but has gone on to sell about 62,000 copies.

For frontman Phil Labonte, the album’s got the potential to sell a lot more — and that’s where the band’s second-stage turn on this year’s Ozzfest comes in.

“We did Sounds of the Underground last year, but still, there’s a huge crowd of people out here who … this is going to be the only show they go to all year,” he said. “It’s such a huge deal, and there’s a huge percentage of people here who have never even heard of us, so it’s a huge opportunity and we’re coming in with a really solid foundation and really good groundwork from last year. Our last album sold 60,000-something copies without Ozzfest. So we’re hoping this record does the same or more. With the help of tours like Ozzfest, maybe we’ll do that.”

Some of the material on The Fall of Ideals spotlights the band at its most brutal — with tons of double-bass and pummeling blast beats. But at the same time, the LP’s also All That Remains’ most accessible outing to date, thanks to Labonte’s vocals, which, in keeping with the current trend, come across as much cleaner.

“There are more clean vocals on the record, but there’s more vocal variety overall,” he argued. “I do way more of the really guttural death-metal stuff than I’ve ever done. The song ‘The Weak Willed’ is the heaviest thing we’ve ever done — it’s a death-metal song. But there’s more clean singing on this one because I’ve gotten better at that. We’re not that band that’s like, ‘Oh, here’s a formula — let’s go ahead and do it and write all our songs this way.’ We’ve always been an extreme band, and certainly not something you could consider anything less than a metal band.”

Of course, being on the Ozzfest — which wraps up August 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida — can obviously lead to bigger and better things for a band. And it seems the tour’s already started paying off for All That Remains. In September, they’ll head out with DragonForce and Horse the Band for a tour that’s expected to kick off September 8 in Los Angeles. Just four dates for the trek have been announced, including September 9 in San Francisco, September 23 in Detroit and September 24 in Toronto. More dates will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Labonte said the band also plans on setting out on a headlining run this winter.

“We want to stay on the road as long as we can, because that’s how you make fans and that’s how you become successful as a band,” he explained. “Being on Ozzfest is pretty humbling, because you have so many huge bands that are gigantic now that got their start on the second stage — Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Hatebreed. It’s a huge thing to be a part of it, and it’s a huge thing to be able to say, ‘Hey, we were on Ozzfest.’ I couldn’t be any happier.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne will appear Friday afternoon (July 28) at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York to unveil Hard Rock’s latest Signature Series T-shirt — which was designed by Ozzy himself. Proceeds from the sale of the shirt will benefit the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The shirt — available in black for men and ivory for the ladies — features the hand-painted stick figure that’s become Ozzy’s signature logo. “Most people know Ozzy as the outrageous, envelope-pushing rocker, but underneath the wild exterior lies a heart of gold,” Sharon said in a press release. “We contribute to several causes and Ozzy is extremely supportive of the mission of this Colon Cancer Program.” … The lineup for the inaugural Radio Rebellion Tour has been revealed. Norma Jean, who’re on the bill for this summer’s Ozzfest, will headline the run, with Between the Buried and Me, Fear Before the March of Flames, Misery Signals and revolving openers the Fully Down and the Confession. A full list of dates and venues for the trek will be revealed in the coming weeks, but the tour’s expected to kick off October 6 in Nashville. In the meantime, fans can check out a track from Norma Jean’s forthcoming album, Redeemer, called “Blueprints for Future Homes,” over at the band’s MySpace page. Redeemer is slated for release September 12. …

Zakk Wylde‘s Black Label Society will hit the road in October with Black Stone Cherry for a 36-date U.S. trek that’s set to commence October 14 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The run, of course, will be in support of the band’s forthcoming LP, Shot to Hell, which is set for release September 19. Dates are scheduled through December 8 in Los Angeles. … On September 12, Roadrunner Records will release several best-of collections, featuring selections from the back catalogs of such metal heavyweights as Ill Niño, Sepultura, Fear Factory and Type O Negative. … Starting August 1, Strapping Young Lad will be joined by onetime Megadeth bassist James MacDonough; he’ll be replacing Byron Stroud, who’ll be touring with Fear Factory overseas starting August 5. … Unearth will head out on a headlining tour September 7 in Cleveland, with Bleeding Through and Animosity in tow. Fifteen dates have been announced thus far, with shows scheduled through September 25 in Atlanta. …

Heaven Shall Burn will issue their forthcoming album Deaf to Our Prayers September 5. Look for it to include “Stay the Course,” which has been posted on Lambgoat’s Web site. … The guys in Deicide have booted the band’s booking agent — a move that’s forced them to postpone their forthcoming Stench of Redemption Tour. The band plans to reschedule a full U.S. run for 2007, but The Stench of Redemption will be in stores August 22. … Nemhain, which features Cradle of Filth drummer Adrian Erlandsson and his missis, fetish model Morrigan Hel, will hit the studio this weekend to record a five-song demo, featuring “Blood Runs Free,” “Heroin Child” and “Honey.” The band will make its live debut August 27 in London. … Diecast‘s upcoming LP Internal Revolution will land in stores September 19 and feature 11 tracks, including “Fractured,” “Out of Reach” and “Definition of a Hero.” … Swedish black-metallers Naglfar have begun writing new material for the follow-up to last year’s Pariah. There’s no word yet on when the LP might surface, but when it does, expect it to include “The Way of the Rope,” “Odium Generis Humani” and “Prayer of Cain.” …

Pioneering death-metal outfit Necrophagia have replaced former guitarist/singer Frediablo with Diablos guitarist Undead Torment. Frediablo left the band last year to concentrate on his other band, Grimfist. “A true passion for horror and gore, plus his dedication to the metal scene, [made] Undead Torment a perfect fit,” the band wrote on its Web site. … Madball bassist Hoya Guerra has been cast as Louie Savage in the forthcoming film “Rapturious,” which was written and directed by Kamal Ahmed of the Jerky Boys. It will be Guerra’s first turn as a thespian. … Bassist Michael Håkansson has left Swedish metallists Evergrey, saying he feels “a strong urge to do something different in music.” He has been replaced by former Hammerfall bassist Fredrik Larsson. … New Jersey’s Knife the Glitter need some help. Stranded in California with a van in desperate need of an oil pump, the bandmembers have called upon their fans to float them some cash. They’re hoping some of their 3,200 MySpace friends will donate a buck or two to their PayPal account so they’ll “have enough to get our van fixed and going again. We all feel pretty crappy, having to beg for money, but we really don’t know what to do.” If you’re feeling generous, you can check out the band’s MySpace page for more information. …

When post-hardcore metal warriors the Wayward aren’t destroying their audience’s eardrums, singer and guitarist Nick Skrobisz and his brother and guitarist Jesse work as sign-language interpreters. Both their parents are deaf, so they learned to sign as kids, and because of their experiences growing up, they decided to dedicate their non-rocking hours to helping others who are hearing impaired. While their folks had never heard a note of their two sons’ bombastic music, last week in Baltimore their dad watched his kids perform onstage for the first time ever. And the guy takes pride in looking at the artwork of the Wayward’s eponymous full-length debut, which came out June 6. … Think the Sword are unique? Go back and listen to Chicago pioneer stoner-metal band Trouble, which Dave Grohl has listed as one of his all-time favorite metal bands. On September 26, Trouble’s long-out-of-print first and second discs, 1984′s Psalm 9 and 1985′s The Skull, will be reissued, and doomsayers will rejoice — even if Satan cringes. As heavy and gloomy as they are, Trouble are actually a Christian band. But don’t let that stop you: The desperation and pain in songs like “Pray for the Dead” and “Bastards Will Pay” are 10 times more intense than the sinister shtick of most Norwegian devil-lovers. …

A new DVD series called Dynamo Classic Concert 1991 will launch this fall with a performance by Metal Church filmed that year at the Dynamo Open Air Festival in Eindhoven, Holland. Other bands that played Dynamo that year include Armored Saint, Morbid Angel, Extreme, Obituary, Primus and Saigon Kick. The Metal Church DVD is scheduled for release October 10. … Less than two years after Nasum guitarist/singer Mieszko Talarczyk died in Thailand in the tsunami that devastated the region, Nasum drummer/singer Anders Jakobson has resurfaced in a new band called Coldworker. The group, which plays a combination of death metal and grindcore, will release its debut album, The Contaminated Void, this fall. The band also features singer Joel Fornbrant, guitarist Anders Bertilsson, guitarist André Alvinzi and bassist Oskar Pålsson. A composite of several songs from the release can be heard on Coldworker’s MySpace page. … Yngwie Malmsteen, Brian May, Slash, Vivian Campbell, Zakk Wylde, Ted Nugent, Mötley Crüe‘s Mick Mars and others have contributed guitar solos to the new Carmine Appice solo project Ultimate Guitar Zeus, which comes out August 15. Vocals were performed by Edgar Winter and Doug Pinnick (King’s X). The disc — which includes “Gonna Rain,” “This Time Around” and a new rendition of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?,” written by Appice but made famous by Rod Stewart — was originally available for fan-club members on Appice’s Web site. …

Voivod will release their new album Katorz on vinyl in November. The record will feature new artwork and will be limited to 1,000 copies. The CD version of Katorz came out Tuesday. … Every Time I Die recently shot a video for “The New Black” from their 2005 album, Gutter Phenomenon. The clip was directed by Dan Rush (Lamb of God) and depicts the bandmembers at a ’70s party attended by Evel Knievel, go-go dancers, a half-naked man in rainbow suspenders and a guy playing with a Rubik’s Cube (never mind that the Cube wasn’t sold in America until 1980). In a somewhat nonsensical press statement, frontman Keith Buckley said, “In 1967, a man named Robert Patterson filmed the mythical beast Sasquatch as it strolled casually out of the woods and across an open field. Now set in 1972, director Dan Rush captures the existence of a musical beast called Every Time I Die as they partied poolside at an L.A. mansion.” … Polish death-metal pioneers Vader will release their new album Impressions in Blood on September 5. The disc was produced by Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy at Hertz Studios in Poland. Tracks include “Between Day and Night,” “As Heavens Collide …,” “Field of Heads” and “ShadowsFear.”

Where do your favorite metal bands rank on our list? Find out in the feature “The Greatest Metal Bands of All Time.”