Metal File: Poisonblack, Meshuggah, Shai Hulud, Watain & More News That Rules

Finnish frontman says sauce won't keep him from touring.

Poisonblack’s Ville Laihiala says the band’s forthcoming second album Lust Stained Despair sounded “like sh–” the first time he heard it. The band recorded the LP more than two years ago, but it didn’t quite live up to the ex-Sentenced frontman’s standards. “That’s the reason why we postponed it,” he explained. “And also, I opened a bottle, and it stayed open for six months, so that was also a reason.”

But this spring, the Finnish gothic metallers headed back into Tonebox Studio, in the band’s hometown of Oulu, Finland, to record several new tracks and revisit others. “We recorded three new songs and some additional keyboards here and there, and then I flew to Denmark to mix it, so it would sound the way it sounds right now,” Laihiala explained. “I am happy with it now. Everything feels great. We know we have a pretty strong album that we really feel honest about, and we’ve been rehearsing like apes.”

The album, which is due in stores August 22, features 11 mind-melting tracks, including “Hollow Be My Name,” “Soul in Flames” and “Pain Becomes Me.” The singer said he tried to make the lyrical content “clever, and talk about getting rid of stuff through sex and whatever, because when I was 12, the only two things I had in life were music and masturbation. I know what I was thinking when I wrote those things, and the lyrics should have their own meaning to people.”

But the follow-up to 2003′s Escapexstacy is a different sound for Poisonblack, according to Laihiala. “We were really trying to find a sound of a band playing live,” he said. “Obviously, we wanted to do effects with keyboards. But there’s only two rhythm guitarists, and we don’t sound like eight guitarists live.” So the album needed to sound more simplified than the band’s debut offering.

Last month, Poisonblack shot a clip for the track “Rush,” even though Laihiala didn’t want to. “I’ve always hated doing them, because I think they’re a waste of money. Obviously, I care about how it looks — that it’s not us eating diapers or whatever. But still, it doesn’t play a big role in this [band]. It’s not the reason why people do music.”

This fall, Poisonblack will tour Europe in support of Lacuna Coil — the trek begins September 22 and runs through November 8. Laihiala said he’d eventually like to tour the U.S. but added that “in the past, we’ve had a lot of issues with alcohol, and I kind of have this weird feeling of self-confidence to go back out on tour, but not too much immediately — I need to adjust my head again to the bus and that lifestyle.”

Laihiala says he has managed to get his drinking under control, and gone are the days when he’d be drunk for three weeks straight, eating nothing but potato chips. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still like to imbibe.

“Some of us, including myself, drank booze for the wrong reasons,” he said. “We dealt with those reasons, and the level of alcohol use is pretty much the same as it used to be — but for the right reasons.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:

Norma Jean‘s forthcoming album Redeemer has, after numerous scheduling changes, an official release date: September 12. Look for it to include “A Small Spark vs. a Great Forest,” “The End of All Things Will Be Televised” and “No Passenger: No Parasite.” … As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis has teamed with Metal Blade Records to start his own imprint, High Impact Recordings. “After being on tour for the past five years, I decided I should start a record label,” he said. “I’ve met so many amazing musicians and I know this is the right way to give exposure to those bands I believe in.” The label’s first signing, A Love Ends Suicide, is a progressive-metal band from Covina, California. Its sophomore album, In the Disaster, will come out September 5. … Venom have started rescheduling the North American tour they canceled this week due to immigration problems. The tour was due to get under way in New York on August 13. DevilDriver had been tapped as the support act but will not be appearing with Venom on the rescheduled dates, which, so far, includes September 5 in New York; the following day in Springfield, Virginia; and September 8 in Philadelphia. …

Experimental Swedes Meshuggah will reissue their classic 2002 album Nothing on October 31. The frantic, brutal disc will include a bonus DVD featuring frantic, brutal performances from the band’s recent European tour. … It’s looking like November 21 will be the day the next Killswitch Engage LP lands in stores. The New England metallers have yet to come up with a title for the effort. … Shai Hulud, who recently reunited, have signed with Metal Blade Records. There are no details yet regarding the band’s forthcoming debut outing for the label. … Orthodox black-metallers Watain have booked studio time and plan to start recording their third LP soon, with plans to finish the effort “during the last death spasms of 2006,” according to the band. The disc, for which a release date hasn’t even been hinted at, will include “eight songs of darkest metal magic” and, “as a warning of what is to come,” Watain have posted a sample of a track called “Storm of the Antichrist” on their Web site. … Brooklyn, New York, hardcore dudes Most Precious Blood will begin working on new material in the next few weeks. The band hopes to release the tentatively titled Do Not Resuscitate in late 2007. …

This Is Hell have welcomed guitarist Chris Reynolds to the fold; Reynolds, formerly of Scraps and Heart Attacks, replaces Joe Osolin, who jumped ship last month. In other comings and goings, bassist Jeff Tiu has also left the group so that he can attend medical school and get married. The band has already replaced him with former Subterfuge member John Moore, who will make his live debut with the band on August 23. … American death-metallers Arsis will release their new one, United in Regret, on October 24. Eyal Levi (Daath) produced the effort. … Byzantine and Demiricous will team up next month for a brief run of Midwest gigs, starting September 20 in Cincinnati. The brief tour’s final date will be September 28 in a venue and city still to be determined. … Viking metal band Unleashed will release their eighth studio full-length Midvinterblot this fall. “Our mission is to create one of the most memorable records in the history of death metal,” frontman Johnny Hedlund said in a statement. “The songs will be anthems in the true traditional Unleashed way and will have you screaming along with the choruses.” The band’s last disc, Sworn Allegiance came out in 2004. …

The new Blind Guardian video for “Another Stranger Me” can be viewed here. The clip depicts a detective several seeds short of a full melon, searching for a murderer who may be the sanest person in the video — excluding the bandmembers. “It has very vivid power,” singer Hansi Kürsch said in a statement. “The song is about a schizophrenic person who discovers his multiple eyes and tries to find a way out.” “Another Stranger Me” is the first priority track from the kraut band’s new album A Twist in the Myth, which comes out September 5. … Austrian killjoys Belphegor will release their sixth album Pestapokalypse VI on October 31. The disc was written over the last 11 months and produced by Andy Classen (President Evil, Krisiun). “Never before have we spent so much time in the rehearsal room, and never before have we put so much energy [into] our new material,” said singer and guitarist Helmuth. Pestapokalypse is our masterpiece so far. Hell awaits.” Tracks include “Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador,” “Seyn Todt in Schwartz” and “Bluhtsturm Erotika.” …

Some Girls will be hitting the road with the Plot to Blow up the Eiffel Tower starting October 5 in San Francisco. Dates are scheduled through November 19 in Tucson, Arizona. … Alabama Thunderpussy will enter the studio next month to start working on their next album, tentatively titled Open Fire. The disc, due in the spring, will be recorded at Etching Tin Studios in Richmond, Virginia, with engineer Ian Whalen. It will be Alabama Thunderpussy’s first offering to feature new singer Kyle Thomas, who replaced Johnny Weils in May. … The first video from North Carolina doom band Daylight Dies, for the track “Lies That Bind,” has been posted at the band’s MySpace page. The clip was filmed on location near Raleigh and directed by Ramon Boutviseth. “It was a scorching-hot and humid summer day,” drummer Jesse Haff said on the site. “We filmed inside a filthy, decaying building complex and later moved on to a rickety wooden salt-mine platform.” The song can be found on the band’s second studio album, Dismantling Devotion, which came out in March.

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