Metal File: Cradle Of Filth, As I Lay Dying, Chimaira, Magrudergrind & More News That Rules

Frontman says Thornography is 'like Slayer meets Napalm Death in a vat of acid.'

After Cradle of Filth recorded all the material for their new album, Thornography, Dani "Filth" Davey ran into a major obstacle: He could growl and scream as well as ever, but no matter how hard he tried to hit a pitch or sing a passage, he sounded completely tone-deaf.

Discouraged and depressed, he started drinking heavily, but that only made him feel sicker than ever. He saw doctors, vocal coaches and dieticians, all to no avail. Davey was starting to think he was suffering a mental breakdown until the band's producer, Rob Caggiano, recommended a homeopathist who had cured Caggiano's life-threatening stomach parasite when he was working with Bleeding Through.

"The first thing the doctor told me was that I was going to die if I carried on with my lifestyle," Davey said. "Then he found that I have this weird disease called candida, which sits down low in your system so it's hard to detect, then acts as a springboard for other illnesses."

The doctor also determined that Davey was allergic to alcohol — more than a minor inconvenience for a touring musician with a strong appetite for beer. "I had to take 49 tablets made of plants for six months, and I had to limit my diet to rice cakes and mineral water."

At first, Davey ignored the prescribed treatment and started drinking heavily again. After that spell, he decided to follow his doctor's advice — but promised to reward himself for his efforts. "I said, 'If I get over this, I'm going to [drink again] and eat loads of cake.' And I did. And now I can just live my life. I've decided that I'm keeping to this diet and once a week, I'm going to splurge and have sugar or something bad."

While he desperately missed not being able to eat and drink like a normal heathen, Davey soon regained his health, and with it, his voice. So he flew to Millbrook Studio in upstate New York and easily recorded all the vocals for the album. "We did it [near] Alfred Hitchcock's estate, so you can imagine how excellent the vibe there was," Davey said.

He named the album Thornography due to the ever-present religious overtones of the disc, and also because the implied imagery reminded him of his ordeal. The LP drops October 17.

"Thornography implies a self-hurt," Davey explained. "Mankind's will to hurt God. It's like being an alcoholic and knowing you're not supposed to drink but you enjoy it so much so you do it anyway. Everything on the record has got a religious edge to it in a good or bad way. And it's not overtly satanic because sometimes you find that the darker stuff in life exists within the people who wield the power, who are supposedly in the light."

Sonically, Thornography strays little from Cradle of Filth's established brand of symphonic metal. Tempos vary from the slow, cinematic chug of "Rise of the Pentagram" (which features a spoken introduction by Doug Bradley, who plays Pinhead in the "Hellraiser" films) to the hellfire blaze "I Am the Thorn."

"Much of this album is traditional Cradle of Filth, just better," Davey said. "It's like Slayer meets Napalm Death in a vat of acid."

The rest of the week's metal news:

New England metalheads Shadows Fall have switched coasts, setting up camp in California to record their Atlantic Records debut. The band is holed up in Studio 606 in Northridge and, with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Stone Sour), hammering out the follow-up to this year's Fallout From the War. Look for the Shad's yet-untitled LP to hit stores early next year. ... According to an interview with As I Lay Dying's Tim Lambesis that ran in San Diego State University's The Daily Aztec, the metalcore lads have been writing and recording material for their forthcoming fourth album. "The new album will definitely be faster," Lambesis told the paper. "We like to challenge ourselves and create songs people remember. We're going to have a few songs that catch people by surprise." A spokesperson from the band's management confirmed that As I Lay Dying are hard at work on new material, but no release date has been set for the effort yet. ...

Lacuna Coil have scrapped plans for a U.S. headlining run with Soil, 36 Crazyfists and 69 Eyes that was scheduled to kick off November 15 in Tempe, Arizona. No reason for the cancellation has been offered. ... On October 3, Victory will reissue Between the Buried and Me's 2003 LP, The Silent Circus, with a bonus DVD. The revitalized effort will feature live footage as well as the music video for "Mordecai" and an interview with the Ozzfest 2006 veterans. ... Ohio hardcore cretins Chimaira are continuing to work on material for the follow-up to 2005's self-titled effort. The band, which is said to be on the verge of announcing a new label home, has tracked seven new songs, with vocals, and has another four waiting to be completed. "Musically, this record reminds me a lot of [2003's] The Impossibility of Reason," frontman Mark Hunter said. "I don't think the songs are similar, I just have the vibe of intensity that I did back then." The band parted ways with Roadrunner Records earlier this year. ...

Indiana thrashers Demiricous have found a permanent replacement for drummer Chris Cruz in Dustin Boltjes, who has been touring with the band for more than a year. Boltjes is also a member of the Dream Is Dead and plans to remain in that group as well. Demiricous are on the road with Byzantine through October 13 in Boston and have commenced writing the follow-up to 2005's One (Hellbound). ... Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth, Gojira and Sanctity will hit the road in late November. So far, just 15 North American dates have been confirmed, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. The trek will kick off in Philadelphia on November 29, and dates run through December 18 in Montreal. ... Maryland grindcore ghouls Magrudergrind will be in the studio December 8-10 to record Blasting Sessions, their forthcoming LP. Look for the disc to drop in the spring. ...

Sworn Enemy and Bloodlined Calligraphy will team up for a brief run next month — prior to Sworn's Canadian trek with Hatebreed. Dates are scheduled from October 6 in Rochester, New York, through October 17 in Spokane, Washington. ... The bill for the Colorado Winter Metal Chaos Festival keeps growing more and more brutal. Entombed, Grave, Dismember and Cattle Decapitation are among the most recent lineup additions. The festival is booked for December 9 at Hubba's House of Rock 'N' Roll in Aurora and will also feature the Absence, Daath, Dog Fashion Disco and Lair of the Minotaur, as well as several others. In related news, Cattle Decapitation were named Best Hard Rock Band at the San Diego Music Awards, which were held on Monday. The band will tour with Dog Fashion Disco and Daath from November 17 in Austin, Texas, through December 7 in St. Paul, Minnesota.