Metal File: Into Eternity, God Forbid & More News That Rules

Eating catered food while touring with Megadeth? Things can only go downhill from there, Into Eternity frontman says.

One recent morning while on Gigantour 2006, Stu Block realized he's got it pretty good. The frontman's band, Canadian melodic death-metallers Into Eternity, were on the road with the second annual installment of Dave Mustaine's traveling circus of brutality, which also features Megadeth, Opeth, Lamb of God and Arch Enemy. Every night, Block went to sleep on his band's tour bus with a stomach full of catered gourmet cuisine.

"It was like, 'Man, it can only go downhill from here,' " Block joked. "The Nevermore guys," who were on the first Gigantour in 2005, "told us it was an amazing experience, especially the catering. And it was amazing. How can you complain about going out with Megadeth and all these other awesome bands, doing arenas with catering? It was a super wicked experience on all levels."

Gigantour, which wrapped October 8 in Orlando, Florida, also helped Into Eternity get the word out about The Scattering of Ashes, their fourth, recently released LP. While Into Eternity have no additional touring plans at the moment, Block said it's possible they'll hit the road with Nevermore and Scar Symmetry in early 2007. Either way, next year will bring nonstop touring for the guys — or at least they hope.

"We'd love to be on Ozzfest, but we haven't taken steps towards getting on it yet," he said. "It would be a great opportunity for us, and it was so cool seeing [fellow Canucks] Strapping Young Lad on it last year. I was so stoked, because I have known those guys since day one, and it was a great thing for them. At this point, it's just a pipe dream [for us]. But who knows? These things sometimes come true. All I will say is ... we'd be more than happy to do it, for sure."

With Scattering — the first album to feature Block on vocals — in stores, and Into Eternity fresh from Gigantour, Ozzfest might be a perfect fit for them. And the album is a punishing triumph, considering the rapid-fire pace under which it was recorded.

"We did have a time restriction, so for a couple of songs, I'd go into the studio and I'd never even heard these tracks before, but I had to lay vocals over it," Block recalled. "It almost seemed more natural, and it was really good because I could do things on the fly and it was working, and we could get really creative with it. The main goal for us was to put together a record ... that could be reproduced live. Some of the older material is so complex, the material would sound just less full. On this record, we wanted to go more aggressive and stick to two-part vocal harmonies on the choruses and some of the verses in a couple of the songs that [guitarist] Tim [Roth] and I do. We just went into it with a real open mind."

While on the Gigantour, Block and the rest of Into Eternity forged close bonds with most of the bands on the bill — but walked away from the trek with a genuine friend in Lamb of God guitarist Will Adler. "At one point, while we were in the Midwest, he dressed up like Dave Mustaine and was walking around backstage with a red wig on, a house coat and a glass of wine," he said. "He was just acting like Dave and meeting people as Dave. It was hilarious. But then it would dawn on these people that he wasn't Dave, and they'd be like, 'Who the hell are you?' Will's just a funny guy. He has a tattoo on his stomach of a plate of chicken, grits and cornbread in gravy, so that whenever he's in a foreign country, he just has to point to his stomach when he wants to order food."

Next month, Into Eternity's video for "Severe Emotional Distress" will make its debut on MTV2's "Headbangers Ball." Directed by Kevin Wildt (Napalm Death, the Warriors), the clip features a gorgeous woman amid a complex and disturbing story line. While half the clip is just the band rockin' out in a bedroom, the rest of it focuses on "this girl and her mother, and they're going through lots of problems, and she has scars on her arms from cutting herself," Block explained. "The premise is self-mutilation as a means to relieve pain from their lives, and it's a very powerful song and an even more powerful video."

The rest of the week's metal news:

Machine Head frontman Robert Flynn spoke out recently about his band's forthcoming LP, The Blackening, which is being eyed for a spring release. "This is the most ambitious thing we have ever attempted," he said. "We all challenged ourselves and each other to write a record that pushed the boundaries of complexity and technical structure. The nature of what is happening in the world led to a darker, bleaker album in every sense." Look for the effort to feature "Clenching the Fists of Dissent," "Now I Lay Thee Down" and "Slanderous." The disc will also boast a tune called "Aesthetics of Hate," which attacks the author of an article about slain Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's murder in which he bashed the metal community. ... According to Strapping Young Lad drummer Gene Hoglan, the band is "on this extended hiatus, and by 'extended' I mean we'll get back together if the time is right. It could be a few months or a year, or it could be never. I sure as f--- don't know. It ain't up to me. So don't ask." Hoglan also revealed that frontman Devin Townsend and his wife, Tracy, welcomed their first child recently. "He's an adorable-lookin' little boy. ... Dev is looking at his son like he's a bomb. The look on Dev's face! Man, oh man." ...

Chicago band Novembers Doom will issue The Novella Reservoir February 20. The follow-up to 2005's The Pale Haunt Departure will feature eight tracks, including "Drown the Inland Mere," "Twilight Innocence" and "Dominate the Human Strain." Frontman Paul Kuhr said the album's a "natural progression" for Novembers Doom. "This time we took a step forward in speed and aggression, while maintaining the same sound we've had over all six CDs." ... God Forbid, Goatwhore, Mnemic, Scar Symmetry and the Human Abstract will hit the road together for a North American trek that starts January 6 in Bedford, New Hampshire. As of right now, the tour runs through February 11 in Springfield, Virginia, but more dates will be announced as they're confirmed. ... Light This City, Through the Eyes of the Dead, the Acacia Strain and From a Second Story Window will launch a U.S. run starting November 16 in Richmond, Virginia. Dates are booked through December 17 in Wilmington, North Carolina. ...

If Hope Dies have decided to go on hiatus upon the advent of 2007. A statement released by the band claims "we are going on an indefinite hiatus after December. Some of our hearts just haven't been into this lately, and why keep touring if we're not going to give it our all every night? We have already talked about the future and recording another album, which we all agreed we want to do eventually." Several of the bandmembers have been working together on a "rock" project that should start touring in the coming months. They're also in need of a singer, so stop by If Hope Dies' MySpace page to learn more about auditioning for the new project. ... Norwegian symphonic black-metallers Dimmu Borgir have begun working with producer Fredrik Nordström (At the Gates, Soilwork) on their forthcoming LP, which will hit stores early next year. "We expect it to sound nothing less than grandiose once this beast is finished," guitarist Silenoz said in a statement. While the band has settled on a title for the effort, "we're not gonna announce it until the time is right." ... Montreal's Neuraxis have added guitarist Will Seghers to the fold. Seghers had just been the band's live guitarist, but "he is a very good guitar player" and "personally, we get along well and he's easy to work with," read a statement from the band. Neuraxis hope to begin working on new material with their newest member soon. ... The Nightmare Before Christmas fest will take place December 17 at Club Sonar in Baltimore. So far the festival's organizers have lined up Napalm Death, Skinless, Arsis, Dead to Fall, Animosity, Ion Dissonance, the Faceless and A Life Once Lost for the bill. ...

Municipal Waste, Destruction and Sadus will hit the road together in January. The trek launches in Seattle on January 20, and dates have been booked through February 17 in Hollywood. ... Vital Remains have once again recruited Deicide singer Glen Benton to sing on their upcoming album. The band is currently finishing writing songs and plans to enter the Mana Recording Studios with producer Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Goatwhore) in early 2007. "The place is so nice, and the gear they have is awesome," guitarist Tony Lazaro said. "There's not enough holy water to wash away the mess we are going to make." Benton worked with Vital Remains on 2003's Dechristianize after the departure of short-term singer Thorn. ... Following eight years in the trenches, Baltimore metalcore band Swarm of the Lotus have called it a day. "After [a long] struggle to even exist, I have come to the realization that it has always been somewhat of a broken project trying desperately to push forward," frontman Pete Maturi said on the band's Web site. "To try and maintain constant motivation and confidence that in the end everything will work out just fine can be taxing and finally started to affect me." The band's final performance was Wednesday in its hometown. Swarm of the Lotus' last album was 2005's The Silence of Sirens. ...

Prosthetic Records recently made ringtones available for some of its biggest artists. Fans can log on here and purchase songs by the Acacia Strain, Burn in Silence, Cannae, Light This City, Through the Eyes of the Dead and others for $1.99 per tone. ... Society One frontman and established pornographer Matt Zane recently directed the video for Abysmal Dawn's "Crown Desire." The clip features Lizzy Borden (a.k.a Janet Romano), who is the co-owner of the adult-film company Extreme Associates. The video can be viewed here, and you don't even have to be 18 to see it. ... Bilingual Latino metal six-piece Ill Niño will release The Under Cover Sessions EP on Tuesday. The disc, which is limited to 20,000 copies, will include covers of Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain," Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings," Faith No More's "Zombie Eaters" and the new original "Arrastra." "We wanted to bring an awareness of the importance of these artists to today's generation," Chavarri said. "We feel we've captured the artistry and originality of these songs by adding the Ill Niño Latin flavor." ... Crowbar will release the DVD "Live: With Full Force" on January 23. The video was shot at the Full Force Festival in Germany. Tracks include "Self-Inflicted," "I Am Forever," "The Lasting Dose" and "Burn Your World."