Metal File: DevilDriver, Drudkh, Lordi & More News That Rules

'We're onto something here,' frontman Dez Fafara says of band's new aural laxative.

Ask any member of any metal band what fans can expect from whatever it is they’re working on at the moment, and they’ll usually come back at you with one of three possible responses: The material is either the most “brutal,” “extreme” or “hardest” they — or anyone else, for that matter — have ever churned out. But DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara took things a bit further in describing his band’s next opus.

“When you hear this record, you’re gonna sh–,” he promised. Tempting as that already sounds, he didn’t stop there. “In a time when art of this sort is in total despair and everybody sounds the same, and everybody’s trying to sound like Metallica, Pantera or Iron Maiden, we’re making a definite move towards our own individuality, and it’s definitely gonna show on this record. We’re onto something here, and it’s an exciting and inspiring time for me, man. Seriously.”

Well then, the next question is obviously when this yet-untitled aural laxative is going to be out. Fafara assures this spring, but no definite release date has been etched in stone yet. One thing’s for sure: DevilDriver didn’t waste any time tracking the LP at Sonic Ranch studio, located just outside El Paso, Texas. Fafara said that initially, the band wanted to take two months in the studio to get the album just right. But thanks to producer Jason Suecof (God Forbid, Bury Your Dead) and engineer Mark Lewis (Trivium, Seemless), the album should be in the bag before the weekend.

“It’s unbelievable, man,” said Fafara, who fronted Coal Chamber before doing time with the Driver. “We tracked what we thought would be two months’ [worth of work] in 22 days, and we have two or three more days of vocals. So it looks like we’re gonna be tracking the whole record in 31 days. … In all the records I’ve done with many different producers over the years, these guys manage to capture some intense vibes.

“It feels like a train moving forward, the way they capture it,” he continued. “Rather than just laying down the songs, there’s this feeling to ‘em, man. They have managed to capture DevilDriver in such an intense, raw form that … I mean, this feels like the album we should have always made. Everybody likes to say that, but this surely does feel that way.”

DevilDriver wrote 13 tracks for the follow-up to 2005′s The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand but plan to release an album with just 11 cuts, Fafara said. That will include “Cattle Call,” “Damning the Heavens,” “The Last Kind Words,” “Monsters of the Deep” and the likely first single from the LP, “Bound by the Moon.” Fafara says he’s a fan of every single tune they’ve written: “I mean, we can’t find a B-side, which is the most killer thing about this record. Usually it’s obvious. You play ‘em back and you go, ‘Eh, that’s a good song, but it doesn’t fit with the rest.’ Right now, we can’t find [one].”

While Fafara said DevilDriver’s self-titled 2003 debut sounded — at least to him — like a band trying to find itself, and The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand was just the next step in the band’s evolution, this next one’s a rager.
“My bass player [Jon] Miller walked in the other night and said, ‘This record is sincerely pissed — pissed like I’ve never heard you,’ ” Fafara explained. “And the music these guys brought in was really thought-out, with lots and lots of guitar work, lots of solos, lots of melody that can be carried off without clean vocals and still sound killer to the ear. We didn’t want to carry anything off in a wimpy way. We wanted it to be brutal all the way through. The musicianship has definitely stepped up, and if I ever had to go do soul-searching for lyrics, I did for this record. I just opened up the floodgates, because it was time. People are just gonna go, ‘Holy sh–, what a brave move,’ when they hear this record.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:

A belated congratulations is in order for Killswitch Engage bassist Mike D’Antonio, who married his longtime girlfriend, Kerri, in Hawaii in late October. Killswitch’s latest, As Daylight Dies, is in stores now. … Sevendust, Diecast and Bloodsimple will team up for a North American tour that’s set to begin February 8 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sevendust’s forthcoming album, Alpha, will be in stores March 6. Dates for the run are booked through February 24 in Providence, Rhode Island. … The first leg of dates for Terror‘s upcoming All for Revenge tour have been revealed, and the Warriors, All Shall Perish, War of Ages and Stick to Your Guns have been tapped as support acts. The trek launches January 22 in Detroit, and dates are scheduled through February 3 in Atlanta. … It Dies Today will head out with Papa Roach next month for a string of 13 North American shows — the first is in Eugene, Oregon, on January 23, and the last is set for February 9 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. … The Jonbenét, the American Black Lung and Blues will hit the road together starting January 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Thirty dates have been scheduled for their trip, which concludes February 3 in Austin, Texas. …

Polish black-metallers Behemoth have begun tracking their forthcoming LP. According to frontman Nergal, the band has “11 songs plus intro ready to go” for The Apostasy. “It all sounds huge and our sound has never been this intense, while being very epic and catchy at the same time,” he added. “It has all the Behemoth trademarks, enriched with some fresh ideas. I guarantee some people are going to be surprised.” Songs slated for the album’s final track list include “Prometherion,” “Pazuzu (The Desert Storms Bringing),” “Slaying the Prophets Ov Isa,” “Arcana Hereticae” and “At the Left Hand Ov God.” The record is expected to drop early next year, but no official release date has been set. … The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza has signed with Black Market Activities and will begin work soon on their next studio offering. No word yet on when the LP will be in stores, but we’ll keep you posted. …

Norwegian black-metal specialists 1349 will join forces with Goatwhore, Nachtmystium and Averse Sefira for a North American road excursion that’ll kick off March 28 in Nashville. Dates run through April 14 in Corona, California, with more expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks. … Atmospheric Ukrainian black-metal force Drudkh will release their forthcoming album River of Tears sometime next year. No official date has been set just yet for that one either. …

Power-metal sextet 3 Inches of Blood continue recording their next offering, with Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison in the producer’s chair. The record should surface sometime this spring and include “Night Marauders,” “Goatrider’s Horde,” “Assassins of the Light” and “Black Spire.” …

Canadian technical death-metal band Beneath the Massacre will release their full-length debut, Mechanics of Dysfunction, February 20. The album was recorded and produced by Yannick St-Amand (Despised Icon, Neuraxis), mixed by Pierre Rémillard (Cryptopsy, Krisiun) and mastered by Alan Douches (Dillinger Escape Plan, Shadows Fall). Tracks include “The Stench of Misery,” “Society’s Disposable Son” and “Modern Age Slavery. The band’s debut EP, Evidence of Inequity, came out in 2005. … Ambient psych-metal band Isis will launch a new tour February 22 in San Diego, with dates running through April 8 in Los Angeles. The band’s In the Absence of Truth LP came out on Halloween, and its “Clearing the Eye” DVD dropped in late September. Opening for Isis will be Jesu, the latest project from ex-Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick. The band put out its second EP, Silver, in April and will release its first full-length, Conqueror, February 20. “Old Year,” “Transfigure” and “Horizontal” are just a few of the songs to be featured on the latter. …

Anyone bummed that there were only three Megadeth tracks on the “Gigantour” DVD will be pleased to know that the band will release a new DVD, “That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires,” March 3. The disc features an October 9 show from Obras Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and includes songs spanning the band’s career from 1986 to 2004. Highlights include “Wake Up Dead,” “Hangar 18/ Return to Hangar,” “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars … The Punishment Due.” … Theatrical Finnish warlords Lordi have seen their album The Arockalypse already go triple platinum in their homeland this year, and they’ll release the LP in North America on March 20 with extra tracks and a bonus DVD. Lordi rocketed to fame after winning the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, and in Finland the band has since been graced with its own credit card as well as branded cola, candy, kebab and comic book endorsements. Related stamps, coins and restaurants are on the way. Is it any wonder that the band’s manager is none other than original Kiss manager Bill Aucoin? Lordi will make their North American live debut at the Bamboozle Festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on May 5 and 6, and will launch a full invasion of the continent this spring. …

Onetime Kayo Dot contributor Forbes Graham appears on the debut album by Irepress, Samus Octology, which is due out in early 2007. Tracks include “Samus,” “FridOhm” and “June Ipper.” … Canadian death-metal veterans Kataklysm will release the CD and DVD package Live in Deutschland in late January. That same month, the band’s U.S. label will also reissue the group’s 2006 album, In the Arms of Devastation. That CD will come with the bonus DVD “The End of Serenity: Live in Strasbourg,” which was filmed in France during its tour for 2004′s Serenity in Fire. The releases will coincide with Kataklysm’s participation in the Trendkiller Tour with Sworn Enemy, Suicide Silence, As Blood Runs Black and Too Pure to Die. Dates start February 1 in Worcester, Massachusetts, and run through March 11 in New York. … Operatic and classical-metal Swedes Therion will release their 12th studio album, Gothic Kabbalah, January 12. Tracks include “Mitternacht Lowe,” “Tuna 1613″ and “The Wand of Abaris.” The album was mixed in Stockholm by Stefan Glaumann (Rammstein, Apocalyptica).