Hate Eternal Do Some Soul-Searching; Plus Shadows Fall, Blut Aus Nord & More News That Rules, In Metal File

Erik Rutan trying to make sense of chaos on death-metal band's 'heavy-hearted' new LP.

Two days before Florida death-metal band Hate Eternal were scheduled to embark on the 2006 Jägermeister tour with Chimaira, Arch Enemy, Nevermore and God Forbid, drummer Derek Roddy quit to join Today Is the Day, forcing frontman Erik Rutan (ex-Morbid Angel) to scramble for a way to salvage the situation.

Not only was Rutan determined not to disappoint Jägermeister, Hate Eternal also had a live DVD shoot that had been planned for ages scheduled in London following the tour.

So Rutan picked up the phone and called Kevin Talley (ex-Chimaira), who had just finished filling in on a Black Dahlia Murder tour, and asked him if he was interested in playing with Hate Eternal. "It was a shot in the dark," Rutan said. "I just said, 'Hey man, we're leaving in two days. Can you learn six songs fast?' And he said, 'Sure.' He's an incredible drummer, so it worked out great."

For the DVD shoot, Rutan recruited Reno Kiilerich (ex-Dimmu Borgir), who had to learn 14 songs while Hate Eternal were touring the U.S. with Talley. Then the band flew to Holland, practiced for two days and shot the London show without a hiccup.

For Rutan, overcoming such obstacles is commonplace. But the stressful incidents left their marks. And there would be more to come. Not long after returning home, bassist Randy Piro Jr. left the band as well. Now Rutan had two slots to fill before he was able to focus on the follow-up to Hate Eternal's 2005 album, I, Monarch. The yet-untitled LP is scheduled for release in February.

The drummer situation resolved itself first. When word got out that Roddy was no longer with the band, hundreds of players contacted Rutan, including Montreal native Jade Simonetto (ex-Camilla Rhodes).

"He sent me a video of him playing some of the songs, and he did everything perfectly," Rutan said. "He totally made himself available whenever we needed him — which was a week here and a week there, since I was producing albums by other bands [including Six Feet Under, Vital Remains and Demiricous] at the same time. Then, when I could focus on Hate Eternal full-time again, he came down, and we finished everything up. He's a great player, and he's really dedicated and wants to work for the future."

Finding a bassist proved more complicated. Rutan originally planned to work with Jared Anderson, who had played with Rutan in Morbid Angel and on the first two Hate Eternal records. But on October 14, Anderson died in his sleep of undetermined causes. Unable to find a suitable replacement, longtime friend and Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster stepped in to record.

The numerous hardships Rutan has experienced will be reflected on the new Hate Eternal record, which will be more diverse and emotionally expressive than the band's other two discs. "Jared was one of my best friends, and his passing away really affected me and influenced this record a lot," Rutan said. "It's a very dark and heavy record — not just heavy as in 'heavy metal,' but heavy-hearted as well."

Partially in reaction to the chaos and seeming randomness of events in his life, Rutan decided to throw caution to the wind and write in an almost stream-of-consciousness style, without concern for rules or traditions. "I just did whatever I wanted and didn't pay attention to whether one riff is faster than another or whether one section is better than the next," Rutan said. "It's the first album [on which] I wasn't concerned about outside influences or sources. It was more just coming from the soul and it created a lot of diversity in terms of dynamics."

But while certain elements of songs like "Hell and Venom" and "Parabellum" will explore new sonic themes, the trademark anger and intensity will be as present as ever. "Hate Eternal has always been based around rage and fury," he said. "For me, this band is all about expressing negative emotions and turning them into something positive. That will never change."

The rest of the week's metal news:

The new video from Shadows Fall, for their track "Another Hero Lost," is set to make its debut on "Headbangers Ball" this weekend, and for frontman Brian Fair, the clip is particularly special. The video is an extremely personal commentary on the toll of the Iraq war: One of Fair's cousins, a U.S. soldier, was killed last year while on duty there, and a brother of his is still fighting over there as well. The video is a tribute to the nation's fallen soldiers, according to the band. In a recent issue of Revolver, Fair explained that "the thought that [his cousin] was never [going to come] back — knowing that he probably knew before he passed away that he'd never see his 2-year-old son ever again — was so mind-blowing. I went to the cemetery with my grandmother, and standing in front of that stone had such a huge effect on me that I got home that night and the lyrics [for the song] just all came out." ... According to Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt, the band has finished recording the drum tracks for its forthcoming, yet-untitled new album. "We're recording a total of 11 songs — three of them are covers that we're doing, since we had some extra time, [and] the rest are originals out of which I think we'll leave one off the album," he said in a statement. We'll keep you updated as more information is revealed. ...

Ministry, Meshuggah, Hemlock, Ensiferum, Turisas, TYR and Eluveitie are the first bands to be named to the lineup for 2008's 10th annual New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, which is set to take place April 25-27 at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts. More bands will be announced in the coming months. ... J2, a new project featuring enigmatic performer Jarboe (ex-Swans) and Justin Broadrick (Jesu, ex-Godflesh), have signed a label deal with the End Records. The act's debut should surface this spring. ... Nebraska singer Criss Cain is in the process of forming what he hopes will be the ultimate Ozzy Osbourne cover band. Prince of Darkness will feature members of different groups on Metal Blade Records, and we'll bring you more information about the group as it comes to light. ...

Boston experimental-metallers Kayo Dot have wrapped the recording of their forthcoming LP, Blue Lambency Downward. The set will feature seven tracks, including "Right Hand Is the One I Want," "The Awkward Windwheel" and "Symmetrical Arizona." Produced by Randall Dunn (Boris, Sunno)))), the record includes guest spots by Behold ... the Arctopus' Charlie Zeleny. Look for it to drop in March. ... Bullet for My Valentine have set a January 29 release date for Scream Aim Fire, the forthcoming follow-up to 2006's The Poison. The band enlisted producer Colin Richardson (Machine Head, Funeral for a Friend) to helm the LP, which was recorded at Sonic Ranch near El Paso, Texas, earlier this year. It boasts 11 cuts, including "Hearts Burst Into Fire," "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Say Goodbye." ... Danish melodic death/thrash-metallers Hatesphere have added singer Jonathan Albrechtsen to their lineup. He replaces Jacob Bredahl, who left the group over the summer. ... Hellyeah will shoot a video for their track "Thank You" at the Palladium Ballroom in Dallas on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the band's drummer, Vinnie Paul Abbott, says he's working hard on "Dimevision, Vol. 2," the second DVD tribute to his fallen brother, late Pantera/Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. A Dimebag photo book is also said to be in the works, and both that and the DVD will be in stores sometime next year. In related news, Dime is on the ballot for Guitar World's annual Readers Poll Awards, as a nominee for the mag's Hall of Fame award. Head on over to the magazine's Web site, where you can vote on all the nominees. ...

All Parallels have an EP called Solitude on the way. The five-song effort should hit stores soon and will include "See You in Hell," "Funeral Pyre Eyes" and "Newark International." They'll be promoting the outing with a series of live gigs, the first of which is set for Saturday in Long Branch, New Jersey. The band will also play New York (November 23); Allston, Massachusetts (November 30); Bennington, Vermont (December 1) and Danbury, Connecticut (December 15). ... Less than two weeks after the death of drummer Witold Kieltyka comes news that Polish death-metallers Decapitated have signed with Nuclear Blast Records. "We're looking forward to the upcoming mix of technical superiority, brutal riffs and blast-beats on album number five," the label said in a statement. "The joy over this awesome news is of course overshadowed by the tragic death of [Kieltyka]." The drummer died of severe head trauma following an accident in Russia that also involved frontman Adrian Kowanek, who was injured in the crash as well. Kowanek is currently at a hospital in Kraków, Poland, where doctors have listed him in stable condition. He's said to be showing signs of improvement every day. ... A slew of bands have DVD projects in the works. The Number Twelve Looks Like You will film their December 15 gig at the School of Rock in South Hackensack, New Jersey, for an upcoming DVD/EP release, due out in the spring. Meanwhile, H.I.M. filmed their Wednesday and Thursday shows at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles for an upcoming live DVD release, and Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta will film the upcoming Stillborn Fest shows — they begin December 20 in Springfield, Virginia, and end December 30 — for a future DVD release as well. ...

Children of Bodom's next opus has been named, and they're calling it Blooddrunk. Look for it to drop April 7 and include nine new songs along with four covers. ... Arson Anthem, the group featuring Down frontman Phil Anselmo on drums as well as guitarist Hank Williams III, bassist Colin Yeo and Eyehategod's Mike Williams on vocals, have lined up three gigs with Rigor Mortis. The band has been writing material on and off for the last few years, and according to reports, the band's debut could be in stores in February, although no official announcement has been made yet. Catch the Anthem December 13 in Nashville; December 14 in Little Rock, Arkansas; and December 15 in New Orleans. ... Swedish death-metallers Dismember are planning to release their self-titled new album in March. The LP features 11 tracks, including "Death Conquers All," "The Hills Have Eyes" and "No Honor in Death." ... After dumping their management firm, thrash titans Demiricous have been forced to drop off their tour with Dying Fetus and Skeletonwitch. In a statement, the band said it's "not happy to leave this tour, but [we] have to clean house and get our career and finances back under our control." ...

Long-dormant Brooklyn, New York, experimental metallers Candiria will soon release two new collections of material. The first will be a compilation of never-before-heard material, rare tracks and B-sides written and recorded during various recording sessions prior to 2001. There will also be a remix disc of material from the band's first three releases. No official release dates have been set in stone, but we'll keep you posted. ... French black-metallers Blut Aus Nord have hit the studio to record the companion to 2005's Thematic Emanations of Archetypal Multiplicity, EP. There's no word on when the new set, which has been titled Lighteater, will be available. Once those sessions wrap, the band will begin working on the second part of 1996's Memoria Vetusta I -- Fathers of the Icy Age, which will be titled Dialogue With the Stars. ... Hydra Head Records is close to reissuing material from the Huguenots, the Massachusetts band that was active during the 1990s and featured Converge's Kurt Ballou, Piebald's Aaron Stuart and the Explosion's Dan Colby. Look for it to hit stores this winter. ... Swedish black-metallers Mörker will release their second full-length album, Höstmakter, early next year. In the meantime, you can check out some of the new material over at the band's MySpace page.