Obama? McCain? Haunted Frontman Talks U.S. Politics; Plus Mastodon, Slayer & More News That Rules, In Metal File

'I couldn't vote for any of the two candidates, because it's a mockery on democracy,' Peter Dolving says.

Peter Dolving, the outspoken frontman for Swedish thrash-metal titans the Haunted, might not be able to vote in next week's election, but that doesn't mean he can't have an opinion on this year's presidential hopefuls. Anyone who frequents Blabbermouth.net knows that Dolving has an opinion on just about everything — and Tuesday's momentous vote is no exception.

But were Dolving a U.S. citizen, and eligible to vote, he's not so sure he could pull the lever for Barack Obama or John McCain.

"If I had citizenship, I couldn't vote for any of the two candidates, because it's a mockery on democracy," Dolving posited. "You have a two-party system, and it's just ridiculous. It's not even remotely politics, and it's in complete disregard of anything that has to do with the constitution. There is a truly great political tradition in the U.S., of democracy and speaking out, but it's been subverted so harshly by business-market interests over the last 150 years that it's just sad. The potential for something truly great, something so radical that no other country's tried it, something that's truly libertarian ... it's been stabbed in the back by people who have no interest whatsoever in that kind of thought tradition and that kind of society, because it doesn't promote their personal goals and gains. It's really sad."

Dolving said he's been keeping a close eye on both campaigns, and he even watched the three televised debates. But he's not impressed with either candidate and feels they're just espousing the same old politics of their predecessors.

"It's all complete bullsh--," Dolving said. "It's really f---ing sad to see how American politics have turned into pure promotion and PR machinery. It really is sad, because it has nothing to do with the basic idea of building something that resembles the dream or the ideal, what Americanism could be and should be."

Dolving and the Haunted won't be here for next week's election, but with a new album, Versus, in stores now, they'll most likely be returning to the States this spring for a full headlining run. The band is currently in the middle of planning that trek. Versus, the band's sixth offering, is a more aggressive affair than 2006's experimental set, The Dead Eye, and marks the band's return to recording live.

"A lot of bands have started coming out around the metal and hardcore scene, and all these bands — we call them Pro Tools bands — they sound 10,000 percent better on record than they can ever deliver live, because they can't deliver that sh-- live," Dolving said. "We wanted to take the live setting back into the studio for this one, and we recorded it live over eight days, and then fiddled with the vocals and some solos over the next couple of days. It was a laid-back, quick recording. We decided we'd record it live and not try to worry too much, and it worked out really, really well. It's got the dynamic of what we are as a band, and, as we've gone along, we've felt more and more that it's really important for us to represent on record what we do live."

Versus is a confrontational record, he said, with elements "of everything we've done over the years." The disc contains "music we really dig," and the Haunted decided to take their time with the record to make sure all of the songs worked well together.

But don't expect to catch the Haunted on Ozzfest this summer. The singer said that, if offered another chance to join the bill (they were on the tour in 2005), they'd probably turn it down.

"If it was something like the Ozzfest, but with better organization and less internal bullsh-- going on, it might be interesting," he said, "but there was too much drama and power plays going on around that whole circus. When it comes down to it, that's not what this is about, so why would we waste our time and energy on something like that? We're here to make music and entertain people, and you don't do that when you let your personal-drama bullsh-- bleed over into, and affect, shows. The whole circus feel of it was just kind of ridiculous."

The rest of the week's metal news:

Mastodon have christened their forthcoming LP Crack the Skye. The record, produced by Brendan O'Brien (Rage Against the Machine), is expected to hit stores early next year and will feature seven tracks, including "Divinations," "Ghost of Karelia" and the 15-minute closer "The Last Baron." ...

As I Lay Dying will be filming several of their upcoming live gigs as part of a DVD release that could be out in the spring. The set will feature live performances, backstage footage, interviews, photos, production videos and a documentary on the group. The band's shows on November 17 (San Marcos, California), November 19 (in a yet-to-be-determined city) and November 21 (Anaheim, California) will be taped and feature support acts Bring Me the Horizon, Terror and Born of Osiris. ...

Into Eternity will be rejoined by guitarist Tim Roth for four shows in western Canada this week, including a Winnipeg show alongside Dismember and a headlining appearance on Halloween night at Zombiefest in Lethbridge, Alberta. ...

New Jersey's God Forbid have titled their forthcoming full-length Earthsblood. The LP is tentatively set for a February release through Century Media. According to guitarist Doc Coyle, the title "came to me after watching the film 'There Will Be Blood.' What is the price of ambition? Is the blood of our bodies and the blood of the earth one and the same? With the current energy crisis, and its relation to many of the military conflicts worldwide, there has been a global, collective consciousness that has emerged in regards to the interdependence between humankind and the planet in which we inhabit. Coincidentally, the lyrics that Byron Davis and Dallas Coyle had written meshed with these revelations perfectly. This isn't a preachy, trendy, 'hip to be green' album, nor is it a concept album. It's just an abstract observation." ...

Slayer have posted a new track, called "Psychopathy Red," on YouTube. The song was inspired by Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo and is one of the three new tracks the band recorded during a recent studio session. In the next few months, Slayer will return to the studio to finish tracking their next one, which could be in stores by next summer, if all goes well. ...

Several ex- and current members of three popular metal groups have teamed up to form an '80s metal cover group called Kobra Kai. The band, featuring Shad guitarist Jon Donais, Frank Aresti of Fates Warning and former All That Remains drummer Mike Bartlett, have booked several gigs, including one set for Friday night (October 31) in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. ...

Behemoth are streaming a new track, called "Quadosh," over on their MySpace page. The song will be featured on the band's forthcoming EP, Ezkaton, which hits stores November 11. ...

According to Blabbermouth, founding bassist Dennis Pepa has quit Death Angel. "Throughout my career with the band, I've brought a punk-influenced edge to the Death Angel sound, and as an open-minded musician in need of change, I'd like to diversify and explore other opportunities within and beyond the genre of metal," he said in a statement, issued to the metal site. "I look forward to being involved in new music projects and continuing to connect with all of you."