For metal fans, San Diego metallers As I Lay Dying's forthcoming sophomore release, Shadows Are Security, is one of 2005's most eagerly awaited pieces of polycarbonate plastic. Due June 14 — just over a month before the band takes the stage for the first date of Ozzfest on July 15 — Shadows, according to frontman Tim Lambesis, showcases a more at-ease As I Lay Dying.

"Last time we were a little bit rushed and, being a new band, budget was always an issue," he said. "This time around, we were able to do what we wanted. There are natural progressions in the way we play our instruments: Jordan [Mancino], believe it or not, has somehow gotten better at drums, and I think the guitars are quite a bit more technical. The biggest focus, on my end, was the arrangement of the songs. Because the material was a little more technical; there was a lot more melody to it. I wanted to make sure it was still very memorable, and arrangements are a big part of that."

As reported last week, the band recently shot a video for the album's first single, "Confined," at an abandoned Air Force base in Tustin, California. Lambesis promised the video would have "a lot to do with the lyrics," saying it's "about how we put so much time and effort into so many different things, and how at a moment's notice, everything can change."

More than 14 hours of performance footage was shot — in the rain — of the band, and that will be interlaced with what Lambesis called "eye candy" shots ("Some real tight, zoom-in-type stuff, and even some slow-mo") as well as "concept stuff of a kid who you can tell has spent all day really working on a piece of art, with chalk. You see the sun setting in the background and the storm coming in, but the kid's so wrapped up in his work, he doesn't notice it. And then, in a moment, the rain hits and it's all washed away."

The rest of the week's metal news:

In a Metal File exclusive, the fourth mystery producer behind Roadrunner Records' forthcoming Roadrunner All-Stars disc — which is expected to contain original tracks that are the product of collaborations between past and present members of the label's roster — has been revealed. Joining producers/composers Joey Jordison of Slipknot, Dino Cazares of Fear Factory and Machine Head's Robert Flynn will be Matt Heafy of Trivium. All four musicians will not only play on the songs they've written, but will assemble a team of artists to record the tracks. ... Philadelphia's Tapping the Vein will hit the studio next month with producer Neil Kernon (Cannibal Corpse, Nevermore) to start working on the follow-up to 2002's The Damage. Look for an early 2006 release through Nuclear Blast Records. ...

Ill Niño are putting the finishing touches on their still-untitled third album. The disc will be released August 30 and is being co-produced by guitarist Dave Chivarri with Eddie Wohl. "This is the most progressive and in-depth record we've ever made," said singer Christian Machado. "We experimented with a lot of African percussion and chants while making the riffs a lot more intricate." The band's last disc, Confession, came out in 2003. ... Southern California's Manntis, featured on the show "Battle for Ozzfest," will release their debut album, Sleep in Your Grave, on June 28. Manntis will launch a tour with Otep, Devilinside and Days End on June 1 in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. Dates run through June 23 in Columbia, Missouri. ... Highbrow noise merchants the Minor Times are now part of the Prosthetic Records kith. The label will re-release the band's second offering, Making Enemies, on July 27; look for record three sometime next spring. ...

Swedish experimental-metal legends Meshuggah re-upped with Nuclear Blast this week; the label will release the band's newest effort, Catch Thirty-Three, on May 31. ... Hardcore act Every Time I Die's forthcoming Gutter Phenomenon will include 11 fresh tunes, including "Guitared and Feathered," "Gloom and How It Gets That Way," "The New Black" and "Apocalypse Now and Then." The album's set for an August 23 release through Ferret. ... Drowningman's Don't Push Us When We're Hot will see release on August 23 as well and will feature cleverly titled tracks like "Major Disappointment, Reporting for Duty." ... The Red Chord's video for "Antman," off of their latest release, Clients, will debut on MTV2's "Headbangers Ball" this weekend, but you can also check it at theredchord.com. ...

Hungarian folk-metal band Ektomorf will release their sixth album, Instinct, on June 14. Tracks include "Set Me Free," "The Holy Noise" and "You Get What You Give." ... Experimental space-metal band Sunn0))) are working on their fourth album, White-1, in Magnetic Park studios in Oregon. Track titles include "My Wall" and "The Gates of Ballard." ... Thrones — a.k.a. Joe Preston (Melvins, Earth) — will release his fourth album, Day Late, Dollar Short, on May 31. It will be Preston's first offering in five years. ... Sweden's Burst have been busy working on Origo, which will see a fall release through Relapse. Frederick Rheindahl and Henrik Lipp are producing the effort, which bassist Jesper Liverod characterized as "an exaggeration of everything that Burst is about" and "urgently important to us." ... Norwegian progressive-metal band Communic will release their debut, Conspiracy of Mind, on June 28. The band includes ex-Scariot singer Oddleif Stensland and drummer Tor Atle Andersen. ...

Finnish melodic power-metal band Thunderstone will release their third record, Tools of Destruction, on June 28. The album was produced by Nino Laurenne and mixed by Timo Tolkki. ... Floridian death-metal mechanics Paths of Possession have signed with Metal Blade. The band is fronted by Cannibal Corpse singer George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, and its self-titled debut should be available later this year. ... Symphorce have been working on their fifth album, GodSpeed, at the House of Music studios with producer Dennis Ward (Angra). Look for it September 12. ...