Angela Gossow's having trouble adjusting to this American heat. Each morning, when she rushes Ozzfest's second stage with Arch Enemy to pummel the audience of moshing miscreants, dancing like stun-gunned cavemen over scorching, sun-baked asphalt, she's not only astounded by the crowd's vim and vigor, but her own. She's from Sweden, after all — it never really reaches a sweltering 100 degrees there.
On Sunday, when Ozzfest hit Bristow, Virginia, Gossow's band hit the stage at the profane hour of 9 a.m. "I was amazed that the pit can start that early," she said. "A mosh pit at 9 in the morning — that's not right. How do these kids make it through the day? F---ing hell. That's too early for rock and roll."
But those animals were throwing elbows at an hour when no one should be all because of Arch Enemy's thunderous songs. Many of the tracks from the band's set list appear on its new disc, Doomsday Machine, which hit stores this week. According to guitarist Michael Amott, Arch Enemy wanted to take what they'd done on previous efforts and build on that foundation.
"We wanted more of everything on this record," he said. "More melodies, more intricate guitar work. But we also wanted to make it catchy. So there's always that combination. That's what Arch Enemy's about: combining aggressive, extreme modern brutality with a classic-metal edge, as far as guitar work goes and the arrangement. We're just trying to write good songs within this style of music."
The blond, full-lipped, doe-eyed Gossow, whose guttural growls put other male metallers' to shame, is one of this year's only female forces (the other being Jada Pinkett Smith and her newbie band, Wicked Wisdom; see "Ozzfest Gets Jiggy? Jada Pinkett Smith's Band Added To Lineup"). She said so far the craziest thing about Ozzfest, for her, has been the number of marriage proposals she's fielded.
"I've stopped counting," she said, adding that the proposals are coming from both men and women. "People, when they come to the [FYE table] signings every night, they tend to go, 'Yeah, you rock. Finally, a chick that rocks.' It's very male-dominated this year, which I think is good for Arch Enemy, because we stand out for that [reason]. But they'll say, 'You're the coolest chick I've ever met — will you marry me?' I just tell them the band says no."
The rest of the week's metal news:
According to a Roadrunner spokesperson, Opeth drummer Martin Lopez has not been fired, but rather, went back to Sweden for treatment of a rare blood disorder he's had for most of his life. Until he returns, the band — currently on the Sounds of the Underground tour — has enlisted Strapping Young Lad drummer Gene Hoglan to fill in for him. ... Black Dahlia Murder guitarist Brian Eschbach was detained by police during Ozzfest's Pittsburgh stop and ticketed for obscenity. As the bearded axeman explained, "I was helping out someone else with a camera and a microphone and I got my towel taken [from me], which was the only thing I had on at the time, and I was apprehended." But he wasn't the only person busted by the authorities that afternoon. Bury Your Dead guitarist Slim B. was also arrested for crashing one of the Ozzfest golf carts. "I was too fast, too furious," he explained. "I shouldn't have been driving at all, and I made a boo boo. I took a hard right which happened to be a hard left and ended up eating sh--." Slim B. sustained facial and arm scrapes in the accident. ...
In related Bury Your Dead news, the band was joined onstage during Sunday's Ozzfest in Virginia by actor Will Smith and his wife, Wicked Wisdom frontwoman Jada Pinkett Smith. The Hollywood duo emerged for the Dead's set-ending chant, screaming "Bury your f---ing dead!" ... Shadows Fall had a shadow over the weekend at both the Pittsburgh and Virginia Ozzfest dates: a dude with a video camera, who was capturing footage for the band's forthcoming video for "Enlightened by the Cold." Frontman Brian Fair said the video will have a day-in-the-life feel and include some live footage of the band, shot over those same two days. ... Mudvayne recently shot a video for the "Forget to Remember" with director Frankie Nasso, who traveled to Mansfield, Massachusetts, to shoot the band's live set. ... Ambient doom-metal mystics Sunn 0))) will release their sixth album, Black One, on October 17. The droning disc is the follow-up to White 1 and White 2 and features more black-metal influences. Black One is self-produced and includes "Sin Nanna," "It Took the Night to Believe" and "Orthodox Caveman." ... San Francisco thrash-metal legends Exodus will tour the U.S. starting October 4 in Tempe, Arizona, and running through November 4 in San Marcos, California. The band will be supporting its new album, Shovel Headed Kill Machine, which comes out October 5. The band's last album, Tempo of the Damned, was released in 2004. 3 Inches of Blood, Crisis and Watch Them Die will join Exodus on all dates. ...
Dallas occult-metal extremists Absu will release Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001, a two-disc anthology of rare and previously unreleased material, on October 11. The package includes the band's first EP, The Temples of Offal; covers of "Swing of the Axe" by Possessed and "Bestial Invasion" by Destruction; and live recordings. The band is currently on hiatus and has no plans to record or tour before 2006. ... The second full album by Dutch melodic death-metal band Detonation, Portals to Uphobia, will be released on October 11. Tracks include "Chaos Banished," "End of Sight, End of Fears" and "The Loss of Motion Control." Detonation's debut, An Epic Defiance, came out in 2003. ... German power-metal veterans Helloween will release the career-spanning DVD, "Hellish Videos: The Complete Video Collection," on August 16. The 13 tracks include "Halloween," "Kids of the Century" and "Mr. Ego." The disc will also include a live version of "Hey Lord!," photo gallery and backstage footage. ... New Orleans extreme-metal band Soilent Green have shot a video for "Leaves of Three" from their new album Confrontation, which came out July 19. The clip was filmed in Atlanta and directed by Chad Rullman (Mastodon, the Agony Scene). The band is currently touring with A Perfect Murder, Into the Moat and Watch Them Die; dates run through September 8 in West Columbia, South Carolina. ...
Dale Resteghini (Trivium, Seemless) was tapped to direct two videos in New York for Ill Niño. The upcoming clip for "What You Don't Know" will consist primarily of a narrative, in which an aspiring Spanish Harlem hustler is beset by bad luck. There's no information yet on what the second video, for the track "This Is War," will look like. ... Socially aware '80s thrash band Nuclear Assault will release their first studio album in more than 12 years on August 30. Third World Genocide was co-produced by drummer Glenn Evans and Timothy Koukos, and includes the tracks "Defiled Innocence," "Whine and Cheese," "Price of Freedom" and "Long Haired A-Hole;" the band plans to shoot videos for the latter two songs. Nuclear Assault also announced a series of U.S. dates, starting August 27 in Poughkeepsie, New York, and running through September 25 in Spokane, Washington. ... Talk about type-casting: in August, Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele joins the cast of "Tao of M," a forthcoming vampire flick. According to the film's Web site, Pete will play Viktor Baine, "a vampire who sires Midael, another vampire who terrorizes New Orleans." Several members of Twisted Sister and a group of "false priests" who rub Midael the wrong way are also set to appear in the film.