Metal File: Hard & Heavy News On Iron Maiden, Black Label Society, Six Feet Under, Immortal, Mayhem & More

Hello Metalions, Iann Robinson here. It's that time of the week again, the big Metal File report. Lots happening since we last spoke: First and foremost let me extend my pride and admiration to all the true believers out there who keep metal alive despite lack of interest by the corporate machine. A report recently released by USA Today states that metal-album sales are up by 232 percent, while everything else is failing or having a hard time moving forward. That's not only great news for the bands and labels who've worked so hard to make this scene what it is, but also for us, it proves that dedication to a lifestyle and belief in the scene and music you're about will always triumph over shelf-life music, no matter how popular it gets. We knew this all along, but it's good to see others forced to recognize it as well.

In other fun stuff, I got to hear the new Iron Maiden record, and, unlike some recent bands that have released albums that destroy their once-great legacy, Iron Maiden are still in full, true form. Like the new record or not, it's totally Iron Maiden; no attempts to be hip or cool to try to sell records here — just true Maiden in Maiden form. OK gang, be proud of yourselves and I'll see you at the shows:

Black Label Society will release their live DVD, "Boozed, Broozed & Broken-Boned," on August 12. The DVD was recorded live at Harpo's in Detroit. ...

Six Feet Under have settled on 11 tracks for their upcoming Bringer of Blood album, due September 23. The CD will include "Sick in the Head," "My Hatred," "Murdered in the Basement," "When Skin Turns Blue," "Bringer of Blood," "Ugly," "Braindead," "Blind and Gagged," "Claustrophobic," "Escape From the Grave" and the album's first single, "Amerika the Beautiful," for which a video is in the works. ...

Early reports that Immortal have called it a day may be a little off, according to Nuclear Blast, which claims the band is taking an extended break but not officially breaking up. ... Mayhem are going to record their new record, Chimera, in a mobile studio tucked away somewhere in the Norwegian mountains with the help of technician Børge Finstad. … Morbid Angel are filming a video for the track "Enshrined by Grace" from their upcoming Heretic album, due out in September. ... Helloween, Beyond the Embrace and Jag Panzer will team up for a tour kicking off on October 1 in Tempe, Arizona. So far, the bands have two weeks' worth of dates lined up. ...

A best-of series from Roadrunner Records hits stores on September 22. The first seven releases include Deicide, Life of Agony, Brujeria, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Madball and Malevolant Creation. ... Speaking of Brujeria, the band is gearing up for its first live show on September 4 in Bellflower, California. The group's current lineup includes Dimmu Borgir drummer Nick Barker, vocalist El Brujo, guitarist El Asesino (a.k.a. Dino Cazares, ex-Fear Factory) and Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury replacing ex-Faith No More bassist Billy Gould. ...

On August 12, Georgia sludge giants Harvey Milk will release The Singles through Relapse Records. The collection includes 13 rare tracks. ... God Forbid will enter Trax East Studios this week to record their new full-length album. Look for an EP, titled Gone Forever, in August. ...

Anathema, whose sound over the years has run the gamut from glacially paced death metal to progressive Pink Floyd and Radiohead-inspired rock, has entered the U.K.'s Parkgate Studios to begin work on the follow-up to 2001's A Fine Day to Exit. "It's fair to say you can expect a variety of songs and soundscapes on this one, peaceful and ambient tones to sonically massive great noises that we are barely able to control," guitarist Daniel Cavanagh recently posted on the group's Web site. ...

In the middle of August, Ministry will re-enter the studio to work on the follow-up to this year's Animositisomina. Frontman Al Jourgensen also plans to release albums by his side projects Revolting Cocks and Lard next year. The last Cocks album, Linger Ficken' Good ... came out a decade ago and the last Lard disc, Pure Chewing Satisfaction, hit shelves in 1997. ... Swedish girl-fronted melodic death metal band Arch Enemy will kick off a 12-date U.S. tour on August 25 in Springfield, Virginia. Shows run through September 8 in Los Angeles. Hate Eternal, Evergrey and Black Dahlia Murder will support. ...

Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, ex-Racer X guitarist Paul Gilbert, former Dixie Dregs bassist Dave LaRue and Pain of Salvation vocalist Daniel Gildenlow have formed the Led Zeppelin tribute band Hammer of the Gods, which will play November 7 at the Montreal Jazz Festival. ... Influential '80s German thrash band Kreator will launch a tour October 1 in Houston. Dates run through Halloween in Atlanta. The band has just released a double live CD, Live Kreation, and the DVD "Live Kreation - Revisioned Glory." ...

Napalm Death are finishing up a covers album, Leaders Not Followers 2, which will come out by year's end. The disc will feature versions of songs by Cryptic Slaughter, Offenders, Devastation, Agnostic Front, Attitude Adjustment, Sepultura, Hellhammer, Kreator, Discharge, Massacre and others. ... On August 26, thrash band Pro-Pain will release the covers album Run for Cover, with songs by Slayer, Agnostic Front, Motorhead, Sepultura, Discharge, Operation Ivy, Black Flag and others. ...

—compiled by Iann Robinson,

Robert Mancini, Ryan Downey and Jon Wiederhorn