Welcome to another blast of Shrapnel! There’s plenty for all to enjoy in this week’s edition, so without further ado let’s get into the heavy metal!

Finnish heavy metal band Midnight Bullet released their fourth studio album Hostile Resistance via the ever-reliable Inverse Records label last week. In addition to album the band also released a new music video Rise And Fall. Watch the clip here!

Vocalist/rhythm guitar player Tuomas Lahti had this to say about the band’s latest news: “The new album is out and it’s so cool to release also Rise and Fall single at the same time. Rise and Fall is one of the main, leading songs on this album and it felt like this song really brought everything together when we were writing new album. Riffs are very catchy and the chorus turned out to be awesome. We didn’t try to find any compromises this time and we just wanted to go flat out and I think this song can really manifest that. So proud and happy!”

Bottlekopf emerged from the depths of Silesia, Poland in 2010. The idea they had for their music was simple – a lively, concentrated form of death’n’roll with a Swedish sound, a sound that makes you want to drink and live! After two years of playing, trying their strength and people together, they entered the studio to record their debut album Absolutely Nothing. Part of the material for this album was recorded in the Czyściec studio, under the watchful eye of the well-known and respected musician Nihil (Furia, Cssaba, Massemord, Morowe). This album was well received by the media and fans who liked this vision of death ‘n’ roll destruction.

The band actively promoted this album, playing mainly concerts in small clubs, where the material acquired exceptional proportions amidst the fumes of cigarette smoke and alcoholic odour. But nothing lasts forever. Problems with a stable band lineup, the prose of everyday life and other external factors, meant that for a few years there was no word of Bottlekopf. Now, eight years after its debut, the band returns with its vision of death metal inspired by old gods such as Unleashed, Sepultura or Entombed, with a new line-up, new ideas and new hopes. The process of creating and recording music for the latest album took nearly four years, so the album The Jokes Are Over is a new, more mature face of Bottlekopf, and most importantly, it is not their last word.

The new album features a dozen new slabs of Bottlekopf mayhem – and you can listen to it in full here!

As the World went into lockdown, Musicians took to playing shows online and embracing the new style of stage. Some took that time to reset whilst others wrote and recorded new material. That is exactly what Brit rocker Matt Mitchell did. Demoing at his home in Sussex, England and perhaps with more time than ever imagined to do so, he carved out the songs for what would be the difficult second album titled Mission. The album was inspired by these times and the leading single inspiration was taken from the immense migration journey that the Arctic Tern birds embark on each year. A reflection of what a journey (Mission) we can sometimes face in our own lives and the story really influenced Mitchell’s album plan. The theme also runs through the fantastic album artwork designed by Tom Heron.

A few years prior to the recording of the album, Mitchell had reconnected with an ex band mate from his younger years – In fact one of the first bands that saw Mitchell take to stages around the UK. Guitarist Mark Alberici (Crazy World Of Arthur Brown/Tiffany) had asked Matt to join his band at the time and Mitchell recalls an audition at the famous producer Alan Parsons‘ home studio where he sang through songs on his twelve string acoustic guitar not realising who’s studio he was in until some time later. The reconnection had sparked off ideas of working together again somehow at some point. Alberici was now living in Nashville and was still very much working as a guitarist/musician and now also doing much more producing.

At the time Mitchell had started demoing tracks for the new Coldhearts album, he asked Alberici if he’d like to be involved in co producing, to which the guitarist was more than happy to oblige. The two easily clicked into a working partnership like they had once done before. Of course money was tight and times hard being a working musician in the middle of lockdown so a plan for recording the record had to be as kind as possible on the pocket. This would mean having a team that was in it not only for the work but for the love too. In comes engineer wizard Adrian Hall (Tori Amos/Depeche Mode/Bon Jovi/Stonebroken). Another exclusive on the record comes in the form of Razor Tongue where Little Angels/Colour Of Noise band mate Bruce Dickinson shines with his signature guitar work. Also featuring on that song is LA’s keys player Jimmy Dickinson. As the band’s relationship with Earache Records progressed Mitchell was offered a tailored distribution plan by the label which suited Mitchell and his Coldhearts and so the journey of getting the music out into the World began.

February 25th 2022 saw the release of the first single and title track Mission, with more singles releasing at the end of each month leading up to the album release on July 29th 2022.

Swedish hard rockers Liar Thief Bandit have just launched the third single from their upcoming mini-album, Diamonds. The Art of Losing Battles shoots straight into the familiar intense and energetic feel that supporters of the band and the genre have grown to love. A raw setting with catchy melodies and honest lyrics are topped off with a raging guitar solo followed by the three musicians kicking it into an even higher gear.

Besides the new single, Liar Thief Bandit is going on a 9 date tour in March, heading to Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium.

Liar Thief Bandit live:

11.03 DEU: Wittorfer Brauerei, Neumünster
12.03 DEU: Kulturrampe, Krefeld*
13.03 NED: Café de Meister, Geleen*
14.03 DEU: Live-Club, Bamberg
15.03 DEU: Hammer House, Hadamar
16.03 DEU: Studio 30, Saarbrücken
17.03 BEL: Zik-Zak, Ittre
18.03 DEU: Rare Guitar, Münster
19.03 DEU: Cowboy und Indianer, Hamburg

*With Dirty Denims

Diamonds will be released through The Sign Records later this year – keep an eye and ear out for it!

That’s it for this time – I hope to see you all again safe and sound very soon!