Hello Shrapnel fans! As ever, the wide world of metal has been a busy place this past week – here’s some stuff that happened that we thought might interest you!
First up, German thrashers Rezet have announced that guitarist Jan-Erik Fischer has officially (re) joined the band!
Fischer was part of the band in early 2018, filling in for a couple of shows in Germany and the Netherlands as well as during a two week long tour through China.
Vocalist Ricky Wagner commented on the situation thusly: “This guy is by far one of the best guitar players I know personally, in terms of technique, harmonising and feeling. We’re kind of coming from the same background, not only locally but also musically… I heard some of our camp sayin’ that this is already the best line up we’ve ever had and I will admit that!”
Fischer is now taking over lead guitar duties since former axe exponent Heiko Musolf left the band at the end of last year. Further to this exciting development, the band have announced that a new EP is ready to roll, with New World Murder set for release on May 27th! Have a look at the leadoff track from the new record, The Devil’s Bride, below!
RISE TO THE SKY
My colleague Ferry Templeton featured Chilean one man band Rise To The Sky in his Crusade of Power column in October last year, wherein he described the band in this way: “If your heart is black, Rise To The Sky is the music your spirit has been yearning for”.
I couldn’t have put it better myself, and I’m glad to report that Sergio Gonzales – the man behind ‘the band’ – is back with a new offering in the shape of crushing new jam Every Day, A Funeral, the lyric video for which you can see below!
There is no doubting the heart shattering poignancy and potency of Per Aspera Ad Astra, but in the few short months since it was released, harvesting praise with a bowed head and rusted scythe, Sergio has managed to develop and expand upon everything that made that album great. Every Day, A Funeral dives even deeper into the black chasms of immeasurable despair and paints vast frescoes of memories, harrowing in their beauty. This is a truly overwhelming album that will leave listeners breathless with the intensity of emotion laid bare. The sheer weight of vast compositions like Abandoned is staggering; the drums – supplied by Emidio Alexandre Ramos (Adamantine, Colosso and Dark Oath) – an intimidating thunder beneath guitar chords that tower overhead, casting long, dark shadows. A complex entwining of accomplished artistry and naked honesty, Every Day, A Funeral is a momentous achievement.
Released by Meuse Music Records on May 6th, on CD, vinyl and digital formats, Every Day, A Funeral will bring a pall of autumnal twilight to the warm days of spring and summer. With evocative cover artwork created by Natalia Deprina, exquisite booklet design by Lenore of Ani Artworks (Thelema, Hero’s Fate etc) and a rich, powerful sound captured by Filippos Kolipanos (Ocean of Grief, On Thorns I Lay) Every Day, A Funeral is a thing of dark beauty that will break your heart and shake the foundations of your soul.
Multi-national metallers Mirror return with The Day Bastard Leaders Die, nine stirring, melody-driven numbers that catch the true spirit of the NWoBHM and seventies proto-rock! The album will be released on CD, vinyl, and digital formats April 22 via Cruz Del Sur Music.
On The Day Bastard Leaders Die, Mirror wields the mighty sword of unbreakable true metal laced with spirit, speed and heaviness across nine songs of sheer triumph!
The 2015 creation of Greek multi-instrumentalist, former Electric Wizard and current Satan’s Wrath bassist Tas (full name: Tasos Danazoglou), Mirror was formed to faithfully pay homage and reinvigorate the long, worn body of classic heavy metal. Their eponymous 2015 debut featured the likes of in-demand producer Jaime Gomez Arellano (Cathedral, Ghost, Paradise Lost) on drums and underground mainstay Matt Olivo (Repulsion) on guitar alongside vocalist Jimmy Mavrommatis and Stamos Koliousis on guitar. That lineup soon gave way to new guitarist Nikolas “Sprits” Moutafis and drummer Daniel Georgiou, who, alongside Tas and Mavrommatis, released the resplendent and firebrand Pyramid of Terror in 2019. With a new record contract in hand with Cruz Del Sur Music, Mirror has emerged even more energized and out for blood with their third studio album, The Day Bastard Leaders Die.
In lockstep with the hallowed sounds of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and seventies-styled proto-rock, Mirror has buckled down on The Day Bastard Leaders Die for songs that are heavier and faster than anything the band has done before. Behind Mavrommatis’s multi-tiered vocal escapades and fervent melodic joyrides, the album’s nine cuts are coated with a sharp, angular degree of songwriting, where twists and turns abound at every corner. Through it all, though, Mirror continually keeps the focus on the unyielding spirit of true metal. Whether it’s the barn-burning opener Infernal Deceiver, the fist-banging Souls of Megiddo, the raw, raucous, gutter-ready All Streets Are Evil, the up-tempo Sleepy Eyes of Death and the exploratory, near-progressive title track, Mirror has unleashed an album that brims with purpose and might.
Recorded in Athens, Greece, with producer/engineer Costa Costopoulous, The Day Bastard Leaders Die is every bit the authentic, rousing album that metal die-hards flock to. It’s ultimately a reminder that metal’s future is often rooted in the past. On The Day Bastard Leaders Die, Mirror set out to drive that point home once and for all.
Being a band with a well-documented turbulent career, Brutality managed to have a fine body of discographical work in their on-and-off career. Four studio albums that put them among the best death metal bands that the Tampa scene, in Florida, has exported to the world.
When Brutality announced, in October 2020, the band would be splitting up, the whole world was left stranded – once again – except for one person. Michael H. Andersen, Emanzipation Productions A&R, saw that as an opportunity to release a kind of a swansong for the band and approached them to do so. As the had two new songs in store, the members started to, slowly, get their heads around the idea of a final release, and this is how Sempiternity decided to take form. Orchestrated Devastation and Fluent In Silence were recorded in studio, and Brutality decided to add two old tracks – Crushed and Artistic Butchery – which were re-recorded in 2018, and only available until now in a limited 7” EP – Antecedent Offerings – self-released by the band. Finally, the group included four tracks (These Walls Shall Be Your Grave, Cries Of The Forsaken, Cryptorium and 48 To 52) recorded live at the Maryland Deathfest in May 2019.
The result is Sempiternity, an album that started out as a ‘swansong’, but had the band leaving the door open instead of closing it once and for all. “When we were in the studio doing those songs, we realised we didn’t want to say that, to see those as our final recordings”, vocalist Scott Reigel says. “And we asked Michael not to promote this as our swansong anymore… It started with us listening to the live stuff at Maryland and thinking how fucking incredible it sounded, especially with now Jarrett (Pritchard) on second guitar. This is hands down the best line-up we ever had and from now on, it’s going to be the five of us or nothing”.