Welcome, friends, to this latest little collection o’metal morsels for your delectation and appreciation…

First up for this ep we have Canadian hard rockers Sven Gali, a blast from the past and no mistake! The guys originally made their name back in the eighties as a cover band before concentrating on their own – very good – material, but they are back now with a new cover – and we here at Shrapnel are lovin’ it!

The have been hard at work during the chaotic times that the Covid-19 Pandemic has rained upon us. The band has taken this time to write and record the follow-up to 2020’s epic, comeback, EP 3 and are kicking it off with their rendition of the iconic Triumph classic, Spellbound.

SG Drummer Dan Fila : “We were made aware that a Triumph tribute record was coming out, and all of us being Triumph fans, decided to submit Spellbound. It was (vocalist) Dave (Wanless) who chose the song – it was his favourite Triumph song… The cool part about the video is that we shot it in Studio One at Metalworks where the original song was recorded. Having Gil (Moore, Triumph drummer) at the console was super cool. The beautiful lady sitting next to Gil is his wife Sunny – the song was written about her.”

“Like many things Sven Gali, it was not planned out. We invited Gil and Sunny out to hear the song, and they loved it. Next thing we know they spent the afternoon with us and played a huge part in the video. It was a very special day for all of us – things just happened organically.”

The band’s new record, entitled Bombs and Battlescars, is slated to be released in late May and will include the single Spellbound. The digital track for Spellbound will be available on all digital platforms on February 4th.

Fila offers these album details: “We are working with Andy Curran on a few of the tracks and that has been a great experience. Andy knows how to keep morale high, the mood light and get crushing performances. We have also teamed up with Juno award winning engineer Vic Florentia to track – again; just a huge talent. All of the songs on the record will be mixed by Brian Robbins in NYC. Brian plays a large role in getting the Sven Gali sound. These tracks will be recorded at Metal Works in Studio One where Triumph recorded their classic albums.”


Continuing in a cover version vein, we’ve got American metal outfit Corners of Sanctuary, and their take on Def Leppard‘s 1981 jam, Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)

It’s the band’s first cover release, as COS guitarist Mick Michaels explains: “Frankie (Cross, one time vocalist for the band) actually suggested us doing this particular track. We knew we wanted to do something from Def Leppard… but not any of the more well-known tracks. It’s a powerful and moving song and definitely plays into the COS vibe.”

COS swings the hammer to deliver a completely unique and atmospheric take on the original song’s concept by adding an expressive arrangement to both the bridge and solo sections and including the sound of breaking glass among other little gems.

“We wanted to do something that made it more like a Corners of Sanctuary song,” added Michaels. “Taking some liberties is what the creative process is all about.”

COS’ take on Mirror, Mirror (Look into My Eyes) was mastered by legendary L.A. producer and former Metal Blade Records engineer, Bill Metoyer (Slayer, W.A.S.P., Armored Saint) and is now available as a free MP3 download from the band’s website! “Never thought we would do a cover,” Michaels concludes: “It’s something new for us and we hope everyone likes it…we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

In other COS news, and with 2022 well on its way, the band has already begun work on new music, including recording for their next full-length album, Vengeance of the Fallen, among other songs and has a small string of shows scheduled for the winter including performances with The Rods‘ drummer Carl Canedy‘s solo band Canedy and former Misfits‘ guitarist Doyle!


One for the heavier fans now – Paul Speckmann!

The death metal legend returns to his now legendary and short-lived offshoot band, Speckmann Project! The result will be a new, eagerly awaited Speckmann Project album, from which Fiends Of Emptiness is the first digital single and the title track. The album is set for release through Danish label Emanzipation Productions in the first half of 2022!

A true pioneer of extreme metal, Paul Speckmann co-founded Master in 1983. A recording contract was eventually secured with Nuclear Blast and in 1989 Speckmann (vocals, bass) along with Chris Mittelbrun (guitar) and Bill Schmidt (drums) recorded their debut album in Solid Sound Studios in Chicago, but things didn’t go quite as planned and so the album was recorded again with a different line-up at Morrissound studios in Florida with the legendary producer Scott Burns; from the two recordings done for that album, the second one of them was released as Speckmann Project.

Three decades have passed, Paul Speckmann has turned into the death metal master himself, and now the time has come for a much-awaited Speckmann Project follow-up album, this time in collaboration with Swedish death metal-savant Rogga Johansson, known from Paganizer, Ribspreader, Revolting and a myriad of other bands. This legendary pairing have been augmented for this recording by lead guitarist Kjetil Lynghaug (who worked with the duo on their Johansson & Speckmann album From The Mouths of Madness in 2018) and drummer Jon Rudin, who has worked alongside Rogga on a number of other projects.


It’s always good to end on a high, so we’re rounding off this episode of Shrapnel with heavy metal legends Tygers of Pan Tang!

As with any other wild cat, the Tygers just couldn’t be locked down with nothing to do. So, they got themselves busy. Here’s the result…

A New Heartbeat is the new EP release from the enduring NWoBHM stalwarts, featuring two brand new tracks, as well as two re-worked songs from their debut album Wild Cat!

So, What did the TOPT do when the world was locked down? Well, quite a lot as it happens. For a start a new guitarist, Francesco Marras, and a new bass player, Huw Holding were recruited. They were also proud to collect a music industry award from Hard Rock Hell as winners in the NWoBHM section. And … if that wasn’t enough, they have written and demoed their next album and produced a new four track E.P.

The E.P. features two re-recorded tracks from their first album Wild Cat plus two new tracks. Fireclown and Killers now firmly bear Francesco’s musical stamp and new tracks A New Heartbeat and Red Mist demonstrate what might be expected from the next Tygers album – the Tygers signature sound of heavy as hell riffs, finger knotting solos and Jack Meille’s vocals extraordinaire. The mix was executed by Marco Angioni at Angioni Studios and, as with all recent Tygers releases, the mastering was completed by Harry Hess.

The release comes initially as a digipak CD and will only be available in physical form from the Tygers website and directly from their record company Mighty Music/Target Group. A vinyl version will follow.

Guitarist and general keeper of the Tygers flame Robb Weir commented: “Fireclown and Killers are much neglected Tygers gems. They are rarely played live but often requested so we thought it would be interesting to hear a modern take on them. Visiting the past brings back so many memories for us and, I’m guessing, for Tygers followers”.

Vocalist Meille added: “Lockdown may have prevented us from playing live but it couldn’t curtail the creative spirit that has resulted in the creation of A New Heartbeat and Red Mist for this single”.

The A New Heartbeat EP will be released on digital, and digipack CD (with the vinyl version coming out later in the year) on February 25th, 2022 via Mighty Music!