Welcome back for another explosive edition of Shrapnel! We’ve got a lot to get through in this ep so I’ll keep the yap to a minimum! Enjoy!
First in line today for the Shrapnel treatment are Norwegian Symphonic Metallers Nergard, who have released a lyric video for their cover of Judas Priest’s epic song Blood Red Skies, which was released through Pug-Nose Records on November 19th last year.
Bandleader Andreas Nergård explains why he chose to cover this particular song: “To me Blood Red Skies is THE standout track on Judas Priest’s 1988 album Ram It Down, and it’s a criminally underrated song. Priest themselves didn’t play this song live until twenty three years after the release of the album. We wanted to shine a light on this amazing track and at the same time pay our tribute to the metal gods. I’m sure Judas Priest means as much to any fan of metal as they do to me. The music we play wouldn’t exist without them. When I started working on this song I wanted to give it a different sound from our latest album Eternal White which was heavily dominated by symphonic orchestras and choirs. I wanted to put more focus on the keyboards and industrial elements giving the production a more open sound. I think the general atmosphere of the song is very epic on its own and didn’t need the “over the top”- approach that EW had”.
Blood Red Skies is the follow up to the bands critically acclaimed album Eternal White which was released in May 2021 through Pride & Joy Music. The band is currently working on their next album.
To the US now, and trad power metallers Prehistoria, who have taken up residence on my stereo system this past week! The band has recently released a new four track EP, entitled Cursed Lands, as well as a lyric video you can watch below!
Combining influences from power metal giants – Blind Guardian, Symphony X, Helloween – with inspiration from the genres of black and thrash metal, Prehistoria has a sound that will appeal to followers of both US and European power metal.
Prehistoria was formed in 2020 by seasoned musicians in four different states – vocalist Alonso “Zo” Donoso, guitarists Shaun Cothron and Max Otworth, drummer Cody Johns, and bassist Ian Bender. Members have collective decades of experience in the metal scene, with their own groups (Zephaniah, Unity, Well of Night), as well as touring members of Viking, Acheron, and Abigail Williams.
Produced amidst an ongoing global pandemic, Cursed Lands, is a triumph of remote collaboration and dedication to heavy metal.
Another cover version! This time it’s Nicoletta Rosellini, best know for her work with Kalidia and Walk In Darkness…
Rosellini has released a cover of the HammerFall classic Always Will Be which showcases her spine-tingling vocal talents in an acoustic arrangement of the song originally presented last year.
Nicoletta comments on the new single: “During these two difficult years, I’ve tried to be closer with my listeners by sharing more music, news, exclusive content.. the result was a solid social community that I wanted to reward with a unique experience, ‘The Acoustic Session’. I’m extremely proud to present the live version of Always Will Be, hoping to share the emotions of a one-of-a-kind night with those who didn’t make it to the concert.”
THE MOUNTAIN KING
Many bands and artists claim that their music is ambitious or innovative, however the Mountain King is always able to back this claim up. Their latest release WolloW takes this to a whole new level.
Half of the album’s tracks run backwards in order the explore the concept of time. This isn’t just a gimmick to stand out, as each and every track (even the backwards ones) still sound fantastic. It is no easy feat to create music that sounds this good when played in reverse. In fact, if nothing else, this stands as a testament to the band’s level of skill in both songwriting and musicianship.
While these experimental tracks sound fantastic it is apparent that the songs are playing in reverse due to the completely unique sound and essence that they have. Until you listen to them you won’t be able to understand what is meant by that. When you hear them mixed in with regular songs the difference becomes stark. This is a release that needs to be experienced in full to be understood, however each track also stands on its own two feet.
Prepare yourself for yet another mind-bending journey that pushes the boundaries of progressive/experimental music from one of the boldest artists currently active in the scene.
Says the band: “WolloW is about how we perceive time and musically about time’s relativity. While half of the tracks will run backwards still maintaining the albums flow, we must ask ourselves: Is the perception of time just a tailored suit that we wear? Because how we perceive will change our reality. This could mean your actions are flowing backwards during the listening session. The album connects different genres like stoner doom, avantgarde metal, post rock, drone, shoegaze and black metal but is not bound to either of those. It’s been the bands premise from the beginning to create a new experience with every release, so this will be the next chapter of mind-bending atmospheric music”.
ON THE LOOSE
Finally today we are going to Portugal, and a band with a slightly tenuous Iron Maiden link…
Set to be released during the March equinox, On The Loose’s self-titled album was written with an instrumental direction in mind which was quickly changed when UK metal outfit Airforce‘s singer Flavio Lino was invited to provide vocals. Airforce, of course, feature former Iron Maiden drummer Doug Samson among their number, so there’s that link I promised… Designed as a one-man project with studio guests, On The Loose will operate as a live band as well. Musically, you can expect a mix between Candlemass and Iron Maiden – as evinced by the video below – with the lyrics representing short stories, each one with its own concept that leads to a deadly sin.