Shrapnel Storm, “The Old School Death Metal Bulldozer”, was founded in 2007 in Tampere, Finland. By this day, the quintet have recorded three demos and have had dozens of gigs. After some lineup changes in 2011, this six year old youngster is standing bravely on its own feet. Now stronger than ever. The biggest musical influences for Shrapnel Storm is 90´s mid-tempo death metal acts. The music gives respect for the influences mentioned, but on the other hand shows a middle finger for today´s computerized perfectionism in the music business. Brutality, Respect for traditions and Groove are three key elements which can be found in every Shrapnel Storm song. The lyrics are commonly dealing with war and fighting. Next target for the band is to start recording a full length album. The project is estimated to start in April 2014. As the band’s status is yet unsigned, Shrapnel Storm is looking for a record label to give a helping hand in recording, promotion and marketing related issues. As a sneak peek from the upcoming album, the band has released a promotional record this November. ‘We Come in Peace…” was recorded at Shrapnel studios in Finland and it contains two songs from the upcoming album. The songs chosen are the best ones to describe the current sound of the band. “Detracked” could be used as a soundtrack when entering a tank battle, and “Deathroller” is representing the groovy and versatile side of the band.
Bio: A couple of years after the millennium our drummer Mikko and his friend Matti started jamming together and they were seeking more musicians to form a band. There were some talented and not so talented musicians coming and going, the genre varied continuously and nothing serious was happening before late 2006. That´s the time Aki contacted Mikko and soon he joined the group as a vocalist.
After this things started to roll: our bassist Pete was the next musician to join the group. Aki and Pete knew each other from their old project called “Goatguts”, so Pete was a perfect choice for the bass.
Mikko and Janne had also a long history as roommates, so Janne was an obvious choice when he moved to Tampere region and we needed a guitarist.
Shrapnel Storm was formed in 2007, and the lineup stood the same until year 2011. That year we made our third demo called “At Dawn”, and after that Matti decided to leave the band due to family-related reasons. We were obliged to make something for the lineup, so Aki made a decision to swap his microphone into lead guitar. We started to seek a new vocalist. Ville saw our advertisement in social media, came to audition and got us convinced. He joined us late 2011.
Genre: We believe that there is a certain crystallization of ideals and predilections during teenage years of human individuals. Those inclinations tend to last throughout our lives. We have lived our youths during the 80s and 90s when this style of death metal was at its prime. Trends come and go, but for us old school death metal is the undead that never truly sleeps.
Evolution of the musical and thematic elements: As a new band, back in 2007 our first two years were quite experimental. The midtempo has always been a key element in our music, but we were not sure should we go more thrashy or doomy way etc. It can be heard from our first demo called “Battlefield” back in 2008. Our second demo “Bullet trails” (released 2009) makes a water mark in our music. After it we knew quite well what direction we should go and what we want to sound like. After that there has been some natural development in song structures and dynamics etc.
Lyrics, themes and concepts: Ville has taken vocal influence from several great frontmen, mostly David Vincent, Antti Boman and Mille Petrozza. In lyrics we explore war-themes from varied angles. Some songs are pretty straight forward death and destruction. Others deal with the consequences of war, like how it can cripple nations and destroy people. In songwriting, we have some kind of story for every song on basis, maybe even some lyrics already. This effects also the song structure quite a lot: it is impossible to make a merry chorus for a song that is based upon innocent victims buried under burning napalm.
Ideas about products so far: We have quite a unique sound and there is not many bands playing the same kind of music like us, so that makes us happy in current situation. As we are quite humble guys, we think we have lots of unused potential in our songwriting and performing live. Probably we will never reach the peak, but the best Shrapnel Storm is yet to come!
Reception: After our fourth release “We come in peace…” -promo we´ve been concentrating quite heavily on promotional issues, and we´ve gladly noticed that people are starting to find our band. It is sure that our music is dividing opinions: some people like us really much, and some can’t listen to us at all. Overall, we’ve received pretty good feedback and reviews. Feedback in our gigs has been also positive.
Our genre is old school death metal, and we think everybody can confirm it is not the media sexiest one nowadays. That makes our task to spread the music challenging. If we make a profile of our typical fan, he is in his thirties, has lived the golden age of midtempo death metal twenty years ago, used to wear tight black jeans and hi-top sport shoes back then. Those guys are not the easiest to find today. But thus far, we´ve managed to do it quite well.
Preference; live or studio: This is a 50/50 question. Playing live is always cool, and we love it of course. There is always social side of playing live as well: you get to know new bands, make new friends etc. Opposite that, sometimes it is cool to take some distance to everything else and concentrate 100% into recording. Recording sessions are always special moments and records are the physical products people get into their hands. A record is like a business card; it reminds people about the band and everybody can buy one.
Next step; live or studio: We´re always interested to play live, and currently we have a few confirmed tour dates in our calendar. Unfortunately those shows are in Finland only, but hopefully we get in the future some dates abroad as well. Our plan is to do as many gigs as possible before summer, and then go to studio and start recording our debut album.
Future plans: Right now we stand 100% behind our thing, and that´s the most important thing to be a successive band. As mentioned earlier, we have had very positive feedback and we´re getting more people day by day behind us. So things look pretty good, indeed. Finding a trustworthy and devoted label would make it a jackpot for us, so that´s our near term goal.
Composers: Aki is our main songwriter. Usually he creates a template for a song at home, and then makes a demonstration for the rest of the band in rehearsal. After that, we start turning the song into Shrapnel Storm format together. Aki is quite the inspirational guy, so the formation process is not always easy.
When we write a new song, Aki usually has some thematic ideas about vocals. Ville takes his wishes into account, and writes the final lyrics.
Inspirations: Every one of us has their own musical favourites, which surely are affecting our music either directly or indirectly. By listening to us, you can see quite easily that our main inspiration comes from 90´s Florida death metal bands. So if you´ve heard of Obituary, Bolt Thrower, Cannibal Corpse etc., you´re in the potential danger zone to become our fan!
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake: Music comes always first. We make our songs for ourselves, but of course we don´t mind if somebody else likes our stuff. Performing live is a bit different, though. You always need to think what is best for the audience, like making the set list interesting, choosing a killer cover song etc.
Greatest Accomplishment: The biggest accomplishment for us is our current form and music. Two years ago when our co-founder left the band, we were heading without a direction for a while. There was some general laziness to do new music or to rehearse etc. Some call them signs of a split-up? After the lineup change, pretty much everything of that bad attitude disappeared. We set new targets for the band, and some of those are already exceeded! We are currently stronger than ever and living a new dawn in our camp. …And to be honest: our new songs are KILLER stuff!!!
Anything else? We´re working hard to get our debut album out and the target is to start the recordings in the first half of 2014. As we´re a relatively new act for the people, do not forget to spread word for your metalhead friends about us. We´re also quite active band in social media, so in case of questions, inquiries or something else, please do not hesitate to contact us on Facebook or Reverbnation.