My third visit on the European metal trip makes a stop at the continents fourth smallest country Liechtenstein 🇱🇮 (and possibly the hardest one to spell?) . The 62 square mile Alpine principality is sandwiched in-between Austria and Switzerland. In the FIFA rankings for European teams they’re also fourth from bottom there, having recently surpassed Malta.
When I looked up the country on the Metal Archives site it only threw up twelve bands from the country and Shotgun from Schaan were the only one to be listed as a thrash metal band. I managed to find the bands only release to date on Spotify, but you need to look for Shotgun Blast on the streaming site. I was pleasantly surprised with what I was hearing, retro thrash with a very Slayer and Exodus sound, one of the guitar riffs on Possessed by Shredding Demons could almost be something the late Jeff Hanneman could have written.
With modern technology I had already contacted vocalist Bruno via Facebook and sent my Euros via PayPal for a physical copy of the CD within 24 hours of deciding to do this 55 band task. I made the conscious decision to try and buy something from every band I want to include in this list, so this could take a while to complete.
I though this was the first band from Liechtenstein to be included in my iTunes library, even after reading the list of a dozen bands. For Christmas my wife was more than generous enough to buy me an iMac as I got frustrated with the old and slow PC that I’ve been using for far too long. This meant that my whole music library had to be switched from one computer to the other. That‘s a task I really despise as it’s so time consuming after I’ve switched machines. I lose all my playlists and song counts and the transfer messes with a lot of the artwork. Some of the artwork that iTunes replaces the correct stuff with is often hilarious too. Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime II album was replaced with Wolf Eyes by Paul Winter, definitely something I’ve never heard of!
Any time I had spare between Christmas Day evening and up to last weekend was spent painstakingly going through how many thousands of artists and albums I have and replacing as much artwork as I could find had gone errant. Twenty days on, and a week after I thought I’d got it all, I’m still seeing white gaps.
One of the bands I needed artwork for was an album called Griefshire by a gothic metal band called Elis (a substandard Nightwish clone) who I found out a few days ago were from Liechtenstein’s capital city Vaduz. So Shotgun weren’t the first band I heard from the country, but I can safely say it was the first piece of mail that I received from there, and over the years I’ve received a lot of envelopes from many different countries.
Have a listen to these guys if you’re into the whole retro thrash revival thing. All their music is readily available on Spotify, YouTube and if you like it get in touch with them via Facebook and put your money where your thrash metal loving mouth is and purchase the disc. I hope the band get a break in the future as I’d love to get the chance to see the band live sometime so all I need to do now is persuade my wife that a holiday to Switzerland and the surrounding areas is a good idea.