Swedish duo Wanton Attack promise much on their self titled debut, which is accompanied by a press release that mentions names like Mercyful Fate, Ostrogoth and John Carpenter…
And whilst those three names can be found to crop up across the seven tracks on offer, there is plenty more to enjoy on this short-but-sweet album. Opening track Demonic Forces Prevail throws a bit of lo-fi Voivod into the mix, which works surprisingly well given the band’s overall ‘trad’ stance. In fact the slightly primitive production job gives a real veneer of authenticity to proceedings, almost as if you’re listening to an early eighties demo by a band that went on to bigger, better things.
It’s clear that vocalist Micael Zetterberg – he also drums on this release – harbours a bit of a King Diamond fetish, and if he can’t always hit the crystalline highs of his hero he puts in a workmanlike shift throughout that is at least in the same postcode.
Partner in crime Niklas Holm supplies guitars and bass, and his six string work is remorselessly effective, especially on the album’s title track, which is probably the best of the bunch here; his solos on The Beast Will Be Tamed are also bang on the money.
Together the pair work up quite a head of steam, and you can certainly hear the ghosts of Mercyful Fate circa 1983 on The Beast Will Be Tamed which suggests that, despite my reservations, the band are going quite some way to achieving their stated war aims. Maybe given a bigger budget and a better studio they may really be in with a chance to hit retro metal paydirt. What they may lose in that primitive appeal I mentioned earlier could easily be recouped with a bigger, more bombastic sound. Whatever they decide to do, I’m looking forward to hearing what they come up with next!
Wanton Attack releases on September 24th.