Two albums in a calendar year! That’s the sort of work ethic only a global pandemic can support, and I must admit I was worried that these Norwegian rivetheads would be able to replicate the (limited) success of their January-released effort Werewolves on Wheels.
I needn’t have worried on that count, for Warzaw‘s Black Magic Satellite is superior in just about every way to it’s predecessor. That album was a joyful, almost naive, celebration of the glories of heavy metal in it’s most classic form. Here, band harness their undoubted skills to spread out from that base, developing a funkier, sleazier sound in the process that is still metal to the core yet gilded with a flamboyant edge that is very easy on the ear. Circular Talk and Machine Gun Fire, for instance, have a real seventies hard rock feel to them, akin to something American D&D fanboys Gygax might have put out. However, for the most part, Warzaw 2.0 still know how to bang heads. Opening track Santa Mia is slightly reminiscent of Sweden’s Mean Streak, and that area – melodic metal, fuelled by Daniel Rønning‘s classy vocals and the searing guitar interplay of Håvard Alvarez and Trond Jullumstrø – would seem to be the band’s strongest suit overall. Have a listen to the superb Shot of Poison for further proof of the band’s true metal credentials…
Best track Where The Bodies Are Buried is sheer, unalloyed class; here the band show just how much they’ve moved on from their debut with a compelling, gets-you-up-and-out-of-your-seat metal anthem that would surely have held it’s own in the mid eighties, which is just about the highest praise you can heap on a modern band operating in this area. It almost beggars belief that this is the same band that released it’s debut full length at the start of the year.
Marvellous stuff, then, and if this band’s improvement rate continues to be this stunningly exponential then album number three – due sometime in the middle of next year, surely – is going to be absolutely off the chain! Can’t wait to hear it!
Black Magic Satellite releases on December 31st.