Trondheim natives Warzaw are here with their first album, a self-released effort which is due for release at the end of this month. And very nice it is too!

I’d originally earmarked the band for inclusion in my latest Crusade of Power column, but repeated immersions in Werewolves on Wheels led me to the conclusion that they were actually well worth a full album review. Thunderous tracks like Deathwaves and Spitfire are spirited attempts at harnessing the power and indeed the glory of eighties metal; the band may occasionally wear their influences a bit too proudly on their sleeves but this is, after all, a debut effort so I think we can cut them a bit of slack this time around!

Vocalist Daniel Rønning reaches for a few notes that are out of his grasp occasionally, but for the most part his voice, which veers from gruff Hetfieldisms to Ozzy around the time of Diary of a Madman, is fit for purpose for the sort of riffy metal the rest of his mates are churning out.  Håvard Alvarez and Trond Jullumstrø are already a fully fledged guitar partnership worthy of note; they mesh together well and possess a crunchy, crushing tone that will appeal to old metal fans immediately.

The band go about their business efficiently, meaning there is no real flab here – no songs are allowed to stay beyond their welcome and there’s little or no experimentation on show (save for the slightly gothic overtones of Mind Eraser, where the band stray off the eighties metal path just a little), which means you’re signing up for some pleasant and very uncomplicated metal if you decide to give this a go. What the band lack at the moment in genuinely classic song writing they more than make up for in attitude and skill, and this is a more than creditable debut effort. Great stuff!

Werewolves on Wheels releases on January 22nd.