Warzaw – Werewolves on Wheels (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 27th January 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

Featuring members in various Norwegian groove/heavy, stoner, and doom metal acts as Shotgun Rodeo and Pelagic among others, Warzaw as a four-piece come together to bring a fun-loving, cut loose form of heavy metal on their first full-length Werewolves on Wheels. It’s often pleasurable to just take a trip back to the 80’s, strapping on your favorite musical weapon and ripping out a series of focused tracks like the eleven on display here – delivering catchy hooks, strong melodic choruses, and undeniable tempos that necessitate energy expenditure to the highest degree for the listener.

It’s hard not to headbang like a madman for the instantaneous guitar/drum syncopation for “Dragging Knuckles” – the steady mid-tempo double kick along with supplementary twin guitar accents perfect for those who love W.A.S.P. as much as Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest, especially when Havard Alvarez and Trond Jullumstrø elevate their axe heroics during the lengthy instrumental break. Many times the songs have this uplifting nature to them – not necessarily party anthems, but ideal for cranking at loud volumes due to their addictive rhythms and sleazy/melodic vocal melodies, as “The Second Banana” and “Spitfire” illustrate. You also have the faster, NWOBHM-oriented outings that bring out the best Diamond Head, Jaguar, Blitzkrieg and Iron Maiden moments – “Deathwaves” and the title track sure to illicit cheers from the earthdogs, river rats, and denim/leather clad brigade. The natural bluesy register of Daniel Rønning has similarities to everyone like Pepper Kennan of Corrosion of Conformity to Jarvis Leatherby of Night Demon – engaging, entertaining, and sure to rouse naysayers when airing this material live. Self-produced, Warzaw kept the sound lean, mean and pure, another hallmark of their classic heavy metal style that should pay dividends.

The cartoon-oriented cover art probably tells most much of what to expect from the band. Werewolves on Wheels fires up those youthful memories of classic heavy metal from US/British influences and achieves a solid platter of memorable songs.

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