Warzaw – Black Magic Satellite

Black Magic Satellite Album Cover Art

Warzaw – Black Magic Satellite
Self-Released
Release Date: 31/12/21
Running Time: 45:05
Review by Simon Black
6/10

The sophomore release for Norway’s Trad Metallers Warzaw picks up where their debut “Werewolves on Wheels” left off, pausing only to add a little more polish. This is a band that wear their very 80’s influence patches very clearly on their collective band battle jacket, with lots of NWOBHM and similar 80’s infused touches loudly and proudly on display. This is a backbone of solid riffage with melodic vocal lines which probably have more in common with the likes of Dokken than the more in your face high end screaming of your Halfords or Dickinsons that the British end of the era delivered. 

The whole thing is very 80’s in sound too, with production values that feel like they are trying to sound of that age as well although it feels a more mature affair in the song-writing department than their brash debut. For me that retro production feel is not always the best strategy, as I feel it’s always better if bands can nod to the influences through the song-writing but keep the production bang up to date, otherwise too much effort is wasted in the retro sound rather than authenticity in the tunes. That said, musically they do capture that ethos, although the vocals feel a little too proud in the mix. Daniel Rønning has a strong and distinctively raw voice, with quite a considerable range and enough charisma to carry the band’s sound. But the way it’s mixed makes it sound like it’s all about him and a backing band, rather than one cohesive band, which is a shame as the performances from the other three are spot on.

It’s one of those albums that’s worth bearing with, as the better material doesn’t start to predominate until the halfway point, with the first few numbers feeling that little too obvious. By the time you get to ‘Shot Of Poison’ it feels like they’ve got the balance right, although the retro mixing remains intrusive, but musically they’re firing on all cylinders, and they certainly know a thing or two about effective arrangements, with enough technical flourishes to stop this being too run of the mill. A focus on sounding of the moment rather than one long gone and this bunch could go the distance.

Circle Talk – Official Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Santa Mira
02. Fierce Attitude
03. Send My Regards
04. Lightning From the Clear Sky
05. Circular Talk
06. Machine Gun Fire
07. Where the Bodies Are Buried
08. Shot of Poison
09. Pistols at Dawn
10. Altar of Pleasure
11. Sabres of Flesh and Blood

LINE-UP:
Daniel Rønning – Vocals
Håvard Alvarez – Guitars
Trond Jullumstrø – Guitars, bass
Mats Sødahl – Drums

LINKS:

Warzaw Promo Pic

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