Didn’t The Beatles do song called “Norwegian Wood”? No idea why that occurred to me as Shot At Dawn are most definitely Norwegian metal and have very little in common with The Beatles. It might however be that my brain has gotten fried by excessive exposure to power chords and robo drums beloved of that forged musical genre.
Certainly, for the first few songs on their album “White Trash Metal Brigade” there seems to be little out of the ordinary. The drummer sounds like a deranged drum machine on amphetamines, the singer growls out the nihilistic lyrics with theatrical conviction and there are a lot of power chords charging about the place with no particular place to go. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.
Then, halfway through “Written in Scars”, Shot At Dawn suddenly go way over the top like some Abba covers band high on ketamine and blood lust. The guitarists, Christopher Ekerholt Marchand and Åge "Ogee" Trøite, inject an unholy amount of melody without warning and Jonathan Priskorn Kjeldsen lightens up on the four packs a day growling and gets all emotional instead taking it through into “Seize The Night” just in time for a Rage In the Machine style breakdown. First impressions do mislead after all.
Now fully relaxed and realised, or so it seemed anyway, Shot At Dawn then ramped their game right up for “Black Venom” that featured a right macho stroller of a guitar solo. A big ending for the album perhaps? Not quite as the one for the road, “Thunders From The North”, grew from a – dare I say it – subtle beginning to an effective and clever compendium of genre attributes. Like the man said, “I am the god of hellfire but I’m not wearing any underpants!”
Shot At Dawn have given us an album of galvanised metal that isn’t going to rust anytime soon.
Available from Bandcamp.