Warcrab are one of South West Englands rising hopes in the Metal scene. Melding the extreme nature of Death and Black Metal with the sonic groove of Sludge and Doom Metal, Warcrab have been violating the delicate tympanic membranes of willing Metal fans since 2010. They received sterling feedback with their 2012 self titled debut record and were instantly established as a leading force in the live scene. Now they’ve returned with their new EP ‘Ashes Of Carnage’ and look to make 2014 theirs.
In This Iron Tomb seems to incorporate an almost Rock n Roll groove into its riffs. That’s not to say the brutality of the past has escaped them, this is still prime savagery at its best. What strikes me most about this track, is the room they give each facet of the band to breathe. As partite riffs stop and start, gratifying drum fills covet the spaces between. You never get the sense you could stop listening without actually missing anything.
Lay All To Waste could be lazily described with the song title alone, but I’m not quite so lackadaisical. Dense with pulsating rhythmic riffs and intermingling solo interludes which immediately bear resemblance to Black Sabbath melodies. The almost psychadelic tone and captivating sustain lend huge sonic diversity to Warcrabs sound. Not many bands can sound brutal yet cosmic and far out at the same time.
Scourge rolls in slowly, but with unwieldy weight. Halfway through the EP, and there’s no sign of repetition. A predominant influence of Stoner Doom arises here. The opening riff is grandiose and dense, and though hard to place, elements which strongly evoke the spirit of Black Metal are prevelant in the mix. I’m increasingly struggling to make trivial comparisons, and this in my experience is the trademark of artists with huge potential.
Entombed In Flames jumps into action with the invigorating groovisms which imbued early Death Metal bands like Entombed, Autopsy and Benediction. Fast paced and joyfully heavy, they attentively build and build layers of awesome with added sprinkles of killer. This takes my vote as the album highlight, and if justice prevails will surely be a live favourite.
Album closer and the aponymously titled Ashes Of Carnage forgoes a slowly mounting intro and dives straight into the zenith of heaviness proliferated throughout what’s surely the most unforgiving track on the album. The fantastic standalone riff about 90 seconds in maneuvers seamlessly into the even more crushing second half, complete with palpitating drum flurries and milk curdling screams.
With Ashes Of Carnage Warcrab will have further strengthened their position as a dominant force in the underground Metal scene. Every moment feels vital and bracing, and the distinct identity they possess can be claimed as their own. I have no doubt they will continue to evolve this sound and find an ever expanding audience. Do yourself a favour and buy it. Hard earned cash could never be spent more wisely.
ASHES OF CARNAGE is released Sept. 1st
Review by Sam Smart