I like the simple things, in music as well as in life. Let me explain…..
Now in “real life” I’m somewhat of an accomplished barbecue chef. While I enjoy, and get a kick out of doing long, slow cooks like briskets and pork shoulders where there’s plenty to fuck up, nothing blows my skirt up like a decent hamburger. Not some poncey Heston Blumenthal burger made from aardvark lungs or whatever, just an honest to goodness bum basic hamburger. It’s where you start in this game and if you can nail that then there’s a good chance the rest of your cooks will be decent too. I’m the same with metal too. Give me a catchy memorable riff, some pounding rhythms and a squirt of attitude & originality and odds on I’ll like it. Give me the rough and ready Stockholm buzz of Paganizer, Grave and Unleashed any day over the head bending fret wankery of, say, Meshuggah or Obscura. You see where I’m going?
Now, that brings me to this slab of sonic devastation fired at us by the lumbering great sonic fucking Kaiju that is Plymouth’s Warcrab.
This is the band’s second album and their first release for Transcending Obscurity Records, a label based in Mumbai that has a very impressive roster indeed. This will be the first time the album has been released as a physical copy (check out the sexy box sets!) having previously come out as a digital only release late last year. Their first, self-titled, album came out in 2012 and an EP “Ashes Of Carnage” was released in 2014. Don’t ask me what they’re like because at time of writing I’d not heard them. Trust me though, that’s gonna change because this album “Scars Of Aeons” is fucking immense and truly the heaviest thing I’ve heard so far this year. You like death metal? You like sludge? You like a bit of doom? These blokes will tick all your boxes & part your fucking eyebrows for yer!
The eerie intro to track one, “Conquest” sounds like some Lovecraftian monster waking from its slumber which leads into a martial drum beat and a monumentally heavy riff, crushing in its simplicity the pace picks up with a metric fuckton of groove landing on you at about 3m40s. This song is a call to arms & a fist pumping deathsludge anthem. It’s also eight and a half minutes long!!!! Now I don’t usually like long songs…. and this ain’t the longest one on the record either, but you’ll be so concerned with dodging the hail storm of massive anvils raining down on you to notice.
“Destroyer Of Worlds” is next and does exactly what it says on the tin. Faster and more straightforward this is followed by “In The Shadow Of Grief” which has a gorgeously melodic yet still crushing opening riff which reminds me of early Candlemass. This track is a six minute masterclass in heavy metal mastery. You’d think you’d be in for some filler now but no mate, have a slice of “Bury Me Before I’m Born” which smacks you with the catchiest, grooviest riff on the album and is just a brilliant, premier league neck bothering banger of a track. This will be mental live!
Finishing off with the epic, ten minute plus title track the band close the album in style with a song that ebbs and flows along a driving central riff and features a stellar vocal performance from Martyn Grant whose savage growls really shine throughout the album to be honest. The knob twiddling by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios is spot on too. Every little nuance is rendered all the more impactive especially the drums of Rich Parker.
This is a belter of a record. You will genuinely love Warcrab after hearing this and if you don’t then I don’t like you. Right, enough gushing. Cheers lads, this is a killer record.
(9/10 Mark Eve)