When Warcrab’s latest release came around for review, I put my hand up straight away as I have always had a soft spot for the Plymouth based six piece, based solely on a chance viewing of their set at Bloodstock a few years ago in the New Blood Stage. I think it may have been an early Saturday afternoon and replete with hangovers and equal lashings of rain-soaked camo shorts and sunburnt heads, we were initially intrigued by the band name and then as Warcrab’s set progressed equally engrossed by their expertly executed death/sludge/metal amalgam. It wasn’t perfect by any standard and the sound/PA wasn’t the worlds best, but I was taken with their infectious songs and groovy death metal.
And so, from Bloodstock to present day and Warcrab have returned with this their third full length effort and you can tell that, not only does Damned in Endless Night’ up the ante in terms of song writing nous, but the production on offer here is slick and the playing is excellent At times you can hear smidgeons of Pantera here and there but the major influence that comes across loud and clear is that of latter-day Carcass. It’s all over this like a rash but not a horrid flesh-eating variety or one that’ll see you cock drop off, but a wonderful warm rash that’s busts like so many colours all over your soul and nourishes your mind. Whilst the Carcass influences (certainly in the vocal delivery and some of the epic sounded guitar solos) a worn with pride (and why the fuck not?) there is also a slower, growly, sludgy undercurrent that saves this from just being a slickly executed handjob on Jeff Walker etc, which appears loud and clear on track such as ‘Blood For The Blood God’ which slows the pace and growls its way to a heavy as fuck conclusion.
It’s on the slower tracks that Warcrab truly shine and it’s a conclusion that I am sure the band have come to also, its here the band truly find their own voice and it is here that the album is elevated to above the ‘Yeah It’s OK’ status to ‘This is pretty fucking decent’ level. There is also some lovely old school thrash infused/Bolt Thrower style guitar chugging present which just adds an additional frisson to what is already a pretty decent effort overall. Comparing this album with the Warcrab I saw many moons ago at Bloodstock is like comparing two completely different bands. They have worked on their songcraft and strived hard to find and mine their own musical identity and the two work streams have converged and conjoined on this album which, whilst not wholly the 100% finished article, it’s not far off and for that the band should be commended.
(7.5/10 Nick Griffiths)