Last year, when this website was launched, we put together a compilation of underground death metal tracks (which you can still find here) and on that compilation, we featured Warcrab from U.K.. Last year these guys released their EP titled ‘Ashes of Carnage’ and somehow it slipped under our radar. Now Contagion Records recently re-released this EP and this time, I’m not going to miss the opportunity to talk about it. Sonically, Warcrab make one of the heaviest forms of metal by marrying sludge metal atmosphere and thick guitar tones with death metal song writing.
Though this is a short EP that lasts for only about 26 minutes, Warcrab ensure that maximum destruction is caused. ‘In This Iron Tomb’ begins with eerie industrial sounds before the full force of the distortion hits the listener square in the face. The thick, fuzzy guitar tone and the massive sounding bass combine to form a dense, claustrophobic atmosphere. But the band does not rely on heaviness alone. The song writing flows from slow droning doom metal riffs to sudden bursts of blastbeats and death metal riffs.
Warcrab are one of those bands that manage to make fresh music by making use of existing tricks and tropes. Within all the buzz-saw guitar riffs and heavy bass tones, the band adds little doses of melody as heard in ‘Lay All to Waste’, that adds a fresh dimension to the music. While the majority of the record is devoid of any semblance of melody, the few well timed lead guitar touches and guitar solos showcase that these guys know how to write a good track without overdoing anything.
The grinding riffs themselves have an enjoyable quality to them. Groove is something that is put to good measure here, giving the riffs a rock n’ roll feel. This is very evident in ‘Scourge of the Usurper’. ‘Entombed in Flames’, the longest track on the EP, starts on a thrashy note with fast paced riffs and high pitched snarls. What makes this track worth noting is the way it flows makes the song feel shorter than it actually is. It doesn’t feel like an 8 minute track and by the time the solo towards the end of the track finishes, it just feels like it’s been a couple of minutes.
This EP sports a very bombastic and loud production. The thumping bass, fuzzy guitars and the thick atmospheres are well represented here. Vocals do tend to get a bit lost in the mix, which is a shame because the vocalist has a good variation of high snarls and low growls.
Warcrab is a force to be reckoned with and this EP is a thick slab of sludge death. If you like it sludgy, think no more and pick up ‘Ashes of the Carnage’.