Warcrab
Damned In Endless Night

Transcending Obscurity is on quite a roll in 2019, firmly establishing themselves as one of the best labels going around in the underground metal scene. Already the label has dished up an impressive quota of quality metal releases this year, and with the upcoming The Drowning album yet to drop, there’s plenty more goodness to come. My colleague Jay S wrote a superlative review of Warcrab’s exceptional sophomore LP, Scars of Aeons, a few years back, and now the powerhouse UK purveyors of death, sludge and doom return, set on wreaking havoc and taking their colossally heavy brand of punishing metal to another level.

Warcrab craft their unique identity out of a range of familiar and classic influences, ranging from the bluesy, Sabbathian sludge of Iron Monkey and Crowbar, to the tank-like power and groove of Bolt Thrower, and nods to Necroticism-era Carcass. Warcrab unleash a truly exceptional and destructive platter of power. As good an album as their previous outing proved to be, Damned in Endless Night has it beaten and feels like another gear shift upwards as Warcrab refine and develop their trademark style without sacrificing the brutal nature of their powerhouse sound. Scene setting instrumental “Perpetua” showcases Warcrab’s melodic eloquence, before getting down to business with the dirty riffs and blockbuster death-sludge grooves of “Halo of Flies.”

Warcrab leave nothing left in the tank as they lurch from one stellar song to another, each with their own distinctive hooks and stamp of authority. However, Warcrab’s song-writing is no one tricky pony. Damned in Endless Night is bolstered by smart dynamic shifts littering the album. For instance, Warcrab effortlessly morph from the tortuous doom slog and opening salvo of the tremendous “Blood of the Blood God” into a meaty, upbeat death metal groove that defines the song’s bruising later half. “Kraken Arise” is a dominating beast of formidable death, loaded with infectious riffs and headbanging groove. Meanwhile, the epic “Unfurling Wings of Damnation” does a fine job of representing Warcrab’s darker melancholy hues and emotively powerful melodies.

Thick, oozing, groove-laced death remains at the core of the Warcrab sound, with their notable sludge and doom influences adding further heft, swagger and a vibrant tinge to proceedings, resulting in the mutated hybrid of excellence displayed throughout Damned in Endless Night. Slower, crushing modes of destruction are offset by the band’s livelier forays, such as the bluesy swing and rugged grooves of “Magnetic Fields Collapse.” Warcrab’s triple pronged guitar arsenal sling boulder sized riffs with bulldozing and infectious impact. However it’s the swaggering NOLA-esque blues-sludge riffs, funereal melodies, and scorching solos from lead guitarist Geoff Holmes that elevates already great material. The rest of the band perform admirably, with Martyn Grant’s powerhouse growls and mid-ranged tones the ideal mouthpiece to the punishing music, occasionally recalling Jeff Walker (Carcass). The richly dynamic, bruising production job provides the ideal sonic platform to complement Warcrab’s destructive, uncompromising style.

Warcrab successfully upped the ante and delivered their finest work yet with Damned In Endless Night, stomping confidently into the elite realms of the death metal scene, armed with a brutal artillery of sludge and doom plated death. Damned in Endless Night pounds out brutishly heavy, highly addictive and surprisingly nuanced slabs of death-sludge and is one of the highlights of 2019.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
November 8th, 2019

Comments

  1. Commented by: Holdeneye

    Great review of a great album, Luke! This thing is a wrecking ball, and I see it battering my year-end list ruthlessly.


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