The Howling Silence

Anytime I think of Warcrab, I can’t help but be reminded of the meme/photo of the crab holding a knife. I sometimes identify with that crab. Crabs in general. Something about a hard shell and tasty insides. Legs spread and eaten. Hold on now before we all get hot and bothered. This isn’t that kind of crab.

If you’re unfamiliar with the death/sludge group, this is full-length number 4 in their decade-plus existence. I’ve seen a lot of talk about this being their best, and I am just going to come with it; I may agree.

There’s some goodness sprinkled throughout and you don’t have to look too far. Take for instance the unrelenting heaviness in “Titan of War.” Every section, even the slower ones, are short and seem intent on existing simply so the next one is even heavier. It’s almost like war sludge. The nearly perfect production for the style certainly enhances the experience. There’s a hook and it’s brutal. After that second chorus, there’s a stop, then a dick in the dirt dirge. It gets fast after that, only to get even heavier. Even the solo section has behind it a nasty groove.

If you’re into bass solos and rumbles, may I recommend the next track, “Black Serpent Coils?” No? Too bad. That rumble stays consistent in the mix through most of the runtime. This son of a bitch has “heavy” tattooed on its lower back, especially the section beginning after 3 minutes in, which leads into an epic solo. If this solo gets played in public, it is sure to wet some underwear. I mean, it’ll be that of sweaty metalhead dudes, but beggars can’t be choosers sometimes.

There’s a fucking 9-minute track, so let’s talk about it next. It’s what one could refer to as plodding. It starts slowly and that’s where it stays. Even the solo about halfway through is slow. One might refer to it as… No, I’m not doing it. Sure, the pace does pick up relatively in the second half, but certainly not to what I would call “fast.” However, after the last solo, which is quick, the riff coming back slower, which also equals “heavier” in this case, has more of an impact.

There’s also one that’s nearly 11 minutes, and it’s the closer. Damn it. Nobody listens to me about exhausting, gargantuan finales and I’m sick of it. It’s like no one even recognizes my place on the Board of Directors for Heavy Metal. This song has a stomp that could make those hardcore kids pick up ALL of the change but is still identifiable with trying to wade through a swamp in sandals. I will say the pace does change in this one. It does get slightly faster before the halfway point, leading into a solo. Then of course it gets quiet. Then it gets doomy.

So, the question is should you pick this up? Yeah, bitch. Do it. Warcrab has continued its upward trajectory and got heavier, which is not something typical after a few albums. I’ve only not purchased it yet because I’m waffling. I’ve been thinking about that sick, sexy baseball shirt to go along with it from their label, Transcending Obscurity, which predictably knocks it out of the park again. Of course, their merch game remains the strongest in metal by far, and I highly recommend picking this up.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
December 14th, 2023


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