Ah, Warcrab. I'm not one for humour in my metal - Ziltoid is lost on me, and Austrian Death Machine is anathema to my ears - and so, based purely on their name, I'd given Warcrab a wide-birth for a long time. Kudos, then, to Spotify for forcing them on me in one of my daily mixes a few months ago. My preconceptions were, on face value, way off the mark. It's still a dumb name, but the music they make is seriously massive.
The album kicks off with a brief instrumental, which is beautiful to begin with, but soon becomes tiresome (as soon as the electric guitars kick in, followed by a weird tremolo-picked melody). I'm not a fan of intro tracks to begin with - they rarely serve any purpose - and this one just isn't very interesting, connected to the overall musical theme, or well executed. 'Halo of Flies' - the first proper track - has a doomy Carcass vibe, and I love it. Track 4, 'Blood for the Blood God' (a Warhammer reference, apparently), is a stand-out track. Starting at a glacial pace, the song kicks into that mid-pace chugging that Bolt Thrower did so well. Elsewhere, the album alternates between sludgy doom and trotting headbanging.
In fact, you can just about boil down Warcrab's sound to two titans of the death metal genre - Carcass (vocally) and Bolt Thrower (musically) - with a smattering of generic doom. Is it unoriginal? Absolutely. Does it matter? I don't think so. I mourn the loss of Bolt Thrower, one of Britainís most consistently brilliant metal bands, and so anything that gets close to replicating that sound (and the song-writing prowess) gets my vote. However, it's hard to see how Warcrab can continue trading on nostalgia for other bands. I'd like to see them further develop their own sound (tracks like closers 'Swords' and 'Damnati', which seem to abandon obvious pastiche in favour of an amalgamation of influences). However, Warcrab are now on album number four, I believe, so they are either playing an extremely long game, or they're content to rest in their niche.
Despite my misgivings towards the band's originality, I have to say that I still enjoyed every minute of my time with 'Damned in Endless Night' (expect for the intro). The performance is solid, the writing sharp, and the production makes everything shake with clarity. It's happy to present musical ideas that a lot of other bands have done before them, but it does it so well that it's easy to forgive.
DAMNED IN ENDLESS NIGHT
Review by Steve Cowan
30th August 2019
2) Halo of Flies
3) In the Arms of Armageddon
4) Blood for the Blood God
5) Abyssal Mausoleum
6) Magnetic Fields Collapse
7) Kraken Arise
8) Unfurling Wings of Damnation
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...you can just about boil down Warcrab's sound to two titans of the death metal genre - Carcass (vocally) and Bolt Thrower (musically) - with a smattering of generic doom."