Two bands, two sounds, one war in common. Warcrab are seeing their debut album Scars of Aeons coming out on Black Bow Records, which is a fantastic starting block for them. I was lucky to enjoy them play live at one of the (now legendary) Summer Sizzlers in Brixton, and I remember the length of their beards! And there were comparisons to Bolt Thrower and Slayer, chatting to the singer on their merch stand he did a good job of selling their sound to me.
So this new album sees their sound slower than I remember with a powerhouse of six members creating a sludge fest, seeping forth through my speakers. It starts slow and deep and hard, then the head nodding starts and I can still understand the comparisons with Bolt Thrower, especially with their titles such as “Conquest” and “Destroyer of Worlds.” With a large contingent of players they do ooze an immense rumbling racket. Kind of at the junction where hardcore sludge meets heavy doom whilst playing a classic Metallica at the slowest speed on the turn table.
“In the Shadow of Grief” gets very death metally in a growly way, and has some super guitar leads to pique your interest. And “Bury Before I’m Born” continues with this shredding as its opening gambit. “Scars of Aeons” is a ten minuter, so they allow this one to burn slowly and develop organically, as if they haven’t anywhere special to be. It covers all their bases and encapsulates their sound very well.
Warfist are a different breed of war. Blackened thrash from Poland and demonstrate European thrash at its best, think Sodom playing “Nuclear Winter” on repeat. “Metal to the Bone” is a call to arms back from the 80s when thrashing was the avant-garde of extremities. “Written with Blood” breaks down to some awesome chugging moshing parts, whilst “Convent of Sin” takes the Slayer-esque approach of just getting on with it.
This reeks of eastern European industrial landscapes similar to how Kreator sounded as they stood out so much from the Bay Area cleanliness of that time. And so to today we have a thrash renaissance of the sunny side thrash, Warfist have nailed their banner firmly on the darker European sound.
Set closer “Reclaim the Crown” opens with what I thought might have been a drum intro, but it sounds like he dropped his sticks unexpectedly on the snare as it blasts off after one second straight in to an aural assault.
Thrash rules! Get Metal to the Bone from Godz of War Productions.
I can’t choose a side, so I have decided to start a tribute band, anyone want to join me in Crab Fist?