Back in June, Warcrab celebrated their tenth anniversary with a gig at the Junction in Plymouth. Sadly fate decreed that I was not to attend that event, so tonight was a second chance, given that much of the set, I was promised by Warcrab’s drummer Rich, would reflect the material of that anniversary event.
Warcrab – Monolithian – Fissure Of Riddles
Junction – Plymouth – 16 September 2022
Words: Jools Green
Photography: Keith Conlin
Fissure Of Riddles
This time around, there were different opening and support acts, but you will certainly get no complaints from me regarding this line-up. Opening up the evening were Progressive/Sludge/Post-Metal quartet Fissure Of Riddles from Dorset, who eased us gently into the evening with their hugely engaging, subtly groovy, fuzzy, heavy Doom-rich sound.
They definitely went down well, along with a few chilled beverages, with me and also with the ample crowd that had already assembled. Their well-delivered set was drawn from their 2015 EP Stalactites and their two studio full-lengths, 2018’s Nemea and their newest, The Marble Realm released on 1 April 2022.
Support band Blackened Sludge duo Monolithian were a complete contrast with their brutally heavy material. Simon and Shannon are certainly the most powerful duo I’ve ever crossed paths with over the years.
Shannon is an incredibly powerful drummer, taking no prisoners when it comes to pounding out those rhythms, and Simon’s versatility on bass is impressive. His instrument was a little temperamental for him on this occasion, but he soon showed it who the boss was.
Their performance, the best I’ve seen from them to date, was definitely a masterclass in just what you can do with just vocals, drums and bass. They managed to get a bit of pit movement going, too, with their set, which opened with Barren Sea, followed by The First Day from their 2015 full length, The Finest Day I Ever Lived, Was When Tomorrow Never Came, followed by Rock Biter, then Nyarlathotep and Crone from their 2017 EP The Waning Moon, before going back to their 2011 EP One, with The Dry and finally Sea of Trees form their 2013 split with Ed Wood.
A well-received and appreciated performance by all, from a band that really do not realise just how good they are.
Finally, those Death/Sludge Metal legends Warcrab. Undeniably one of the South West’s hardest working bands, Warcrab are always up for a gig, willing to step in at short notice and have global renown for their studio work.
As promised, their set was drawn from their 2014 Ashes of Carnage EP, and their two most recent studio full-lengths, 2016’s Scars Of Aeons and 2019’s Damned in Endless Night.
Warcrab opened with Halo Of Flies, followed by not just one of my favourites but probably most people, Bury Me Before I’m Born and Conquest, before dropping a couple of new tracks, set to be recorded shortly for their upcoming new studio album.
These were followed by another crowd-pleaser, Destroyer Of Worlds. Two more new tracks, then almost finally, Kraken Arise and Swords. I say almost because they then went on to surprise everyone with an encore of Blood For The Blood God.
Vocalist Martin gave a particularly powerful vocal and visual performance, and drummer Rich actively encouraged the crowd from behind the kit, not that they needed much encouragement at this point. Overall superb set end to end that was all killer, no filler and one that kept the crowd lively and happy.
With gig attendance numbers generally dropping since the pandemic, it was good to see three bands that can still coax a decent crowd out for the evening. Live is always the best way to hear music.