Tuesday 19 December 2023


Italian three piece Warcoe make no bones about what has influenced their sound, even adding to their Bandcamp page the legend "recommended for fans of: Black Sabbath, Pagan Altar and Pentagram". The band, Carlo (bass); Francesco (drums) and Stefano Fiorelli (guitar/vocals), are not troubled by being dubbed as "sabbathian" or being called "sabbath worshipers" in fact they actually embrace those terms and when you listen to to how close they come on their latest album, "A Place For Demons" (Regain Records/ Morbid and Miserable Records), to capturing that iconic Sabbath sound while still managing to hold on to their own musical identity, who can blame them.

Things kick off with title track "A Place For Demons" a song that shows why this band succeed while so many Sabbath sounding bands fall by the wayside, the vocals most certainly possess an essence of Ozzy-like nasality but the grooves supporting that vocal are unlike anything Iommi, Butler and Ward would have put together, there is a metallic rawness at play here that is far more stoner metal than it is proto-doom. Next track "Pyramid of Despair" is much closer to the tried and tested proto-doom attack of some of early dooms big hitters and its vocal melody is pure Sabbath "Vol.4" in flavour but again there are those subtle shades gleaned from present day metal that give the song it s own signature edge. Just like Sabbath did on many of their albums Warcoe throw in a curveball acoustic piece, this one is  called "Rune Dweller" and Desert Psychlist has to admit to enjoying it much more than we did some of Sabbath's more off-piste excursions. "Leaves" is up next and finds the band jamming a groove that leans more towards Pentagram than Sabbath and boasts a vocal with an un Ozzy-like gothic tone. There is a The Sword like feel to following track "Ishkur" albeit with an element of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats in its vocal melodies while "Boys Become Kings" boasts a melodies and a riffs that'll be going around in your head for days. Penultimate track "Wounds Too Deep To Heal" is a mid-tempo doomic barnburner that carries an essence of that other Sabbath worshipping unit Orchid in its sonic attack and leads us nicely on to the albums final number "Buio" a nine minute plus instrumental riff fest that constantly alternates between a slow chug and a crawl, hardly ever deviating from these two dynamics but still able to retain the listeners attention from its start to its finish

Fans of Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Pagan Altar WILL no doubt enjoy Warcoes's "A Place For Demons" but so will fans of The Sword, Sheavy, Orchid, Uncle Acid and anyone who still holds a torch for riff heavy rock grooves that come replete with a good melody. 
Check 'em out .... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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