For Fans Of
Residing in the cavernous abode of the deep south’s swampy interior (don’t know how precise this is but it certainly sounds cool), Louisiana’s Crowbar certainly embody a style they have seemingly called their own over the years. Somehow being labelled a sludge metal band would not contain the same appeal if the band styled themselves with fringes and skin tight jeans.
Ninth studio album ‘Sever the Wicked Hand‘ is yet another example of the band’s clear artistic direction. Six years between drinks have not disturbed the flow, with this album following all the trademark elements of it predecessors. With the quartet featuring current and former members of prominent bands such as Down, Goatwhore and Kingdom of Sorrow, it’s clear what the listener is getting into here.
The music is impassioned just as it’s equally pissed off throughout. A constant low tuning ensures ‘Sever the Wicked Hand‘ is not pandering to any mainstream concerns. It is almost a ‘if you like it, awesome…if you don’t, then go away’ mentality. The music is dense and the themes precise.
With riffs that borrow from anything from Black Sabbath to Corrosion of Conformity, album nine is obvious and direct, favouring old school throwback sensibilities. It is essentially dirty with no-nonsense.
‘Isolation (Desperation)‘ is an adequate opening while ‘Let Me Mourn‘ is a nice mid-paced tune that is steady, with some less aggressive vocals. ‘Protectors of the Shrine‘ is heavy and fast, with ‘Liquid Sky and Cold Black Earth‘ the album’s longest song, highlighting the band’s sludge roots.
A small concern is that this offering is a little one-dimensional and at times repetitive. However, this opinion lies with the listener solely. Is it predictable or rather tried and true? Apples and oranges, I guess.
I think bikie bars have just got a new soundtrack to play in their selective taverns.
Much like a Slayer or AC/DC record, surprises are certainly few and far between. Crowbar have a chosen sound and it’s just about getting the best out of it every time as opposed to altering and re-working it. ‘Sever the Wicked Hand’ will sit nicely with fans…and that’s probably all that matters by this stage.
1. Isolation (Desperation)
2. Sever The Wicked Hand
3. Liquid Sky and Cold Black Earth
4. Let Me Mourn
5. The Cemetery Angels
6. As I Become One
7. A Farewell to Misery
8. Protectors of the Shrine
9. I Only Deal In Truth
10. Echo An Eternity
11. Cleanse Me, Heal Me