Crowbar / Sever The Wicked Hand

Sever The Wicked Hand

Crowbar is an American sludge metal band from New Orleans, Louisiana, characterized by their extremely slow, low-keyed, heavy and brooding songs that also contain fast hardcore punk passages. Crowbar is considered to be one of the most influential metal bands to come out of the New Orleans metal scene.

The Analysis:

Isolation [Desperation]—-For me, the remarkable thing about this band is the dense sound they produce while still sounding incredibly clear and tight. This is deep sludge at times, but never loses sight of the melodic lines that are actually necessary to produce songs. The vocal is nice….brutal at times, but still understandable and filled with lyrics that are full of angst and anger. Just remarkable!

Sever The Wicked Hand—-This is delivered at a much faster pace….keeping the intensity and the momentum at full throttle. the vocal for me is phenomenal…there is surprising clarity and a melody that allows the song to be listenable even during the heaviest moments. For me, this is a triumphant release!

Liquid Sky And Cold Black Earth—-This begins so achingly slow that you almost want to fast forward through the intro…but the ensuing sludge and darkness is well worth the wait. This builds and builds…creating layers of sadness and doom that will stick with you for some time. This is the Blackest Sabbath I have heard in quite some time….proving that darkness and despair is alive and well in the US Metal scene. The vocal….damn near perfect!!!!

Let Me Mourn—-Returning to a faster but none the less just as crisp delivery, the band seems to me to be playing better than ever. This band manages to create a huge wall of sound that makes me smile inside in a secret maniacal kind of way. There are some marvelous Alice In Chains styled harmonies on this song that are not only surprising, but damn pleasant as well. This is fantastic!!!

The Cemetery Angels—-Much faster and making me think of classic Testament, this is laden with bass but still manages to sound crisp and clear. There is a remarkable melody that runs through the song…only heightened by the harmonies that are produced by overdubbing or the entire band actually singing all together. This is a monstrous track….a huge wall of sound.

As I Become One—-Still led off by a barrage of deep bass, the song has a jaunty lead line that saves it from sounding a bit too much like everything else. the vocal is classic…reminding me more of Chuck Billy everytime I hear it. This is fantastic….something I will be listening to for quite some time. The break in the middle of the song makes it even more phenomenal!!!

A Farewell To Misery—-Beginning with a ballad style intro, you wonder right away where this is all going to go. It certainly creates a mood at the very onset that is almost impossible to shake…the deep and morose bass line is heavy and mournful. The vocal enters…in an almost monk like chant style…..adding to the heavy sadness of the track…this is damn near brilliant!!!

Protectors Of The Shrine—-Returning to full on throttle Sabbath mode, the song is almost a shock after the previous entry…but welcome as it returns the band to what they do the best. This is darker than ever…the lyrics are intense as anything on this release. the drums are monstrous as they seem moved up in the mix. This is stellar….rock on…..

I Only Deal In Truth—-Crisp and concise, this has an almost crunching sound to it. This reminds me more of Kingdom Of Sorrow than Crowbar, but anything new is welcome from this band. The vocal is tortured as are the lyrics….intense and dark….just as the Dr. ordered them to be. Again, the drums are impressive as hell as are the vocals…you are able to easily catch damn near every word.

Echo An Eternity—-Beginning with another huge melodic line that combines the best of the bass sound of the band with nice high hats and leads, the vocal enters and you are treated to the closet thing to a ballad this band has ever produced. This is remarkable….nice harmonies…incredible lyrics and a slow plodding feel that fits the mood incredibly well. Masterful!!!

Cleanse Me, Heal Me—-With a HUGE drum intro, and a lead line that threatens to almost overwhelm the ever-present bass delivery, this is as close to Thrash as this band gets. This sounds so much like Kingdom Of Sorrow….I can almost hear Jasta singing his way through the track. It is almost hard at times to even differentiate the vocals from one band to the other…there are many similarities. This is incredible…..never a complaint!!!

Symbiosis—-Another of those releases that I hate to see end, the band manages to leave us as fresh and invigorated as they greeted us. This is a huge track…..the sound is a big wall of deep and dark sound that makes me smile my broadest smile yet. The vocal is so Osbourne…I can almost hear Sabbath dripping live from the ceiling in approval. A huge song….better than the opener…leaving me with a thirst that every record should leave a listener with!!!!

**** 1/2 out of 5


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