CROWBAR
"Sever The Wicked Hand"

(eOne)

01. Isolation (Desperation)
02. CROWBARThe Wicked Hand
03. Liquid Sky And Cold Black Earth
04. Let Me Mourn
05. The Cemetery Angels
06. As I Become One
07. A Farewell to Misery
08. Protectors Of The Shrine
09. I Only Deal In Truth
10. Echo An Eternity
11. Cleanse Me, Heal Me
12. Symbiosis

RATING: 8/10

So let me get this straight. For two decades a self-medicated Kirk Windstein (vocals/guitar) was making with CROWBAR some of the most enormously riffed, supremely composed NOLA misery metal albums ever recorded, up to and including 2005's "Lifesblood For The Downtrodden". Then the guy gets clean and sober, and look what happens; he makes another enormously riffed, supremely composed album of NOLA misery metal. In terms of scientific classification, that makes him a fucking machine. CROWBAR hasn't made a bad album yet and "Sever The Wicked Hand" is no exception.

Produced by Windstein, engineered by Duane Simoneaux, and mixed/mastered by Zeuss, "Sever The Wicked Hand" is the best-sounding CROWBAR album yet, even if some of rawness of the guts and sludge sound of earlier releases has softened a pinch. But the differences are marginal at best and the emotive guitar work of Windstein, as well as the sorrowful atmospherics, pours of this bad bay like blood from deep wounds, which when you get right down to it is the essence of any CROWBAR album. Universally known as a riff king for his trademark style, Windstein has again written an album full of ridiculously weighty ones, the kind that seem to drag the listener down into a deep black hole of human sorrow. And the accompanying personal lyrics ensure the listener stays put and wallows in it, that is, when he's not reveling in the sonic crunch of it all. The weeping guitar melody that opens "Isolation (Desperation)" and soon transform into a mean, desperate riff welcomes all back into the CROWBAR fold. "Liquid Sky And Cold Black Earth" and "Echo An Eternity" exemplify the rivers of suffocating melancholy that comprise one side of the CROWBAR experience, while the tough chug, accentuated with double bass bursts, of "Protectors Of The Shrine" and the up-tempo "The Cemetery Angels" represent the side expressing blind rage and contempt.

If anything sets this one apart from previous CROWBAR releases it is a songwriting approach from a rejuvenated Windstein that offers more variety and attention to detail. Take the half-gallop chug that turns to ascending lick on the quick paced "Cleanse Me, Heal Me", for example. A haunting piece called "A Farewell to Misery" that features Duane Simoneaux's piano and Patrik Plata's choral vocals is a nice touch as well. No doubt about it; "Sever The Wicked Hand" is indisputable proof that Windstein hasn't lost a step and that CROWBAR continues to stand alone as an iconic NOLA metal act.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to block users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.