Reviewed: July 2010
Released: 2010, Relapse Records
For some the mere suggestion of Jamie Jasta\’s involvement in any project is enough to send them into state of perpetual unrest. Abhorrent of the modern metalcore ambassador\’s shouty antics, even Napalm Death had accusations of selling out hurled in their general direction when they invited him to make a cameo appearance on THE CODE IS RED… a few years back.
Of course, such blanket impugning is flawed, proven en masse first on the blistering Icepick debut and then with Kingdom of Sorrow. Where on paper a communion between Jamie and long-time hero, Kirk Windstein (known otherwise as the wounded lion giving voice to New Orleans sludge savants, Crowbar) may have appeared to be a clash of ideals, the pair took to each other like glue. An almost perfect blend of Hatebreed\’s brutish beatdowns and Crowbar\’s emotive thuggery, their sophomore outing actually manages to iron out what little wrinkles that first meeting exhibited and BEHIND THE BLACKEST TEARS is a thoroughly exhilarating listen as a result. Capturing both in peak performance mode, \”God\’s Law In The Devil\’s Land\” is a prime example of the band\’s potency, as thick Sabbath-esque riffing collides with a walloping chorus and vocal interplay that\’s nothing short of masterful. Hot on its heels as an album highlight is \”Heroes To Dust\” – darker and more brooding, but no less hard hitting and wafting heavily of what the next Crowbar might have in store for us.
That said, there really Isn\’t a weak moment here. From start to finish BEHIND THE BLACKEST TEARS treats the listener to thirteen carefully crafted tracks that forge a connection almost immediately, but demand repeated replays to fully appreciate. These so-called supergroups very rarely are, but for once this is a duo where the sum exceeds the parts.
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