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Crowbar
Sever The Wicked Hand
February 2011
Released: 2011, Century Media
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Demonator

On the off-chance that Kirk Windstein might one day read this review, allow me to make it emphatically clear that six years is far too lengthy a spell to keep us waiting on a new Crowbar record. Sure we had the two Kingdom of Sorrow records come our way in that time, and there was the small matter of Down's comeback to attend to. But honestly, it's not even close to being the same. For the faithful, Crowbar's music is akin to a religious experience - the sort of band that will readily be name-checked as one of most pivotal acquaintances in the devotee's path to musical maturity. Just ask Jamie Jasta.



So how does SEVER THE WICKED HAND earn it's perfect score exactly? The same way that both of its predecessors most likely would if they were held up to critical inspection today. The fact is that there's nothing particularly innovative about Crowbar's music; that their sound is unique is beyond question, but their blueprint is about as straightforward as they come. That remains the case here. The New Orleans quartet haven't deviated much from their strengths and you would need to go all the way back to 1998's EQUILIBRIUM for a record in the Crowbar canon that bears the closest resemblance to this one. Where they win repeatedly and in spectacular fashion, is in Kirk Windstein's nose for a good song. Like High on Fire's Matt Pike, Windstein has long been one of heavy metal's most under-appreciated tunesmiths and he proves it again in his ability to craft bone-jarring riffs, the likes of which feature prominently on highlights like "Isolation (Desperation)" and "Let Me Mourn" and meld them together with soaring and almost impossibly catchy refrains that will haunt you for weeks after you first heard them.



The real kicker remains the down to earth authenticity that breathes life into everything that Windstein does. From his inimitably wounded croon to lyrics that are often moving without being either pretentious nor narcissistic, it serves to lend a weight of emotive honesty to anything bearing the Crowbar moniker that some may attempt to imitate but few would ever truly emulate. SEVER THE WICKED HAND wears this like a badge of honor and gets everything else you'd expect spot on too. That in mind, maybe I can cut Kirk some slack on his sloth-like pace. Churning records like this out on an annual basis, would frankly not be healthy.
Track Listing

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
12. Symbiosis

Lineup

Kirk Windstein - Vocals, Guitars
Matthew Brunson - Guitars
Patrick Bruders - Bass
Tommy Buckley - Drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Crowbar - Sever The Wicked Hand
Previous review: » Crowbar - Equilibrium

Crowbar
Sever The Wicked Hand
March 2011
Released: 2011, Ent. One Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

It's been six years but New Orleans band 'Crowbar' have finally returned with their Ninth Album release 'Sever The Wicked Hand'. Led by guitarist and vocalist 'Kirk Windstein' who is also in 'Down' and 'Kingdom of Sorrow' this is definitely a band which needs little introduction.



Crowbar were established in back in 1988 but it was 1991 when 'Obedience Thru Suffering' first hit the shelves when 'Thrash Metal' was at its peak and although a lot of time has been spent on the road with 'Down,' its great to see this release has put 'Crowbar' back on the map and the band are seeing this as their official re-launch!



When first hearing this album I did notice that tracks seemed to lack the edge of some of their previous work, but I can't fault them. The music is amazing, with beautiful melodies in true melodic doom style and the more I listen to this album the more I'm liking it. For me the first few tracks on this album are my favorites including the opening track 'Isolation (Desperation)' its been publicly known how Kirk has been 'sobering up' the last few years and I think some of the lyrics in these songs shows this.



Just as I thought there wasn't much more to come with the rest of the remaining tracks it soon picks up with the song 'Cleanse Me, Heal Me' which I really enjoyed, leaving 'Symbiosis' the last track on the album which takes the tempo down again. There is a great energy coming from this album & I enjoyed all the songs, including the lyrics. As a whole this is a great album from the guys and a great way of getting 'Crowbar' back out there again, I look forward to hearing even more from them!



Jo Blackened
Track Listing

01. Isolation (Desperation)
02. Sever The 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

Lineup

Kirk Windstein - Vocals, Guitar
Patrick Bruders - Bass
Tommy Buckley - Drums
Matthew Brunson - Guitar


Next review: » Crowbar - Sludge: History of Crowbar
Previous review: » Crowbar - Equilibrium





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