CROWBAR “Sever The Wicked Hand” Album Review + Video
Stephen Smith, of AltSounds.com, recently posted a review of an album entitled “Sever The Wicked Hand” by Crowbar. Here’s the review from Stephen below.
Living in the South like I do, I am ashamed that I have not heard that much Crowbar. They are from New Orleans, LA, which is about a three hour drive from where I live and is a city I love to visit whenever I can. I have only heard a small handful of Crowbar songs, and have never seen them live. It came, much to my surprise, when I got the opportunity to review Crowbars’ ninth album Sever the Wicked Hand, which will be released in the US on Century Media on February 8th.
Crowbar has been around since 1991. The scorching vocals and twisted lyrics of vocalist/guitarist Kirk Windstein really drive this band and Sever the Wicked Hand is Crowbar’s first album in six years. Kirk has apparently sobered up and the tone of this album is slightly different from the band’s earlier material. As previously mentioned I have not heard a full length album of Crowbar’s before, but I listened to as many of their older songs as I could, prior to reviewing, so I would have something to compare their latest release to. Sever the Wicked Hand seems to be lacking the edge of some of their past work, but it makes up for it in pure bone crushing doom and madness.
The music is amazing on Sever the Wicked Hand. The grooves are firmly in the vein of Black Sabbath and Trouble and, in fact, many of the guitar harmonies are reminiscent of Trouble at their darkest, circa 1985 album The Skull. Some of the slower songs are agonizing and remind me of the apocalyptic sludge of early Godlesh. Also there are some beautiful melodies interwoven throughout that bring to mind the melodic doom of Saint Vitus or the more melodic sections of Metallica at their best. Add to that plenty of pure, all-out evil, headbanging metal grooves seamlessly worked into the doom and some classic hardore punk undertones and you have a lethal mix.
Kirk Windstein’s vocals are simply killer. His vocal style brings together the emotion and brutality of hardcore punk with the melody and depth needed to back up the heavy doom sound that the music commands. The lyrics seem more tortured here, as Kirk Windstein is going at it sober this time and is carrying over his inner torture into his lyrics. His words bring to mind the ‘coming out of a desperate hell’ Christian leaning lyrics of Trouble at times. At other moments they can be pitch black and deeply personal, downright apocalyptic, or full of self reliance.
The more I listen to Sever the Wicked Hand, the more it grows on me. The entire album is crushing and it doesn’t matter if the tempo is slow or fast…Crowbar will annihilate you. Some of my favorite songs are the opener ‘Isolation (Desperation),’ the thunderous title track, the agonizingly beautiful ’Liquid Sky and Cold Black Earth,’ and the earth-moving riff of ‘Let Me Mourn’. These are just the first four songs. I could rave on and on about every song on Sever The Wicked Hand track by track but I won’t. I will just say, pick this one up right away as soon as February 8th rolls around.