CROWBAR “Sever The Wicked Hand” (E1 Music 2011)

Written by Album Review

The good point with CROWBAR’s new album is that it lives up to the tradition. Crushing, powerful, gloomy with these recognizable sepulchral vocals and subliminal riffs. The minus point, if you must find one, is its predictable, CROWBAR-predictable. Anyway the fans won’t give a damn of that tiny detail, yet the band has never betrayed its spirit for 20 years now…

Beauty at the core of oppression, darkness and sorrow : here are the topics dear to the band. It’s precisely this beauty/violence paradox which enthralls, creating such tortuous and absorbing riffs : slow and oppressive beautiful songs like Isolation (Desperation)I Only Deal In Truth ou Echo An Eternity live up to the tradition, without being a surprise though. Some other songs definitely stand out from the pack because the band, as real sludge masters, knows how to deliver masterpieces their own way (their last album Lifesblood For The Downtrodden was crammed with it). Splendid and stirring Liquid Sky And Cold Black EarthLet Me Mourn and As I Become One and its final solo are simply the best proofs of CROWBAR’s talent.

Windstein’s and Brunson’s guitars get tangled efficiently to electrify us, whether you listen to the more sludgy tracks or the more hardcore ones : as a rider to this, a handful of pure hardcore tracks rise here and there, cleverly laid out at regular intervals. Sever The Wicked Hand, berserk single The Cemetery AngelsProtectors Of The Shrine (filled with addictive riffs, once again) or redemptive Cleanse Me, Heal Me would lead us to think that Kirk has hung more than we thought with his HxC colleague Jamey Jasta. However, it remains badly efficient.

Sever The Wicked Hand is an intelligently built piece-by-piece record ; heavy sludge shots with some hardcore accelerations, all that alternated with still as much majesty. Not to spoil it, in the heart of this well-oiled machine you’ll find a cosmic instrumental break, A Farewell To Misery. Once again CROWBAR produced an all-round and exciting album, in the teeth of the very repetitive aspect of their music, they manage to carry us along with their path and ravish us. Devilishly melancholic, powerfully great, some good job done by Kirk and the guys, once again !

ALBUM : “Sever The Wicked Hand”
RELEASE DATE : February 2011
LABEL : E1 Music
GENRE : Sludge metal
NOTE : ✭✭✭

Last modified: 11 February 2015