Release Date: Feb 8, 2011
Record label: Entertainment One Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal
Let’s hope they tour this Such has been the success of Down, a one-time side-project and now fully functioning confederacy, that Kirk Windstein could be forgiven for letting Crowbar fall into a state of torpor. However, six years is too long for a band whose mournful riffs and unkempt grooves formed the exoskeleton of the self-harming New Orleans sludge sound. Where buddies Eyehategod are all about nihilistic self-destruction, Crowbar were always more reflective.
Given Kirk Windstein's busy schedule as a member of the highly successful Down and persistent reports about his struggles with alcohol abuse, the prospects of his original band, Crowbar, ever releasing another album looked relatively grim during the second half of the 2000s. But after finding a new record label (eOne Entertainment) and new management (with friend and Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta), and cleaning up his act, a sober Windstein was actually ready to attempt a comeback by the time 2010 rolled around. And before you knew it, Crowbar's ninth studio album, Sever the Wicked Hand, was arriving in stores on February 8, 2011 -- precisely six years to the day since the group's dispirited eighth effort, Lifesblood for the Downtrodden -- and one can earnestly say the wait was worth it.
Guitarist Kirk Windstein always manages to stay busy, and as of late it seems the bulk of his energy has been focused on the massively popular sludge supergroup Down, as well as Kingdom of Sorrow, his likeable band with Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta. However, for all the work he does with his various projects, the big dude with the even bigger beard will always be synonymous with Crowbar. Along with Acid Bath and the legendary Eyehategod, Crowbar helped spawn Southern sludge, which combined the classic tritone riffs of Black Sabbath and the monstrously heavy arrangements of the Melvins with an unmistakable sense of groove that perfectly echoed the hot, muggy environs of their native Louisiana.
"I live by my mistakes," exhorts Kirk Windstein on "Isolation (Desperation)," opening dirge on this NOLA quartet's ninth blunt-force trauma. Thrashing title track, Layne Staley bog vox and quicksand melodies ("Let Me Mourn"), plus Sad Wings of Destiny guitar harmonies on "As I Become One" peak on piano chant "A Farewell to Misery," bearing Testament onto "Protectors of the Shrine." Emotional re-souling: "Echo an Eternity." (Fri., 10:35pm, Dirty Dog Bar) .