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Crowbar: Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form

Damn, I wish more doom/stoner bands could kick ass like Crowbar. These guys might just be the modern purveyors of the killer "Sabbath" heavy riff, alongside possibly Cathedral, Candlemass, and Corrosion of Conformity. This 2001 album, Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form, is basically catchy, heavy doom riffing in its purest form. If you like mammoth guitar riffs steeped in brontosaurus juice, one listen to the opening cut "The Lasting Dose" will certainly reel you right in and there's no turning back from there. As heavy and slow as this album is, it's still plenty melodic. Take "To Build a Mountain" for instance. Not only does the song contain methodically heavy down-tuned riffing, but there's also a ton of melodic harmony guitar parts from Sammy Pierre Duet and Kirk Windstein, who also by the way offers up some great gravelly and pained vocals throughout the album. On occasion the band does speed things up a bit, like on the rampaging "Awakening" and the hardcore infused "Failure to Delay Gratification", but for the most part the CD is filled with one doom laden gem after another.

Tunes such as "Repulsive in its Splendid Beauty", "Counting Daze", and "It Pours From Me" are Black Sabbath on steroids, brutal sludge-ridden death marches that just ooze power and conviction. Quite simply Crowbar are masters of what they do, which is create music that is so heavy, so full of doomy, barbaric riffs, that you can't help but groove to the power and melodies contained within. If you haven't yet checked out Crowbar, this is a good place to start, but then again, this band has so many winners in their catalog you almost can't go wrong with any of them. Awesome!

Track Listing
1. The Lasting Dose
2. To Build A Mountain
3. Thru The Ashes (I've Watched You Burn)
4. Awakening
5. Repulsive in Its Spendid Beauty
6. Counting Daze
7. In Times Of Sorrow
8. It Pours From Me
9. Suffering Brings Wisdom - Crowbar C
10. Failure To Delay Gratification
11. Empty Room

Added: January 17th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Crowbar Website
Hits: 4673
Language: english

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Crowbar: Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form
Posted by SoT Archives, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-01-17 19:48:08
My Score:

Is it possible that, contrary to popular belief, Crowbar are actually advancing themselves musically, album by album, though by infinitesimal degrees of the sort that are as impossible to chart on a human scale as Darwinian evolution? The skeletal dirges that litter the band's back pages may eventually line up end to end in a fashion that sees their Neanderthal primitiveness stand erect, though it may also take several generations of their trudging anti-thrash before any such aimless second guessing can be confirmed. Regardless, this latest baby step forward is yet another dreamlike state of sleepy aggression, mired hopes, and veiled fragility, quite a far cry from the bratty rage of the Korn generation (whose Jonathan Davis has a lower vocal register akin to Kirk Windstein's most reaching falsetto).

Once again Crowbar achieve a kind of beauty belied by the bared and ink stained guts spilling out over the CD booklet. In film and in print, we like our demons to be personified in incendiary plot devices, which inevitably result in either an explosion or an exorcism of the soul. The ten year tenure of this New Orleans quartet has never made it that easy. It's in a slower simmering manner that Crowbar plies our wounds, choosing to reopen the same scrapes and blisters over and over again, rather than struggle vainly to inflict that mortal blow as so many ragemongers of the day seek to accomplish. In this, they manage to convey the haunting doubt that plagues our subconscious long after the momentary tantrum subsides.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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