Crowbar - Sever the Wicked Hand
20-Mar-2011 Label: E1
Produced by Kirk Windstein
Playing time: 52.07
Reviewed by Sam Radojcin
Following the release and tour for Lifesblood for the Downtrodden, Kirk Windstein has been quite a busy man and with touring and recording with Down and Kingdom Of Sorrow and battling his own personal demons, Crowbar got put on the backburner.
Yet like a phoenix rising from a Louisiana swamp, the mighty Crowbar are back and come out swinging on their latest release Sever the Wicked Hand.
Opening proceedings is "Isolation (Desperation)", a wall of sound driven by gargantuan, droning sludge-filled riffage paired with Windstein’s trademark howl/shout that tackles you like a New Orleans Saint. The sludgy goodness just keeps rolling on and it’s hard not to keep your head moving to cuts like "Protectors of the Shrine" and the title track, and the doom laden "Liquid Sky And Cold Black Earth" leaves an icy cold feeling running down your spine.
"I Only Deal in Truth" and "As I Become One" could be personal biographies to Windstein’s demons and the struggles he has faced. "A Farewell to Misery" draws from an ambient, dark place with a haunting choir echoing throughout. The equally disturbing "Let Me Mourn" and titanic "The Cemetary Angels" both head into somewhat of a new-found melodic territory in Crowbar’s own unique way but they still bring the heaviness, resulting in two of the finest compositions from Crowbar’s entire catalogue.
One of the positive sides of Windstein’s sobriety is that his vocal performance sounds much powerful than previous albums and the excellent production only further conveys that.
Despite the six year gap between albums, Sever the Wicked Hand is arguably one of Crowbar’s finest releases, going in a dynamic direction and bolstered with some of the heaviest riffs to ever come from Kirk Windstein’s right hand. Like a fine wine, Crowbar only gets better with age.
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