Review CROWBAR ‘Zero and Below’

Sludge metal pioneers Crowbar recently announced a new album which is always a very welcomed news. Kirk Windstein started the band in 1990 in New Orleans and ‘Zero and Below’ is the 12th delivery from the American quartet.

The new album contains ten songs, all equipped with the typical Crowbar trademarks. There are the typical vocals by Windstein that go well together with the mighty riffing. The opener ‘The Fear That Blinds You’ is the first song, built on this principle. Such a start into the album feels like being confronted with a ten-ton hammer you can’t stop.

As not expected differently ‘Zero and Below’ is slow and heavy. High pace, that’s what other bands can focus on. Crowbar celebrate the mercilessness of the mighty riff, manifested by the mighty title track that ends to album. There are not too many bands that can unfold such an intensity through reduced pace.

Windstein and bandmates create a musical foundation with a dark and gloomy vibe. The band doesn’t shine a light on the sunny side of life. Rather the opposite. The mighty riffs are as crushing as real life can be, which is thematized by the lyrics.

To create a good flow for listeners, Crowbar also included songs like ‘Chemical Godz’. The song has been unveiled two years ago as a single and includes some slower moments. At the same time a galloping riff brings some extra dynamic to the plate which fits ‘Chemical Godz’ very well. A steady beat kicks-off ‘Bleeding from Every Hole’ before the songs shifts into a next neck-breaking riff assault. The tempo changes are well integrated, adding an extra thrill to the song in its entirety.

‘Zero and Below’ reflects Crowbar with one hundred percent. Windstein and band used their musical formula for a next time, and they do it in great fashion. It took me a while to find my way into the album since it doesn’t unfold its brilliance right away. Spinning the album a few times though will reveal the great moments of an album that needs time and focus. ‘Zero and Below’ asks for attention and rewards with great music.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. The Fear That Binds You
  2. Her Evil Is Sacred
  3. Confess To Nothing
  4. Chemical Godz
  5. Denial Of the Truth
  6. Bleeding From Every Hole
  7. It’s Always Worth the Gain
  8. Crush Negativity
  9. Reanimating A Lie
  10. Zero And Below

Label: MNRK heavy

Genre: Sludge

Release Date EU: March 4th, 2022

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