Crowbar Album Review by Sean Martin from Long Claw/Mucraker
“The Serpent Only Lies”
Sean Briney Martin (Guitarist/Vocalist of LONG CLAW/MUCKRAKER/:1233/ New Ritual Age)
One day back in 1995 I was introduced to 3 bands in one night…Down, The Melvins and Crowbar! What a wonderful night it was! I knew I had just heard something that not only RAWKED me to the core, but would go on to influence my songwriting from that day forth. So, obviously, I was VERY excited to receive the opportunity to not only check out, but REVIEW an advance copy of Crowbar’s latest release on eONE Music, “The Serpent Only Lies”!
Let’s rewind back to 1995. I was in my 20’sand writing my own brand of metal. My band at the time Nectar. We always wanted to bring something new to the table. We began wondering how our tunes would sound Tuned Down a step… you know, a little lower the tuning, a little higher the attitude… and then we heard Crowbar. Here comes this band that is tuned to “Z flat”! Along with that, they had a swagger and a tempo that reached metal lovers everywhere who wanted something different. Myself included.
Back to the present…Kirk Windstead (Vox/Guitar), Matt Brunson (Guitar) and Tommy Buckley (Drums) have reunited with original bassist Todd Strange for the first time since 1999.Effectivly bringing the original Crowbar line-up back together for what is definitely a strong and focused effort! The kind of music you would expect from a veteran band that has not only persevered but evolved. All this while maintaining aloyal, yet underground following for well over 20 years.
From the first look at the cover of “The Serpent Only Lies” … You get the impression of strong religious undertones with an extra side order of New Orleans sleaze. The music that follows is certainly worthy of the imagery.Titles like “Falling while Rising”, “Surviving the Abyss” and “Embrace the Light”, my first impression was a spiritual uplifting for Kirk and Company. However, when listened to with a suggestive ear, you feel the dark struggle that happens inside Windstead's creative psychodrama. From the opening track, (The aforementioned) “Falling When Rising” to the closing track of “As I Heal”, you are pummeled with a MASSIVE wall of guitars and the sinister yet angelic vocals of Windstead as he takes you on a journey of struggle, loss and the fight for everyday life! Shit we can ALL relate to. As a matter of fact, given this current “Election Season” I was in dire need of a Doomy/Stoner metal distraction! Believe me, I was not let down! After inhaling a pinch of Potent Leaf, I dove in. Crowbar has always delivered in the CHUG department, and this album continues with that familiar direction of music. Enticing you to expel all that pent-up bullshit out and spewing it all over the PIT!
Stand out songs like “I am the Storm” show that Crowbar maintains the Stoner Metal integrity and sensibility that only a band of their caliber can boast about. The breakdown in this song made me want to take a baseball bat to something…Just fucking brutal! The album’s title track “The Serpent Only Lies”, covers a struggle that could describe, perhaps, the music business, this political debacle that is currently facing our country or just an enemy that tries to be a friend. Regardless,the guttural delivery that the band brings to the listener cannot be denied!
Listening to “Serpent” I am taken back to those moments of Crowbar’s early days. It seems that Winstead took a stroll through the history of the band’s sound and absorbed those influences all over again. Like Metallica’s latest effort, Crowbar returns to the heavier, faster days of their prime and they deliver! Hitting the mark with a very focused and sonically superior collection of songs that will certainly continue to cement the band’s legacy in the Doom Metal Genre. I am very pleased to say that Crowbar is running on all 8 cylinders and Supercharged!