In the year of our lord 2022, and over 30 years into their career as Sludge Metal GODS, there’s absolutely no denying what a new Crowbar record is going to sound like. It’s that same kind of comfort fans get when they press “Play” on any AC/DC masterpiece and with their latest, Zero And Below, the New Orleans outfit have managed to craft a quintessential Crowbar record that stays true to their roots while adding a slew of vibrantly vicious new sonic cuts to their already impressive arsenal of legendary tracks.
“The Fear That Binds You” is a bludgeoning opener that’s on par with some of Crowbar’s earliest heavy hitters (Lookin’ at you, “High Rate Extinction” and “All I Had (I Gave)”) with fresh monolithic guitar licks for a future generation of riff lords to ape on down the road from Kirk Windstein and Matt Brunson and a beastly performance from drummer Tommy Buckley before it all devolves into some Odd Fellows Rest-style breakdown complete with Windstein’s uncanny growl hauntingly crying out.
“Her Evil Is Sacred” is a slow burner and classic Crowbar through and through while “Confess To Nothing” is a gnarly start/stop cruncher with some intricate riffage from Brunson and Windstein interspersed between the slowed down verses. Lead single “Chemical Godz” was just the thing to get fans’ hearts pumping following an unplanned album delay (Read: Global Pandemic) after Crowbar’s last opus and within the sonic fabric of Zero And Below, it hits even harder followed by “Denial Of The Truth” which is a nice little amalgamation of Windstein’s 2020 solo effort (Dream In Motion, available now!) and the more atmospheric elements from OFR (Think the echoed bombast of closer “On Frozen Ground” in particular).
Latest single “Bleeding From Every Hole” (Check out the video here) is a Groove-filled behemoth with bassist Shane Wesley loudly leading the charge through a particularly riveting riff rager from the absolute masters, “It’s Always Worth The Gain” shares the Groove some more for an aural exercise that brings some of that Down DNA into the mix, and “Crush Negativity” is a divine Metal hymnal. Bringing Crowbar’s latest to an end is a pair of monstrous anthems beginning with the righteous riffage and frenzied shredding of “Reanimating A Lie” which bleeds into the mountainous title track that fuses electric and acoustic guitars for a layered affair that sluggishly broods and concludes the 12th full-length from the NOLA natives.
Zero And Below lands on March 4th through MNRK Heavy. Pre-orders and pre-save options are available now and can be perused and purchased by clicking here. For the latest on Crowbar, including where you can catch them with Sepultura, Sacred Reich, and Art Of Shock, follow them across the information superhighway by heading here, here, or here.
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