CROWBAR - The Serpent Only Lies
November 8, 2016, a year ago
Long-time fans of NOLA sludge institution Crowbar (and, for the record, every single one of you should be a fan of Crowbar) will be happy to see the return of bassist Todd Strange here on the band's eleventh album. And I'm loving the album's first two cuts, “Falling While Rising” and “Plasmic And Pure” offering few surprises (okay, no surprises), as the band does what they do best, the slow and hard-hitting NOLA sludge that, really, they are untouchable at. Third song “I Am The Storm” shows them exploring their speedier, hardcore side, something they do tend to do most albums, and while it never packs the same punch as their slower material, they still deliver it with conviction.
“Surviving The Abyss” and the title track both combine everything that makes Crowbar so great: agonizing and soulful vocals, powerful and sluggish sludge riffing, and a hint of despair in the subtle melodies. That's just the first half of the disc, and every song is worth mentioning; but on it goes, this album just delivering great song after great song, never once wearing out its welcome during the also-great second half. Granted, Crowbar don't really put out bad albums, but this is probably the best one they've done in about five albums or so. Essential modern-day sludge here, from the masters.