Welcome, Butcher Crew, to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! It’s The Saw, and I’ve brought with me a New Album Review of Zero and Below, by the Doom Metal legends, Crowbar. The record dropped on March 4, 2022 (my birthday!) via MNRK Heavy. Many have utilized the phrase “Sludge Metal” to describe Crowbar and bands like them. But, because of my biker history and family, I would prefer the term, “Biker Metal.” Crowbar have been doing this for a long time. They are consciously consistent, positively predictable, and ass-kickingly awesome!
Crowbar was formed in 1990 by musical mastermind, Kirk Windstein, in New Orleans, LA. The area had a thriving metal scene, with bands such as Down, Eyehategod, Soilent Green, and Acid Bath exploding in the scene. There have been numerous line-up changes throughout the years, with Windstein as the constant. Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual) produced Crowbar’s self-titled sophomore album, which then was promoted on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball and Beavis and Butthead. Members of Pantera, Goatwhore, and Acid Bath have played in the band at various times in the early years.
Current Members of Crowbar:
- Kirk Windstein – vocals and rhythm guitar (1990 – present)
- Tommy Buckley – drums (2004 – present)
- Matt Brunson – lead guitar (2009 – present)
- Shane Wesley – bass (2018 – present)
Zero and Below
If you’ve ever listened to Crowbar at any point in their 30+ year career, then you already know what you’re gonna get on this new record. Powerful riffs, usually at half-speed, are what Crowbar are known for, and Zero and Below is no different. There are great riffs on this record! Like, every single song! They speed up the tempo as each song flows, but ultimately move into a groove by the end of the track. Windstein’s vocal technique is clean, but anguished; usually hollered, but often bellowed. I love the slow-groove tempos of the songs and the sense of agony in the vocals. Powerful riffs, interspersed with slow, crushing grooves = Crowbar! Awesome!!
- The Fear That Binds You
- Her Evil is Sacred
- Confess to Nothing
- Chemical Godz
- Denial of the Truth
- Bleeding From Every Hole
- It’s Always Worth the Gain
- Crush Negativity
- Reanimating a Lie
- Zero and Below
- Obedience Through Suffering – 1991 (Pavement Music)
- Crowbar – 1993 (Pavement Music)
- Time Heals Nothing – 1995 (Pavement Music)
- Broken Glass – 1996 (Pavement Music)
- Odd Fellows Rest – 1998 (Mayhem Records)
- Equilibrium – 2000 (Spitfire Records)
- Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form – 2001 (Spitfire Records)
- Lifesblood for the Downtrodden – 2005 (Candlelight Records)
- Severe the Wicked Hand – 2011 (E1 Music)
- Symmetry in Black – 2014 (Century Media Records)
- The Serpent Only Lies – 2016 (E1 Music)
- Zero and Below – 2022 (MNRK Heavy)
Rating: 8/10! Great riffs in every song! Fists in the air, iron horse riding Metal!
Favorite Songs: Chemical Godz, Bleeding From Every Hole, Zero and Below