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Symmetry in Black

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  • CD (23 mai 2014)
  • Nombre de disques: 1
  • Label: Century Média
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.8 étoiles sur 5 35 commentaires
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Like a Ton of Bricks 27 mai 2014
Par J. Hill - Publié sur
Format: CD
The new Crowbar crushes. Kirk Windstein recently left Down to concentrate full-time on his longtime main band, so you knew the album was probably going to be pretty good. "Symmetry in Black" is heavy and brooding, with plenty of anger bursting out. While the album is being marketed as "epic doom," there's a lot more going on than that. Crowbar shows a wide variety of styles, including groove, thrash, and straight heavy metal, offering up twelve tracks that showcase everything from their slow, plodding crawl to all-out speed. Windstein delivers an impressive vocal performance, ranging from his near-death metal roar to soul-baring clean singing. Standout tracks for me include "The Taste of Dying," Ageless Decay," and "The Foreboding," which best represent the strengths Crowbar bring to the table. If you're in the mood for the smothering weight of pure power, the new Crowbar might be what you're looking for. "Symmetry in Black" gets it done.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pure chaos, pure control, pure Crowbar 12 juin 2014
Par A. Stutheit - Publié sur
Format: CD
When Crowbar made a triumphant return three years ago with their first release of all new material in six years, it was clear that they were most certainly here to say. It was also in the cards, for this reviewer, at least, that the band would probably not wait another half-decade-plus to release another new record (their tenth),, especially since founding guitarist Kirk Windstein has since put side-project Kingdom Of Sorrow on the back burner, and completely cut all ties with Down in order to focus fully on Crowbar. And sure enough, Windstein and Co. have again returned to raise the, ahem, `Bar once again, with another brand-spankin'-new doom-fest in 2014's "Symmetry In Black."

Corresponding perfectly with new releases from Eyehategod and the aforementioned Down, Crowbar have quite a bit of substantial competition to go up against. But the end result is actually not as close as one might think. With this, their arguable best effort since 1996's "Broken Glass," they once again prove their irrefutable worth as the finest thing ever to emerge from the muggy Southern swamp-lands of the NOLA sludge/doom metal scene. And it might seem a little redundant to say because of the obviousness of it all, but if you are craving some absolutely amazing guitar riffs (which driven home by a particularly gnarly distortion level) and brutally low/heavy bass lines, you could do a whole lot worse than to check out the ones found in "Symmetry."

Despite being the album's longest track, "Walk With Knowledge Wisely" opens in pure Crowbar fashion, with crashing cymbals and howled vocals perfectly complimenting hefty, meaty, grinding riff chunk and chug and churn rhythms. Needless to say, the riff in this song is so killer that it is almost a shame that the tune has to eventually grind to a halt at around five minutes and twenty seconds in. True, there certainly are a few strategically well-placed curveballs that pop up later on in the set, like its two unexpectedly blistering and thrashy jaunts in the form of "Ageless Decay," which switches back and forth between up-tempo aggression and mid-tempo, sludge-filled dirges, and "Symbolic Suicide," which plays almost like a piece of full-on thrash, despite dropping in a super ominous and towering doom metal riff at around the track's midpoint. And "Amaranthine" might be an even greater curveball still, as it is a powerful, emotional piece of acoustic power balladry that is so potent that it just might make some listeners shed a tear or two. And the end result is a tune that, with its gloomy, moody atmosphere, dreary clean vocals and guitar tones, comes across sounding not unlike a sister-song to Black Sabbath's classic, "Planet Caravan." It weighs a ton, just in a different way than most of the rest of the record.

With that said, though, it is actually a piece like "Symmetry In White" that is a better representation of "Symmetry" as a whole. Its booming, commanding, massive main riff unfolds into a brooding, plodding, droning doom metal trudge with lumbering rhythms and borderline trance-inducing repetition. And it is immediately followed-up by "Reflection Of Deceit," a slightly more up-tempo bruiser with gear-grinding guitars, and thumping skins; and "Ageless Decay," which is also backed by another huge, churning, lumbering riff, foreboding slow, crawling tempos, and a very melancholy mood. Elsewhere, the nastily grooving doom metal monster that is "The Foreboding," with its fairly monstrous doom metal riff slice, churning rhythm, creepy, foreboding bass line, and crushing opaque-ness, is an arguable album highpoint. But if you say that about "Foreboding," then you must also say it about "Teach The Blind To See," another heavily-groove-oriented beast with serrated, grinding, and sometimes even chainsaw-fast riffing, grumbling bass, and dexterous drumming.

And sandwiched between these to groovy numbers is "Shaman Of Belief," a slightly more up-tempo, riff-a-licious venture stuffed full of crushing guitar figures, pounding bass lines/rhythms, and snarly, growly, flinty-sounding vocals that evoke vintage Pantera. Other highlights include the towering, doom-laden, heavily groove-oriented main riff backed up by more thudding drums and topped off by hoarse-throated howling vocals in "A Wealth Of Empathy"; and "The Piety Of Self Loathing," an entirely instrumental piece, and a very fitting way to conclude the set. It offsets a thunderous doom riff with backing guitar harmonies, and does so to positively excellent effect. As a result, "The Piety Of Self Loathing" is one of the finest and most epic and breathtaking things that Crowbar have ever recorded.

Naturally, the pain (if you can call it that) that comes with the territory of releasing such a strong album is the fact that the band's fanbase (and the whole underground metal circuit, as well) will engage in a seemingly never-ending argument over whether or not it is worthy of being dubbed a true classic. In this writer's humble opinion, "S.I.B." is an excellent album, one that is absolutely heavy with memorable musicianship and impassioned vocals. As such, it just might be ultimately worthy of attaining a truly classic status.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Sludge metal that hits like a mudslide 15 juin 2014
Par Scott Hedegard - Publié sur
Format: CD
I had Crowbar's first album "Obedience Through Suffering" but traded it in because the debut was turgid and not very well realized, at least I thought at the time. I have heard other Crowbar through time and knew they had progressed musically without losing their sludgy miasma of doom that seems indigenous to New Orleans and Louisiana swamp country.
"Symmetry In Black" is a fine album, ferocious here, haunting and even harmonizing there. It's not quite accurate to call it doom, but it will certainly not be a problem for more hardcore doom fans. Of course, most people already know that.
Leader Kirk Windstein is a ferocious vocalist, intelligent, and crafts tunes that are more oppressive than the Louisiana Gulf Coast humidity in summer, which, if you've never been in the deep south in July or August, is so heavy you can get a black eye just walking in the humid air, it hits so hard. "Symmetry In Black" never gets gratuitous or bogs down, and boasts an excellent production. Solos are infrequent, but the tunes are strong enough that solos aren't that necessary anyway.
Now that Windstein has left Down to concentrate solely on Crowbar, we can expect great things. This is how doom/sludge should sound, and if you're listening in your car, it will leave potholes in the street behind you, being as heavy as it is.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Still damn heavy 28 mai 2014
Par Michael - Publié sur
Format: CD
Things change, sometimes for better or worse. The lineup may have changed many times over the years, but the music is still Crowbar. Kirk Windstein is one of the busiest musicians out there even though he recently left Down to focus more on the band. Some might view that as laziness on his part, but he's no slouch. Apart from writing and playing the music, he's the producer as well, so you know he has a workload recording these albums. It all works out in putting together the best dingy, dirty, doomy, and gloomy sludge metal that is rock solid and will kick your teeth in without warning. I highly recommend it.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Kirk and the boys bring the pain again ! 27 mai 2014
Par Donald Roberts - Publié sur
Format: CD
this is another crushing album from the consistent yet predictable Crowbar. if you're a fan of any of their albums , you know what you're getting : a sonic monster that will give your eardrums a beatdown. sludgey , doom-laden guitars with pounding percussion and the vocals of one very pissed off Kirk. I didn't find this album to be as epic as Sever The Wicked Hand ( I think that album had more variation and memorable songs ) but this album is still very damn good and stays true to the Crowbar formula, despite the band's revolving line-ups . Crowbar is great music to vent to , so if you're feeling down or angry ..throw this beast on and enjoy the catharsis !
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