Crowbar Symmetry in Black review
By Jerel Johnson
Sludge metal master Crowbar returns to celebrate its 25th anniversary with its 10th album, Symmetry in Black, releasing in North America on Entertainment One Records May 27. The opening track, “Walk With Knowledge Wisely,” stomps along with hardcore glee as front man Kirk Windstein espouses the virtues of inner strength.
The downbeat dirge, “Symmetry in White,” engulfs the listener with a fiery, twisting riff and mournful vocals. The Southern groove is strong on “The Taste of Dying,” which has a pulsating beat and sharp riffing. A cautionary tale of drug addiction, the sorrowful chorus of paints a vivid picture of an addict on his last nerve.
Of course, a Crowbar album is not complete without a ballad, and Symmetry in Black continues that tradition with “Amaranthine.” A melancholy serenade about the fear of dying alone, “Amaranthine” is both mysterious and strangely uplifting. That positive outlook is crushed on “The Foreboding,” which features a creepy bass line from the newest member Jeff Golden. The haunting vocals are the highlight of this song as it sounds like a wailing ghost in the afterworld.
The crushing “Teach the Blind to See” breaks up the negativity with an infectious groove about following Windstein to find the truth. The song reminds one of the Pied Piper that led children out of the city to the sound of his pipe. Only this song is much heavier. “Symbolic Suicide” is a tribute to late Type O Negative front man Peter Steele. The hardcore vibe of this track is as much an homage to Carnivore as it is Peter’s most famous band. Peter would be proud.
Kirk Windstein and company have delivered another slab of pure unadulterated metal. Symmetry in Black is Crowbar at its heaviest, introspective, mournful and strongest. 25 years of blood, sweat and tears have not deterred one of America’s most heaviest bands. Pick up the record for 48 minutes of earth-trembling riffs.