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Articles Home » Music Reviews » CROWBAR LIVESTREAM REVIEW February 20, 2021 By Nina McCarthy
CROWBAR LIVESTREAM REVIEW February 20, 2021 By Nina McCarthy



February 20, 2021

By Nina McCarthy

Boston Rock Radio

In a press release about New Orleans sludge metal band’s recent livestream, Crowbar announced that they will be releasing their twelfth studio album this year. Founding guitarist/vocalist Kirk Windstein commented that the livestream had some surprises and that production was “upped by bringing in producer Mike Holderbeast as the director.”  I was privy to a press pass to the stream for review thanks to James at Hold Tight PR. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not extremely familiar with Crowbar’s discography, although I have seen them live a few times, but I hope I can relate my experience with some accuracy.

Those familiar with Crowbar know they are often described as heavy, crushing, melodic sludge metal. Just picture getting hit in the head with...well, a crowbar! Although, the physical assault is not something you want to endure, if you’re a fan of Crowbar or similar sludge metal, you should have been part of the virtual assault that I witnessed on February 20, 2021. These strong, bearded (¾ anyway) men left it all onstage and gave a phenomenal glimpse into their extensive discography.

All adorned in shorts, joining Kirk Winstein and his gravelly aggressive vocals was Shane Wesley (bass, who plays live since Todd Strange’s retirement from touring in 2018), Matt Brunson (lead guitar), and Tommy Buckley on drums driving the slow doom. Windstein, in a Miller High Life t-shirt, announced they were there to “kick our asses” and no time was wasted as they began doing just so with “Self-Inflicted” off the 1993 self-titled sophomore album, followed by “High Rate Extinction” and “New Dawn.”  Kirk then exclaimed, “Thank you, merci beaucoup, and all that shit” as they thrust into “Conquering.” 

We were treated to “New Dawn” which was the first track on the Lifesblood for the Downtrodden, which was dedicated to the memory of Dimebag Darrell, who passed following the recording of the album. Apparently the fans had been asking to hear that one after the previous streams and they were not left disappointed.  Another highlight of the performance was hearing “New Man Born” off their fifth album, Odd Fellows Rest. Apparently, this song had only been done live twice (from what I understood), and Windstein dedicated it out to his lovely wife Robin, who was working instead of being able to attend the event. The band gave us the ass whooping that was promised with about 15 songs in slightly over an hour.

Speaking of production, as I mentioned earlier, Mike Holderbeast (with Steven W. Richardson and Jeffrey Buras) was in charge of directing this presentation, along with mixing by Duane Simoneaux of OCD Records and Productions and all involved did an outstanding job. There were camera shots from every angle, including a birdseye view of the drumming and some black and white thrown in occasionally. I think I saw more onstage action than if I was actually there in persson. This made for a much more interesting video to watch, rather then if we just had a straight-on viewing of the show. 

Three quarters of the way through, Windstein looked at Buckley on drums and said, “Give us your best Motorhead beat” as they blasted into “The Cemetery Angels” (Sever the Wicked Hand 2011) followed by “Thru the Ashes (I’ve Watched You Burn),” “Planets Collide” and concluding with the old classic “All I Had (I Gave)”.  

Crowbar is not a band for those of you that have the need to get up and dance, unless it's more of a mosh-like dance. Sludge metal (which combines elements of hardcore and doom) is harse and abrasive and the vocals are shouted rather than sung. If that's your thing, then you no doubtedly already love Crowbar. For the diehard fans, I hope this stream will tide you over as we await the band's eagerly anticipated, as-yet-untitled full-length, set for release later this year via Entertainment One (eOne).


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(All photos, except the flyer are actual screenshots of the performance.)
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