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Sludge: blending aspects of Doom and Hardcore. Crowbar has been doing it longer than most and still does it better than almost all others that try 22 years after they were born in the swamps of NOLA. I could not have more respect for this band. Drawing fans from and influencing bands of both hardcore and metal for over TWO DECADES. Most amazingly, they have somehow found that perfect balance of not disappointing old fans by changing their style, and at the same time, not getting boring and redundant.
Sever the Wicked hand is everything you would want from both a Doom band and a Hardcore band. It’s heavy as balls and depressed, but simplistic and still fucking HARD. Every song has monster riffs, and you can feel Kirk Windstein’s sorrow and misery on every track. Don't get it? Have you ever heard a more depressed song title than Liquid Sky and Cold Black Earth before? What about the lyric, "You gave me wings, then took the sky away"? Don’t look for a lot of fast, squealy solos here; only huge, powerful riffs and melodic, heartfelt moans can be found.
Most of the songs on the album are solid, and I believe this is their strongest effort since Equilibrium. However, it’s not quite perfect. Almost every song here has a slow melodic part. There’s nothing wrong with that, but personally, I need to be in the right kind of mood to truly appreciate it. That being said, I can listen to Cemetery Angels on repeat no matter how I’m feeling—the song is just that good. That song, Isolation (Desperation), and maybe a few others remind me of Crowbar’s glorious self-titled EP.
I would recommend this album to any fan of Sludge, although if you truly are a fan of the genre, you’ve already heard this. That being said, I think that anyone that is into HARD hardcore or the more aggressive Doom bands would be totally into this.
75% is the rating I give for the music on this record, but 100% is a more appropriate show of how much respect I have for this band.