Skip to main content

Crowbar: Symmetry In Black

Less swamp, more groove.

Always regarded as kings of swamp rock, Crowbar have moved on with their 10th studio album. They’ve stripped away some of the crust that’s always been part of their appeal, and taken on board some of the tricks mainman Kirk Windstein used during his Down time.

The result is 12 tracks that have a lot more groove, while also sounding explicitly heavier. In the process, Crowbar sound less like they’re refugees from the mid-90s, and more in touch with the approach required in the modern era.

This is a combination of doom, stoner and metal that can be mournfully slow (A Wealth Of Empathy) yet melodically charming (Amaranthine), while also raising a brusque gallop (Teach The Blind To See). The guitars of Windstein and Matthew Brunson are concussively inescapable, while the vocals are a constant masque of ominous rage. These are charred hymns to unrequited animosity.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.