This is heavy. Very heavy, dragging in SABBATH and SLAYER-influences by the bucket load and even the mighty CANDLEMASS pop up occasionally. It is always a pleasure to hear a band that you previously wouldn't have bothered with turning up with a quality album and CROWBAR have done just that.
They don't pretend to be any other than heavy, but they have that SABBATH heavy vibe and enough good songs to back them. Now for the most part this is a slow, pondering album with solid playing and a knack for a catchy riff or two. The opening track, "The Lasting Dose", starts with a gentle melodic twin axe attack a la CANDLEMASS which quickly dissolves into a riff that Iommi would be proud off. The vocals are not perfect, but suit the de-tuned guitars and give the music that harder edge. "Awakening" could easily have fitted on "South Of Heaven" or "Seasons In The Abyss" and rarely falls out of the intense SLAYER-field of pounding guitars. It's great to hear and feel CROWBAR open up and put their feet on the gas. The album's last track, "Empty Room", is a glorious testimony to all things SABBATH, minus the vocals, of course! And is easily the best track out of many.
Normally this isn't my cup of tea, but there is something about this album that just makes me want to play it and play it. Missing SABBATH? These guys will fill the void no problem.