3 full years have already passed by now and fans of the Metal institution CROWBAR had to wait for this long time-span to be pleased by new material of this extraordinary band. With “Life's Blood For The Downtrodden” the Americans already open the eighth chapter of the band’s history and even though you are confronted by two changes in the band’s line-up, this doesn’t hinder the pleasure at all. This is already due to the fact that that it has little to no influence on the musical creations and that thus they stayed completely true to the unique Doomcore.
Besides the founding members Kirk Windstein (Vocals/Guitar) and Craig Nunenmacher (Drums) such illustrious Metal heroes as bassist Rex Brown (ex-PANTERA and DOWN) and guitarist Warren Riker (DOWN) are the actors on the new masterpiece. This fact alone reveals right away what exalted class “Life's Blood For The Downtrodden” has to offer. What should you have expected, apart from another milestone in the band’s history, and thus the new work starts with a first-class cracker that is dragging and ultra-fat as usual. “New Dawn” combines all of the virtues that have distinguished CROWBAR since their fantastic debut “Obedience Thru Suffering” (Grind Core International 1992). Mean roasting guitars, hypnotizing drumming, lowest basses and the striking as well as whining raspy vocals of Kirk don’t let you doubt about who is thundering through the speakers here. The same also goes for the following skull-splitter “Slave No More”. The angry vocals make a morbid feeling creep through the room and irresistably draw the listener into the deepest abysses of aural art typical of CROWBAR.
With “Angels Wings“ they play a bit faster and it lets the four exceptional musicians reach their top form. Blessed, unique and overwhelming, just like the following “Coming Down” which once again viscously and oppressingly lays waste to the auditory centre. One anthem follows another and thus “Fall Back To Zero”, which starts thoughtfully, makes the listener brittle and beg for mercy. Dark thunder clouds menacingly approach in your room and spread an end of the world atmosphere that only a few bands are able to create. As in ancient times CROWBAR don’t care about stupid clichés and resort to darkness that places any Dark or Gothic combo in the eternal nirvana, no matter how melancholy and depressively they play. Pain, sorrow and hate is set to music like nowhere else here.
Murderous pressure is also spread by the steamroller “Underworld“, and in a live setting this song should force the audience to their knees and tear the heads from the shoulders of those brave ones who dare to go to the front. When it says CROWBAR, CROWBAR is in there, and all those who had already written off this band are continuously proved wrong. the best example for this are the following head-twisters “Dead Sun” and “Holding Something” that also creep around the corner with an intensity that makes every wimped-out poser run away before he is hit from behind with a sledgehammer and sinks severely hurt into the road ditch with. Want more? I don’t think so! But CROWBAR haven’t reached the end of their new long player yet and before this happens, “Moon”, “The Violent Reaction” and the wonderfully acoustic “Life’s Blood” also contribute to turning “Life's Blood For The Downtrodden” into a complete success.
Those who start looking for weaknesses or signs of wear and tear will quickly be disappointed, for the four thoroughbred musicians don’t have anything to do with things like that and what remains in the end is the joy and the realization that you can rely on CROWBAR and that this band also counts among the most important representatives of Metal in the year of 2005. Congratulations to Candlelight Records as well, who signed this cult band and thus got the rights for one of the heaviest bands of all time. Purchase recommended? No, dear people, purchase mandatory and welcome back, CROWBAR! (Online July 2, 2005)