Second Season Crowbar - Odd Fellows Rest (Mayhem) 1998

1. Intro (1:24)
2. Planets Collide (4:38)
3. ...And Suffer as One (4:11)
4. 1,000 Year Internal War (4:01)
5. To Carry the Load (4:02)
6. December's Spawn (5:11)
7. It's All in the Gravity (4:13)
8. Behind the Black Horizon (6:02)
9. New Man Born (4:46)
10. Scattered Pieces Lay (5:23)
11. Odd Fellows Rest (6:07)
12. On Frozen Ground (4:00)

The 1990's was an odd time for heavy metal. Bands were rejecting the term "heavy metal" as if it were a death sentence, guitar solos were uncool, bands looked like high-school nerds and lacked any sort of larger-than-life appeal or showmanship and singers were whining about their poor pathetic lives. It was a musically depressing time. Crowbar were a band whose most popular albums were all released in the 1990's and "Odd Fellows Rest" was their fifth. From every review I have read, the band's sound hasn't changed at all. Crowbar fit right in with the 1990's pack. I've even read reviews that call them "post-metal" or "sludge metal", whatever the heck that means.

Crowbar's sound is slow, almost doomy, definitely brooding and skull-crushingly heavy. Guitars, bass and drums all become one forming a wall of sound. If Black Sabbath aren't on the top of their influences list, I'd be shocked. Tracks such as "... And Suffer as One" or "It's All in the Gravity" retain the shamelessly Sabbath-influenced, downtuned form of heaviness. If the music isn't dark enough for you, Kirk Windstein's brooding, melancholic vocals and equally depressing lyrical content will push you over the edge. Metaphorical passages such as "You've been baptized in a lake of tears, crucified yourself with your own fears..." paints a picture of the content of the album. Throughout the album I kept expecting a wicked Tony Ionmi-inspired guitar solo to come blaring out over the heavy, down-tuned guitars, but alas it never happens. 

Now all this is not to say I don't like this album. I found it to be very enjoyable in small doses. The sheer heaviness and the dark, brooding atmosphere of the whole thing is quite appealing. However, a full album of this can get tedious and monotonous. No one said art had to be easy on the eyes, or in this case, the ears. 

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