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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Sludge-Crowbar

The featured band on this week's edition of Sunday Sludge is Crowbar.

Crowbar is probably the most influential band to come out of the New Orleans Sludge metal scene along with Eyehategod and Acid Bath. The band dates back to 1988, when Kirk Windstein joined the premiere hardcore punk band Shell Shock in New Orleans. He there met Jimmy Bower, who was their drummer, and both quickly became friends. The band collapsed when Mike Hatch, their guitarist, committed suicide in late 1988. The band, replacing Hatch with Kevin Noonan, carried on as Aftershock, where Windstein and Bower began to play low-tuned hardcore punk mixed with doom metal. Under that name they released a demo in mid-1989, and then renamed themselves WREQIUEM, with Mike Savoie, their bassist, leaving the band (He went on to direct music videos for Crowbar, Down, and Pantera), and Todd Strange joined them. Then in 1990 they renamed themselves The Slugs, and released a demo in mid-1990, but the band collapsed. Kirk considered becoming the guitarist for Exhorder. But Kirk and Todd reformed the band, with Craig Nunenmacher as the drummer, who was later replaced by Tommy Buckley (Soilent Green), and Kevin Noonan again on guitar. The band renamed themselves Crowbar in mid-1991.

The band went on to record some of the greatest sludge albums of all-time including their debut "Obedience Thru Suffering" which came in at #18 on Heavy Planet's Top 50 albums of All-Time and 1995's "Time Heals Nothing".

After the release of their self-titled second album which was produced by Pantera's Phil Anselmo the band began to achieve notoriety by making videos and embarking on a major tour with Pantera. Windstein and Jimmy Bower would eventually team up with Phil Anselmo to create probably the most highly successful Sludge/Doom metal band Down.

Crowbar continues to make incredible music as evidenced by their most current release "Sever the Wicked Hand" (album streaming here) which was just released on Feb. 8, 2011. 

Crowbar's influence on the Sludge metal scene has spread from the bayou of Louisiana to the swamps of Florida to the backwoods of Georgia and the Carolinas and beyond. So the next time you hear a new Sludge band, there is a pretty good chance that Crowbar was influential in ther sound.

Current Lineup:

Kirk Windstein - vocals and guitars (1989–present) (Down and Kingdom of Sorrow)

Matthew Brunson - guitars (2009–present) (Kingdom of Sorrow)
Patrick Bruders - bass guitar (2005–present) (Goatwhore)
Tommy Buckley - drums (2005–present) (Soilent Green and Christ Inversion)

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