Crowbar
Broken Glass


4.0
excellent

Review

by Travis Marmon USER (32 Reviews)
February 10th, 2010 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the heaviest bands from one of music's heaviest scenes.

The New Orleans sludge metal scene of the 1990's is home to some of metal's most consistent music. Acid Bath's morbid, chaotic pair of albums are cult classics. Eyehategod and Soilent Green are still floating around on a solid and successful formula of heavy riffs mixed with a southern blues tone. Even groove/thrashers Exhorder get credit for being the band that Pantera allegedly ripped off. But one band that doesn't quite get the recognition it deserves is Crowbar, one of the most bone-crushingly heavy bands from the region.

Crowbar were:

Kirk Windstein - Vocals/Guitar
Matt Thomas - Guitar
Tommy Strange - Bass
Jimmy Bower - Drums

Crowbar's 1996 effort, Broken Glass, has absolutely zero subtlety. For a modest 38 minutes, this album beats, strangles, and pummels you into oblivion. Crowbar have possibly the heaviest guitar tone in existence--every chord feels heavier than the last, and the production puts it right into your ear until you feel like your head is going to explode.

The album's three best tracks come right out of the gate. "Conquering" is one of the album's faster songs, but about halfway through slows to a crawl over a triumphant call of "I choose to die my own way!" "Like Broken Glass" brings an incredibly thick, inhuman riff that drags you into the album's primary atmosphere--a feeling of being dragged through a swamp by a slow-moving beast. It also has a chorus that will stick in your head for days. Broken Glass' best track is number three, "(Can't) Turn Away From Dying." This track boasts simple but effective lyrics, as well as the album's best vocal moment: Windstein shouts with tremendous anger "I never thought you could sink so low/A slave to the dying."

This actually brings me to the album's biggest flaw. Windstein's vocals come from the pit of his stomach, and they don't have the power of contemporaries like Soilent Green's Ben Falgoust. His vocals fit the music, but they can be very irritating after a while, even on an album this short. They are especially distracting on the pseudo-ballad "Nothing," which is probably the worst song here.

Back to the positive side of things. Although the album's last seven tracks aren't quite as good or memorably as the first three, they all have a solid level of consistency that will stop you from skipping tracks or turning the album off. The only major flaw is a lack of variation. As the guitars don't really play leads very often, the rhythm section is less of an individual unit and more of an expansion of the band's sound. Strange's basslines can be lost in the mix, but when clear they are just as heavy as the guitars. Bower never overplays his drums, but he effectively pounds away in the background.

Overall, there are much more complex and diverse metal albums than Broken Glass, but few are as capable of satisfying elitist metalheads, tough guys, and those who just want good riffs. If you need more sludge in your life, give this a listen. It will be 40 minutes well-spent.



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user ratings (81)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Phantom
February 10th 2010


8930 Comments


nice, crowbar are ok in my book

PoodleRapist
February 10th 2010


254 Comments


great review.. i've been meaning to get into them for a long while, i'll start with this one

HenchmanOfSanta
February 10th 2010


1872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't believe I had this as a 3 when I first heard it. Windstein's vocals put me off that much. Now I have it rated as a 3.5 and reviewed as a 4. Which should I settle on?

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SteelErectedb4you8er
February 10th 2010


2618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome. I am glad that someone did a review for this album. I think Kirk's vocals are the essence to what makes Crowbar so heavy. Not everyone is going to love them, but I think it wouldn't be as awesome without his vocals. I mean, yes, the music is so damn heavy. Good job. Also, I believe Phil Anselmo produced this album.

BallsToTheWall
February 10th 2010


44482 Comments


Good album. And review.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

eljueta
February 12th 2010


2 Comments


Good review, I still think "Conquering" is the heaviest track ever recorded, really.

Inveigh
August 28th 2010


25019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you're welcome heavy metal

Taoboxer9
November 24th 2010


173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude, It's Todd, not Tommy Strange !

eternium
December 28th 2010


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I AM FOREVERRRR.

Inveigh
December 28th 2010


25019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

god this album fucking owns

Counterfeit
December 28th 2010


17819 Comments


k, finally remembered to download this

eternium
December 28th 2010


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sludgesludgesludgesludgesludge

greg84
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2010


7397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, the album owns. I have an inclination towards Downtrodden though.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

iranscam
February 26th 2011


469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if this ablums on get the FUCK out of my way!!!!

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 25th 2012


1881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this album is heavy, and furious too. 'Conquering' is a fantastic start, and probably one of the heaviest of the album.

KILL
September 25th 2012


71856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

4th best crowbar!!!!!!!!

Digging: A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology



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