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21
Lifesblood For The Downtrodden
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2005
Crowbar's music is heavy. There's no question about that. But in my opinion, with this album, they've taken their own sheer heaviness to a new level. They've captured something so unreal with this album. I, like many other Crowbar fans all over the world, was anticipating this new album alot. Wondered how they'll be able to top their previous release, "Sonic Excess In It's Purest Form", and wondered if i'd be blown away at all by this new album. And i have to admit, i am alot more than just blown away..

From start to finish this album is fantastic. I wouldn't say it's their best, as i don't own all of their albums, but out of the collection i do have ("Crowbar", "Time Heals Nothing", "Equilibrium" and "Sonic Excess..") it comes mighty close. There is not one song i'm able to skip on this excellent CD. 5/5 stars hardly gives it the praise it deserves.

Crowbar have taken a very mature approach to this release it seems, with songs like "New Dawn", "Slave No More", the truly outstanding "Fall Back To Zero" and "Moon" just to name a few. "Dead Sun" which they did a video for, is heavy on the riffing, as is "The Violent Reaction", "Underworld" and "Angel's Wings". On the track "The Violent Reaction", it has some of Kirk Windstein's best vocals. Very powerful, and aggressive.

"Lifesblood", the 7 1/2 minute finisher, is an excellent piano, mixed with a bit of a solo, track that shows their talents elsewhere, other than creating some of the most heaviest riffs around today. Kirk sings, but after about 2 minutes, the music takes over and it just goes in and out of a dreamy atmosphere that, after the song and the album finally finish, you really have to sort of wake yourself up from.

Crowbar are such a talented group, and although the line-up seems to change around alot, the creativeness as a group always stays the same. They create the most brutal riffs, and execute them with total power, and they can also create beautiful piano pieces that show a totally different side to them. I suggest fans of bands like Down, Eyehategod, Corrosion of Conformity and Pantera, who haven't yet checked out Crowbar, to pick this, or any of their other albums, up immediately. This album will have you listening to it again and again. It's that good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2006
When thinking of the word "consistency," only two examples come to mind: vanilla pudding and Crowbar (or sludge/doom metal in general).

Ever since Crowbar formed and released their debut album in 1991, this southern quartet have always been in one niche: making slow, low-key, brooding, and ultra heavy sludge/doom metal. Despite several lineup changes (Pantera alumni Rex Brown played bass on this album), Kirk Windstein and his boys have never "sold out" or strayed far from their roots. Hence, the band's eighth studio album was no exception; "Lifesblood For The Downtrodden" serves up a new batch of pulverizing, bone crunching, mind numbing, speaker destroying, Southern flavored metal.

Granted, there are a couple of curveballs thrown into the mix here and there: "Fall Back To Zero" is a dreary, mostly melodic semi-ballad, and the album closer, "Lifesblood," is an acoustic strummed song with piano by former drummer Sid Montz. But every other one of the nine songs on here are absolutely bludgeoning. Some examples of this are the slowly churning, grinding, sledgehammer riffs on the album opener, "New Dawn," the faster-than-most fourth track, "Angels Wings," and the pounding skull cracker, "Coming Down."

Even if you're a metalhead, sludge/doom metal may or may not be your thing, so you'll definitely want to hear this album before buying it. But most metalheads will tell you "Lifesblood For The Downtrodden" is yet another tasty, satisfying treat from this Bayou-based band. And, quite frankly, Crowbar seem incapable of creating anything else.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2005
Crowbar, a band best known for its bellowing debut, is quite underrated. Sure, diversity isn't their token, but they also have some albums that have stood out which deserve attention. This is one of them.

The opening track is what you'd expect of Crowbar- slow, heavy, and emotional. It feels almost like they were trying to pull another "Lasting Dose", but didn't quite make it. But, if there is a song that comapres to their most famous epic off the last album, then it's Slave No More. Crowbar discovers the merits of melody, which makes this song even more crushing than anything else on the entire CD.

Another notable track is "Fall Back to Zero" (forgive me if I have some of these track names wrong). It has a great into and outro, both of which feel cold and sorrowful, with great riffs inbetween. This song blends nicely with the energetic "Underworld", Kirk's vocal dilvery is also the highlight here. "Moon" is another great track, somewhat similar to FBtZ, but even better, it has an almost hypnotic breakdown. "The Violent Reaction" is simply a well-done song done in Crowbar's distinct brand of sludge.

I know a lot of people complained about the last track, but I love it. I almost wish that Kirk would do more experiments in this. I'm not Christian, but these lyrics send a tinge of sorrow across my spine. The music is also somewhat Pink Floydish and minimalist. Overall, it seems like the kind of experimentalism that you'd find on a Down album.

This may be the best Crowbar CD to start off with. After this, get Odd Fellow's Rest, the S/T, and Sonic Excess.
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on June 4, 2009
I have been listening to Kirk's band Crowbar since "Obedience..." This shows alot of maturity in his skills of songwriting, without losing the edge Crowbar has always had. Just enough melody and beauty to satisfy and not waterdown the otherwise crushing rhythms.
There really isn't ONE bad Crowbar release. This is right up there with "Broken Glass" and "Sonic Excess.." my other two favorite Crowbar CD's. "Odd Fellow's Rest" was good, but only 3 really good tracks on that one, including one of my favorites 'Planets Colide"...
Back to "Lifes Blood..".. Amazing sonics on this puppy. I can't find even one bad track on this release. I hope Kirk keeps it up, because if I had to choose which band he should quit, I would say "Down". Crowbar is raw emotion, with the Heaviest tone I've ever heard. I would go as far to say, that Crowbar is my favorite Metal band. They have infuenced countless bands, and never made a cent doing it. They do it for the love.
I thought Katrina was going to disband them, boy was I wrong. It probably gave Kirk more to scream and write about.

Keep it up guys! You have a following that is strong and appreciative!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2005
It has been a long time since we heard from Crowbar, albeit not the original line-up.

However, with Kirk on vocals, Rex Brown(Pantera/Down) on Bass, and Craig Nunemacher(BLS/Crowbar) on drums the riffs are nice and sludgy and the drums are just like they were in '93.

If you follow Crowbar at all or love Louisiana sludge, you will eat this album up. Kirk spans his entire repotoire on this one.

In past efforts it seemed they would get focused on a style that defined the album, but the trend is broken on this one.

I agree with the above reviewer. It is not as good as the self titled Crowbar album, but it is a close second and in some ways better. If you could only buy three get Crowbar, Time Heals, and Lifes Blood.

They are on tour now and will be on the west coast. You can visit Crowbarmusic.com for information.

Let us hope we don't have to wait 3 more years for the next installment.
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on September 13, 2008
This is my first Crowbar album, purchased in '08. I'm glad I bought this because in the times of overproduced, overhyped, overly complex metal, this album stands out as a genuine, polished and balanced album.

What was immediately apparent is that Crowbar are great at timing. Rather than switching time signatures like a child with Attention Deficit Disorder, they instead blend in tempo changes that work to make the music more interesting.

The lyrics are meaningful, can be understood and are memorable. The vocals are neither too forced above the music or muddied behind the guitar - they are presented as one of the instruments which is a sign of a balanced album.

The guitars are slow and heavy, the bass warps your skull and the drumming is good. As for the tracks on the album, there's a mix of slow and heavy, fast and heavy, as well as gentle and calm. Regardless, the songs are distinguishable and together as an album, it all comes together to provide a perfect dynamic.

I can't wait to hear their next effort!
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on May 28, 2005
Now, just so you know, the only other Crowbar CD I have right now is "Broken Glass". That CD has infinite replay value. So, when I first heard this one, I was a little let down at first. It isn't as catchy at first, but damn does it ever grow on you!
The production rules - you can clearly hear the bass growling at you, and every instrument is distinct, whereas "Broken Glass" was a little blurry. Not to mention the songs are strongly constructed. "Fall Back To Zero" in particular is necksnappingly brutal.
By the way, I was less impressed with "Crowbar", their first album, but that was shortsighted of me (I sold it because the triggered drums turned me off - they sound too electronic).
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on June 21, 2013
Another great Crowbar album id have to say this one has become my second favorite Crowbar album, number 1 being Odd Fellows Rest thats the best! But this album here just has such a smooth groovy sound to it,where some of the older recordings seemed a little distorted or lowly recorded,but not this one crisp sound and some great frigging rhythm's in it. My personal favorite songs off this are Coming Down,Fall Back To Zero,Dead Sun, A Violent Reaction and Lifesblood. Just nothinmg more to say if you know Crowbar you know the sound & you know its good,so pick it up and keep supporting great music!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2006
After spinning through "Lifesblood For the Downtrodden" a few times, there is one overwhelming idea that comes to my mind....this would have been the perfect follow up album to Corrosion of Conformity's "Blind" album. And it's not so much that this album is derivative or based in someone else's ideas; "Blind" was a defining album for both COC and for this entire genre of Metal. Southern, slow, heavily blues influenced, slightly doomy. For me, being called a good follow-up to "Blind" is about the highest compliment you can pay an album in this category.

LFTD took hold of me with the video they released for "Dead Sun". Starting off with maybe the least "sludgy" riff on the album besides the opening of "Angels Wings", it descends into the most, with a ghostly screaming effect washing in and out of the chorus that is odd enough to stand out and interesting enough to actually work. The album is filled with inventive riffs and agile ideas which break up the staleness of the "sludgy" moniker: the bounciness of the initial "Slave No More" riff, the raucous thrash of the verses of "Angels Wings", the epic pull of "Coming Down".

COC still hasn't been able to manufacture an album as strong or captivating as "Blind", but Crowbar manages that and then some with LFTD. I wasn't convinced that the genre was really worth paying any more attention to until now. If you have ever liked any peice of this genre, run and get this now. If you haven't, this is a great modern place to start.
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on January 10, 2010
To answer my own question: Could Crowbar make a bad album? They proved again that they cannot. This is a great listen from start to finish. It's good and heavy with the classic doom sound you expect from Crowbar. I've listened to it over and over again. Pick it up, you won't regret it.
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