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Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form

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Album Review

Perhaps New Orleans' all-time greatest metal export, Crowbar does nothing to tarnish their punishing reputation on their 2001 Spitfire Records release, Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form. That title is certainly not to be taken lightly, yet the group's music on this, their seventh full-length release (and second for Spitfire), is more than just excessive, it's musical and highly crafted in its own down-trodden, tortured way. While only a small percentage of the small group of fans captivated by music so singularly dark and grating will ever appreciate this or any Crowbar offering, that subset of listeners will be able to appreciate the subtle signs of musical growth exhibited on this record. Songs like "The Lasting Dose" and "Counting Daze" boast some of the group's best riffing and even a melodic moment or two for good measure. There is a classic metal essence to the riffs on display throughout these tracks and many others. With the possible exception of the balladic misadventures within "In Times of Sorrow," Sonic Excess in Its Purest From is a proud demonstration of Crowbar's continuing commitment to absolute heaviness.

Customer Reviews

Just an amazing album

The very first Crowbar song I ever heard was The Lasting Dose. At the time, I was just discovering sludge, and was under the impression Acid Bath and Mastodon was as heavy as it got. I was wrong. Sonic Excess just hits you in the stomach like a sledgehammer; Kirk's vocals and slow, heavy, down-tuned riffing just tears through me like nothing else I've found. It's simply put, one of the heaviest albums I've ever found, and in the best of Crowbar's storied career. Every single song on Sonic Excess is incredible, and each has its own meaning and feeling, something very rare in music today. This album is definitely not for everyone, but if you like heavy, dark, thick sludge, this is definitely one album you need to own.


This is my first review to write... i have never felt like my opinion needed to be voiced on music. Something had to bring you here to investigate the band, and that is what keeps this genre alive the curiosity... then the love! I would consider myself a veteran of this genre. From rural Arkansas and this is all that floated around my town. Acid Bath, Crowbar, Agents, Down, Superjoint... still crushes. I would put this band as the AC/DC of sludge. You always know what your going to get. if you are looking for that dark, heavier than heaven, kick in the gut, with a possible happy ending... buy it! From what i read kurt was bad on drugs, and was having emotional trials at that time... who can't relate to that?


This is crowbars strongest album in my opinion. One of those rare 'play all the way through' albums.


Formed: 1992 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

New Orleans metal band Crowbar originally comprised vocalist/guitarist Kirk Windstein, guitarist Matt Thomas, bassist Todd Strange, and drummer Craig Nunemacher. Once known as the Slugs, the band's slow, grinding, heavy sound has alternately been tagged sludge metal and sludgecore, and has drawn comparisons both vocally and musically to Pantera, the Melvins, and Tad. Debuting in 1992 with Obedience Through Suffering, they subsequently signed to Pavement Music and issued albums including 1993's Crowbar...
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