Revolver has teamed with Crowbar for an exclusive colored vinyl variant of their new album, Zero and Below — limited to 300 copies. Order yours now!
Crowbar are a sludge-metal institution. The NOLA crushers — fronted by the prolific guitarist-vocalist Kirk Windstein, also of Down and Kingdom of Sorrow — formed over three decades ago and have since unloaded an impressive stack of records since their 1991 debut.
Fans of the band know that there isn't really a weak era in their imposing catalog, so when we asked our readers to choose the best Crowbar song, we got answers that spanned their entire career thus far. From the early staples to emotionally crushing later tracks, the top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.
"Like Broken Glass" is a standout from Crowbar's 1996 LP, Broken Glass — the first of two albums they made with Eyehategod guitarist/Down drummer Jimmy Bower on the kit. It encapsulates everything the band does best into a trim sub-four minutes of devastation: elephantine guitar crunch, Windstein's scraggly howls and grooves that give Pantera a run for their money.
While many singers in the physically demanding genre of metal experience quality decline with age, Windstein's vocals have only become better-suited for Crowbar's lurching, weathered music. "To Build a Mountain" is from the band's seventh album, Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form, and the frontman's ragged groans add an even grimier, nastier flavor to the trudging tempos and leathery riffage.
Thanks to its stint on MTV upon its 1993 release, "All I Had (I Gave)" is one of Crowbar's most popular songs and a common entry point into their catalog. Produced by Philip Anselmo, this one starts with a galloping thrash beat before it sinks into their signature churn, and then it ends with a repetitive chug that hammers harder and harder into the ground until there's nothing left.
Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form doesn't start with a crash, but a crawl. "The Last Dose" is a plodding tug-of-war between the sturdiness of Crowbar's sound and the gravitational grooves that want nothing more than to yank Windstein's riffs down to ground level. "I've felt the pain of a brutal war/I feel the pain of a lasting war," the frontman intones with a weariness that personifies the long battle ahead.
It's the quintessential Crowbar song, and it deserves to be. The clear standout from the band's 1998 LP, Odd Fellows Rest, features one of Windstein's most poignant and melodically affecting vocal performances, a tasteful solo that blends into a suspenseful bridge, and a smoldering outro riff with a guitar tone that flickers like embers instead of bursting into a metallic inferno. Crowbar are best known for the sheer force of their music, but "Planets Collide" reveals the effective songwriting at the core of their imposing frame.