I've never really got Crowbar - to close to the macho meat head metal crowd too often (even if that might not be their fault), but I did get a lot of their albums many years ago which I still have. I thought it about time to give them another go.
...is one of the worst things to ever happen to music.
Crowbar were the perfect band to get into when I was 16. Full of simple cries of heartache and anxious anger, huge riffs and rhythms. I found Time Heals Nothing in Record Collector and picked it up after seeing Anselmo wearing a Crowbar shirt in the I'm Broken video. It's still my favourite album of theirs by a way. It's a strange sounding album, extremely open drum sound, everything sounds like it's been recorded in a cave or a swimming pool or something. It makes the instruments sound seperate and lonesome. And the drums! Still got a massive boner about the drums on that record, just listen to Through A Wall Of Tears.
Otherwise, the first album has lingerings of 80's metal but a few cracking songs. Their second album shows a progression towards Time Heals Nothing (their third) with beastly tracks like All I Had I Gave and Existence Is Punishment. After THN, Craig Nunenmacher left to join Black Label Society (a tragedy for everyone except some biker twat called Zak) and Jimmy Bower played on Broken Glass, which has a good sound but I'm not overly familiar with it. They enjoyed some brief success with Odd Fellows Rest, which after THN, is their next stand out album. It has an extremely thick, satisfying sound and top use of light and shade. After that it kinda goes downhill. Equilibrium is dreadful. Sonic Excess In Its Purist Form is better, but is lacking in sincerity and conviction. Lifesblood For The Downtrodden was decent, and included Rex Brown and Craig Nunenmacher, but I've never heard the new one.
So there you go... Time Heals Nothing, Odd Fellows Rest, Broken Glass, Crowbar, Obedience Thru Suffering, Lifesblood For The Downtrodden, Sonic Excess In Its Purist Form, Equilibrium (not heard Sever The Wicked Hand, but heard it's decent). In that order, for me. But as I say, they were a band matched with my adolescence and as I squirmed towards adulthood they got less and less plays. I can still listen to Time Heals Nothing and other choice cuts any time though.
Odd Fellows Rest is my fave, they were excellent in London a few years ago. As close as meathead metal gets to being emo, which is good (but would probably get me beaten up if I said it at a Dimebag-centric gig).