Fifteen years ago Crowbar released what has since gone on to be one of the band’s most pivotal albums when it released Equilibrium. The album, which was released originally via Spitfire Records, was officially re-issued late las tmonth via Entertainment One in all of it’s heavy glory. For anyone that is perhaps unfamiliar to Crowbar’s body of work, Equilibrium proves to be a good starting point with its heavy southern sludge/doomcore sound and thought provoking lyrics. It does so right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and again in the equally pummeling ‘Command of Myself.’ These two tracks are but a couple examples of why Equilibrium remains such an important part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The more punk oriented sound of ‘Uncovering’ and its associated lyrical content is one more example of why audiences new and old alike will enjoy this record should either one not already own it. By themselves, each of the songs noted here show three different reasons that Equilibrium remains one of Crowbar’s most pivotal albums to date. Collectively and alongside the albums other seven songs, the whole of Equilibrium proves to be just as enjoyable for Crowbar’s fans today as it was fifteen years ago in its original release.
Crowbar’s 2000 full length release Equilibrium is one of the most important albums that the band has released to date among its now ten total albums. The main reason for this is the way in which the album mixes together the sound of its older albums with the occasional more punk vibes. Those punk vibes were present in the band’s previous albums. But even in those albums they were not so evident. They are much clearer here. And the band’s heavier side seems even heavier here, too. That heavier side grabs listeners right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ Listening to this song, one coul almost make a comparison to legendary thrash metal band Pantera thanks to the work of guitarist Sammy Pierre Duet, drummer Sid Montz and then bassist Todd Strange. Front man Kirk Windstein’s vocal delivery remains as much of a powerhouse as ever as he screams, “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learned to take my time/You may not understand/The things that burn my mind/Before I’m gone/Conquer it all/Hope still not gone/Conquer it.” Windstein’s powerhouse delivery partner with the song’s defiant yet hopeful lyrics to paint a vivid picturefor listeners. Add in the song’s title and listeners get the image of someone that has faced great odds but refuses to give up no matter what. The line “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learne to take my time” could easily be interpreted as Windstein saying he stands atop all that mankind has made miserable, or simply all that man has in fact ruine or destroyed rather than letting himself become part of those ruins. It is really a positive message despite its forceful delivery. The forceful delivery actually adds to the song’s “oomph” for lack of better wording. The delivery of the lyrics presents a feeling of determination. And that sense of determination coupled with the song’s powerhouse music makes the song in whole that much more powerful and that much wiser a way to open this record.
‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ proves, in considering Equilibrium’s body in whole, to be the right choice for this album’s opener. That is because of the song’s pummeling southern sludge/doom sound and its equally powerful yet positive lyrics. ‘Command of Myself’ presents much the same mix of heaviness and heavy yet positive lyrics. While it has that same heaviness as the album’s opener, audiences will especially appreciate that it still boasts a sound different from that of ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ The band’s trademark southern sludge metal sound takes on a new life here. Its slower pace matches its lyrics, too as Windstein sings, “I’ve been pushing so hard/I’ve been pushing so many years/Still that fire will always burn/Count on me until I die.” Windstein continues on in the same positive direction with the rest of the song’s lyrical content. The song’s closing line sees Windstein screaming, “To myself I’m always true/My reflection I see with pride.” The positive message presented in these words are made even more impactful when set against the song’s slower, yet still pounding musical side. When both elements are set against the rest of Equilibrium’s songs, they show even more why ‘Command of Myself’ is such an important addition to this record. In turn the song, when partnered with the album’s opener, shows even more the importance of Equilibrium as part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The songs together are fleeting moments of light among some very emotionally deep opuses. They show that even in the face of so many emotionally difficult situations, it is possible to be optimistic. Speaking of those emotionally difficult situations, one of the most interesting of the most interesting of those emotionally difficult scenarios presented across Equilibrium is the punk-influenced ‘Uncovering.’
‘Uncovering’ is one of the most intriguing of the album’s deeply emotional moments. It stands out among Equilibrium’s other deeply emotional songs because much like the album’s opener, it presents the subject overcoming a very tough emotional situation. As Windstein writes here, “Left me all alone/Pushed me until I explode/I’ve got to find a way/Thought I could count on you/My faith will pull me through again.” The overall message that is presente here is positive. Windstein is saying there has to be a way, and reminds himself that he will get through it. He goes on to write, “Feel myself burning inside/Finally realized no more compromise/Now I can break away.” He is saying again that he is not going to let himself be held down. The song’s heavy, punk-influenced sound set alongside such determined lyrics, makes it yet another key example of what makes Equilibrium a record that any Crowbar fan should have in their collection.
‘Uncovering’ proves in its own way why Crowbar’s newly re-issued album Equilibrium is one that any Crowbar fan should add to their library if they don’t already have this record in their collection. It’s only one of the songs that make this argument, too. Both the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and ‘Command of Myself’ add to that argument, too. The same could be said of the album’s other tracks not noted here. All things considered, the whole of Equilibrium proves in its new re-issue that fifteen years after its original release, it is an album that any of this stalwart band’s fans will appreciate whether they are fans new or old. Equilibrium is available now in stores and online. Crowbar will hit the road beginning next month in support of Equilibrium alongside Battlecross and Lord Dying. The tour kicks off May 28th in Shreveport, LA. The band’s full tour schedule is available online along with the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.