Live Review: Crowbar w/Inhuman Nature & Silverburn at The Dome in London!

A sold out show is always a thing of beauty and it’s always nice to see a band of legendary stature paid the complement. Crowbar are in the Big Smoke, at a venue which we know all too well. The last time we were at The Dome in Tuffnell Park a dude sipping from a bottle of Evian was told by Security he couldn’t take it in. An argument back and forth about it just being water went on for a couple of minutes and it’s unusually heater nature suggested there was something going. Security guy tells the dude to neck it or bin it if he wants in. So he necked it, threw up and went in. You’ve guessed it. It was a poor attempt at smuggling in half a bottle of vodka that backfired. Anyway…

Thank you for coming down early, we appreciate it!” are the words from Sliverburn [8/10] frontman and guitarist James ‘Jimbob’ Isaac that ring in our ears and sound mildly threatening before the trio rattle through a collection of tunes with angular riffs and Hardcore bass lines, the centre stage drum kit restricting their movement. The band is the solo project of the Welshman that was conceived in the lockdown of 2020 and saw the creation of the 2023 released album “Self Induced Transcendental Annihilation“. A seamless blend of Thrash, Post-Sludge and Noise Metal that evolves the creations of bands like Will Haven and Converge, it’s easy to see why they draw a crowd. Anvil heavy and laced with discordant chug, the double kicks are in full effect with the trio’s migraine inducing sounds and if there were any who didn’t know who they were when they walked in, they’ll be checking them out now, such was the ovation they were given at the end of their set.

By the time old school Crossover Death Thrash purveyors Inhuman Nature [10/10] take to the stage, clad in denim and leather, The Dome is packed to the rafters and witness the outfit at the top of their game. Frontman Chris Barling raises a toy axe as if he’s stepped out of Golden Axe as he declares war on the audience, before the band tear through a set front loaded with whammy bar heavy anthems and feedback at an unstoppable rate. Baiting the crowd to get into the pit between songs the five piece barely have room to move on stage but make the most of the limited space to give us an electrifying display of power as if their lives depended on it. Cuts like “Beyond The Realms Of Sanity” and “Take Them by Force” go down a storm with fleeting solos sending a shiver down the spine, even if their mohawk wearing bassist looks a little bit out of place. A band with a gnarly old school quality to them they waste no time in making their presence felt and while their journey may have taken a little longer than they might have hoped, tonight and this tour, feels like a triumphant moment for them.

Bands come and go but Sludge Metal pioneers Crowbar [10/10] have stood the test of time like a mountain. Weather beaten and battle scarred, Kirk Windstein keeps defying the odds and issuing fresh riffs fit for worship in time honoured fashion, dragging the New Orleans quartet around the Globe year in, year out with well received new material that continues to be anvil heavy despite his years. “Zero And Below” might be a couple of years old at this point but it is very much another humdinger of an album and a career spanning set from the bearded overloads is exactly what the doctor ordered. After all, it’s 28 years this year since “Broken Glass” reared its ugly head. From opening salvo “Burn Your World” to encore “Conquering” tonight is a masterclass in live performance and the band continue to be heavier than ever. Windstein’s gravelly tones remain unwavering in their soul stirring abilities although when it comes to classics like “The Lasting Dose“, “Planets Collide” and “All I Had (I Gave)” the capacity crowd sing every word like a beer fuelled Metal Choir. A headbangers delight, what’s impressive is how well new new cuts “Chemical Godz” and “Bleeding From Every Hole” fit in with the older material, as if they’ve been part of the set since 1989. A few crowd surfers don’t get the opportunity to stage dive but the pit is full and gives the four piece the fuel they need, the promise of another album later this year from Windstein greeted with roars of appreciation. Hardest working man in Metal? Lifer? Hero? Greatest beard of all time? Loving wife selling t-shirts at the merch stand? All of the above.

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