20 Best Metal Albums of 2014

The year in heavy from Scott to Slipknot

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Crowbar, 'Symmetry in Black'
20
9/20

9. Crowbar, 'Symmetry in Black'

Time Heals Nothing goes the title of the Nola sludge-core heavyweights' landmark 1995 slab, a phrase that bandleader Kirk Windstein has lived out over Crowbar's 25 years and 100-plus doomy anthems. But while many rock miserablists wallow in the comfort of being sad, Windstein treats heartbreak like a full-contact sport, his earthquaking Iommi-on-steroids riffs turning lyrics that might otherwise read as emo or goth into motivational slogans for Team Suffering: "Existence Is Punishment," take it like a man.  On Symmetry in Black, Crowbar’s finest hour in over a decade, the singer-guitarist doles out plenty of his macho masochism and bare-your-scars catharsis, but he seems to have finally found some healing, as well. "Walk with knowledge wisely," he commands on the album’s inspirational opening cut, while elsewhere he goes mellow and acoustic for "Amaranthe," a Crowbar love song of sorts, suggesting that this king of sorrow has glimpsed some light at the end of the tunnel, not just more black. B.G.

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