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Perhaps New Orleans' all-time greatest metal export, Crowbar does nothing to tarnish their punishing reputation on their 2001 Spitfire Records release, Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form. That title is certainly not to be taken lightly, yet the group's music on this, their seventh full-length release (and second for Spitfire), is more than just excessive, it's musical and highly crafted in its own down-trodden, tortured way. While only a small percentage of the small group of fans captivated by music so singularly dark and grating will ever appreciate this or any Crowbar offering, that subset of listeners will be able to appreciate the subtle signs of musical growth exhibited on this record. Songs like "The Lasting Dose" and "Counting Daze" boast some of the group's best riffing and even a melodic moment or two for good measure. There is a classic metal essence to the riffs on display throughout these tracks and many others. With the possible exception of the balladic misadventures within "In Times of Sorrow," Sonic Excess in Its Purest From is a proud demonstration of Crowbar's continuing commitment to absolute heaviness.