Crowbar and Spirit Adrift at Piere’s, Ft. Wayne, July 31, 2022

It was a big night of monstrous riffs at Piere’s when Crowbar and Spirit Adrift stormed the stage, along with openers Wolftooth, Blood Of Heroes, and Lust Witch.

You know The Riff Beast Tour is well named if you have ever heard Crowbar. As the headliner and anchor of the evening, they provided the biggest, most massive guitar pronouncements. There were many incredible preludes as well when the opening acts were on the stage.

First up was Indianapolis doom band Lust Witch. This trio is working on a new EP called We All Die Alone, and you’ll be able to grab before too long. I love doom metal so this was the perfect way to start the evening as far as I was concerned. The band was already playing when I got inside the venue and I am sorry I missed part of their set because I really liked what I heard.

Danville, Illinois metal band Blood of Heroes came next. Having recently signed with Dark Star Records, they have several up-coming dates to promote their presence and get ready for more roadwork and newly recorded music. They play in a heavy metal groove lane, and put out an energetic live performance. I am looking forward to the follow-up to their debut album Symbolic Voices (AMG).

Wolftooth is from Richmond, Indiana. Their most recent album is Blood & Iron (Napalm Records), and they played several songs from that set. Their record label describes their sound as “offering a colossal slab of genuine, proto-metal influenced heaviness with a deep dose of doom essence and addictive stoner riffage to boot.” I can’t argue with that. Spirit Adrift’s lead singer described them as “corn-fed Iron Maiden,” and certainly their sound can be experienced in the Iron Maiden vein. Whenever you see them on a bill, make sure you get to that show.

I have written about Spirit Adrift regularly since I saw them for the first time at Aftershock in 2019. They are a straight-up heavy metal band with killer hooks and amazing guitar work. Lead singer and guitarist Nate Garrett has an ideal voice for their brand of music, and every time I have seen them has been an occasion. I would go to festival on the strength of them performing there alone. Spirit Adrift has a new EP coming out soon with a couple of originals and a half dozen covers – expect to hear a lot more about that album in this column when it drops.

Crowbar is an iconic sludge metal band. Fronted by the legendary Kirk Windstein, Crowbar has been putting out music for more than thirty years. Zero and Below is their newest album, and it forms the basis for the current Riff Beast Tour. When I was reviewing that record, I wrote, in part, “Windstein’s vocals blast power and energy that combine with the titanic riffs and percussion to forge an instantly recognizable and unforgettable sound.” Somehow, in all my years I had never seen Crowbar live. I don’t know how that is possible, but the situation was remedied on the last day of July in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Crowbar is out for the next few weeks with Spirit Adrift. Both bands continue after that in separate directions for dozens of dates throughout 2022. Go out and see them when they enter your orbit. It’ll be a show you talk about for months to come.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Band Links.


Spirit Adrift,


Blood Of Heroes,

Lust Witch,

Piere’s Entertainment Center,

Photo Galleries.

Spirit Adrift,


Blood Of Heroes,

Lust Witch,

© Wayne Edwards

Crowbar and Spirit Adrift at Piere’s, Ft. Wayne, July 31, 2022

Crowbar, Zero and Below (MNRK Heavy 2022)

The twelfth studio album from Crowbar is yet another monumental earth-shaker: Zero and Below.

One of the biggest sounds to emerge from the New Orleans heavy music scene, Crowbar are pioneers of sludge metal. Kirk Windstein (vocals, guitar), Matt Brunson (guitar), Shane Wesley (bass), and Tommy Buckley (drums) deliver not merely a new album, but a vitally important one. There is no half in their game – it is a full-on assault from beginning to end.

Sludge metal is a lethal amalgam for doom and aggression. Windstein’s vocals blast power and energy that combine with the titanic riffs and percussion to forge an instantly recognizable and unforgettable sound. While Crowbar has been a clear influence on many successful bands, they have never rested on their success and, for more than thirty years, they have held the throttle wide open.

There are ten killer songs on Zero And Below. The opening track hits you at speed, “The Fear That Binds You,” and turns you right around. The guitar riff is like an advancing legion. “Her Evil Is Sacred” animates the wicked into a reckoning. “Confess To Nothing” leans into the doom realm heavily to great effect, then the pace pounds on with “Chemical Godz.” The music keeps you moving this way and that.

There is all manner of pace and shift in this set. “Denial of the Truth” imbibes a kind of “Planet Caravan” vibe, but it is much heavier than that classic. “Crush Negativity” pushes steamroller weight while “Reanimating A Lie” is more nimble in the clip and every bit as heavy in the narrative. “Bleeding From Every Hole” is a show-stopper, and I would put the title track high up on the list, too, with its surrounding, melancholy ever-presence. This record wreaks havoc from every angle. Highly recommended.

Zero and Below is out now through MNRK Heavy – vinyl, cassette, longbox, digital … whatever you want. Grab them while you can. And see Crowbar on the road – they are out now with Sepultura and Sacred Reich on tour, and they will be doing dates with Gwar, Nekrogoblikon, and The Native Howl later in the spring and summer.

Band photo by Justin Reich.




MNRK Heavy Records,

Crowbar, Zero and Below (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Clutch, with Crowbar, Blacktop Mojo, and Saul, Live from the Doom Saloon, Volume 1, May 27, 2020

With live in-person music events on an indefinite hiatus, streaming events are becoming more common. Clutch has been holding short livestreams for a few weeks nowfrom their rehearsal space, the Doom Saloon. Yesterday they cranked it up a notch by holding a three-hour concert event through the LiveFrom Events platform with Saul, Blacktop Mojo, and Crowbar as openers. It was not the same as being there in person, of course, but it was a lot fun.

The started about 25 minutes late, just like a regular concert. Before each band, some promotional material was run, interviews or merchandise links or release announcements, that sort of thing. And then the bands each played from their respective remote places.

Saul was first up. Their music is melodic and guitar-driven, reminiscent of Breaking Benjamin. A quartet from Iowa, Saul has been gaining momentum in the last couple years. They clocked a solid 30 minute set to break open the afternoon, playing their hits and closing with “Brother,” their best known song. The production was topnotch on their end – Saul was the only band using more than one camera, and they even had a light show.

The feed headed south to Fort Worth Sound Studios in Texas for the next show. Blacktop Mojo creates a heavy sound that is a blend of bluesy southern rock and grungy riffs. The band has a new EP coming out Friday called Static, and they played a couple songs from it. You can look forward to raucous live sets from these five when we can all get back together again. As a bonus, you can count on some fancy footwork from the lead singer Matt James. They closed their set with “Come Get Your Coat,” from their recent album Under The Sun, and it was a great send off.

Before the next band took to stage, the promoter ran several ads. Not surprising, and after all, at a show or especially a festival we are always bombarded with vendors selling things. It didn’t run too long and it gave me a chance to grab another beer.

The penultimate band was New Orleans’ renowned veteran skull crushers Crowbar. Broadcasting from what looked like an underground bunker, founder and frontman Kirk Windstein was in fine form. The band brought some sludge and doom to the show, with the occasional nod to a classic Motörhead style. The first two bands were new to me, but I have seen Crowbar a number of times and so I was really looking forward to this performance. The band definitely delivered the monster riffs and the menacing vocals we were all hoping for.

The headliner was next, and leading up to Clutch’s performance, the “Willie Nelson” video was played. Then we heard the familiar lead-in that always means Clutch is about to hit the stage: “If I ever get my hands on a dollar again, I’m gonna squeeze on it until the eagle grin.” Ah, the memories.

Playing from the Doom Saloon itself, this performance looked very much like the shorter livestreams Clutch has been broadcasting except this was a full set, 14 songs. Here is the list:

“Who Wants to Rock?”

“Pure Rock Fury”

“Weird Times”

“The Soapmakers”

“The Regulator”


“The Incomparable Mr. Flannery”

“Unto The Breach”

“Electric Worry”

“The House That Peterbilt”

“A Shotgun Named Marcus”



“In Walks Barbarella”

It was so great to see Clutch perform their usual mix of fan favorites and rarities. Well, to be fair, for fans all the songs are favorites. They sounded and looked great. I hope there will be more of these coming up – they certainly do seem to be well received by fans thirsty for live music. Neil Fallon mentioned that  the livestream was being broadcast at Chilkoot Charlie’s in Anchorage, Alaska. That’s some reach for you right there. Koot’s! I really miss that place … but I digress. Other bands have announced similar streaming concerts, and a lot of musicians have been doing what they can to reach listeners over the past three months. There will probably be even more innovations the longer this all drags on, but those people who say live in person is music is gone for good are wrong. As soon as it works, we are all going to be out there again. Until then, we’ll keep supporting music as much as we can.

Part of the proceeds from this livestreaming event will go to the Angel Flight West charity (see the link below). And there is a limited Minotaur t-shirt you can buy for only a day or two more (link also below). What is special about it besides its cool design is that some of the proceeds from the shirt sales will go to the Clutch crew who have been idled by the current situation.

Finally, check out the platform, LiveFrom Events. A recording of the entire show is available to watch for a couple days in case you missed it – or if you bought the livestream access, you can watch the show again. Overall this event went really well. There was delay at the beginning, and the chat feature locked up for me most of the time, but I was watching and listening to the music anyway so that wasn’t a problem as far as I am concerned. I would definitely watch another LiveFrom event.




Minotaur shirt,


Blacktop Mojo


LiveFrom Events

Angel Flight West

© Wayne Edwards.

Clutch, with Crowbar, Blacktop Mojo, and Saul, Live from the Doom Saloon, Volume 1, May 27, 2020