Kingdom Of Sorrow
Behind the Blackest Tears

So the debut from this super group (or super duet really, as Jamey Jasta and Kirk Windstein are the main guys) was an expected mix of Hatebreed and Crowbar; it was a pretty fun but underwhelming listen. On their second effort, however, the duet, now working with a different backing group, appears to have really blended their two styles into a much more dynamic and memorable affair.

Behind the Blackest Tears seems a lot more bluesy (spiced with a Down-vibe) than the predecessor. The two seem a lot more comfortable with each other as well, allowing their respective influences gel together in a much more coherent fashion. While Jasta’s and Windstein’s vocals still showcase their unique approaches, riff-wise, the music is far less segregated; who wrote what part isn’t as clear anymore. Instead there’s just 12 fleshed out, stout, crunchy and as I said, bluesy, groovy tunes that show two individuals coming together in creative unison – finally.

Nowhere is the premise more fulfilled than on tracks like “God’s Law in the Devil’s Land”, “Envision the Divide”, “From Heroes to Dust”, “Along the Path to Ruin” and “The Death We Owe” which all come across with a hazy southern grit and confident hardcore machismo, rolled into one burly, earthy shot of metal. Still there’s a couple of straight up sturdy, stomping numbers like the enjoyable title track, “Monuments in Ash”, “With Barely A Breath” and the pure hardcore of “Sleeping Beast” and urgent closer “Salvation Denied”.  Even if at times the personalities shine over one another, Behind the Blackest Tears is a far smoother and seamlessly written than the quick, dirty collaboration that was the debut. Jasta and Windstein simply seem to be more focused and in unison.

Behind the Blackest Tears is what the debut should have been. A fierce effort that finally warrants the expectations set upon the two getting together to make metal.

But, Kirk… where is the new fucking Crowbar album?!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 7th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Shane

    Musically it’s cool. I really dig some of the sorrowful sludge in here. However, I cannot take Jasta seriously. Just don’t care for his delivery or image. Weird mix.

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    I’m on the same page as Shane here. Musically this is awesome. But I simply cannot get into Jasta’s vocals. When I was first getting into the more extreme offerings of metal, Hatebreed was one of my stepping stones, circa Perseverance, but I really cannot stand his vocal approach anymore. Shame, because otherwise it sounds like a damn fine album.

  3. Commented by: Fred Phillips

    Haven’t heard it yet, but will probably check it out based on Erik’s review. I have to agree on Jasta’s voice, though. It’s too monotonous for my tastes.

  4. Commented by: mccumberv

    I love Down and Crowbar, but I just cannot see why Windstein would ever team up with Jasta, I cannot stand his vocals, lyrics or image. I assume that he is a nice guy and all and he wears some cool metal T-shirts, I doubt he listens to any of the bands though. I should at least give this a try instead of just judging it like I am, but damn Jamey Jasta???!!! I might need to be drunk while I listen, haha.

  5. Commented by: Reignman35

    Well I guess I will be the lone dissenting opinion and say I like Jasta. His vocals are incredibly unique and that’s saying something in the crowded metal vocal arena. I’ve never met the guy but he seems to have stayed true to himself and his ideas. Just seems to be a major polarizing figure in metal but I for one hope he continues to play the main role in Hatebreed and other side project like this one.

  6. Commented by: Clauricaune

    Jasta’s vocals don’t sound annoying to me, just kinda mediocre, not very powerful at all. Which sucks, because other than that this is a damn good album.

  7. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    For those of you dissing Jamey Jasta’s voice…I am afraid I must respectfully disagree. His voice is no more laughable than Phil Anselmo’s, and we all know Phil is a legend in both Pantera and Down. I’m not the “biggest” Hatebreed fan granted. But I love KOS and they killed when I saw them live back in 2008 (opening for GWAR). Jamey’s okay. But that’s just me.

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