New Orleans sludge icons Crowbar have partnered up with E1 Music for the worldwide release of their next album, which is tentatively scheduled for release this fall. It will be the barge-like band's first album since 2005's 'Lifesblood for the Downtrodden.'

Vocalis-guitarist Kirk Windstein, also of Down, told Noisecreep, "Much of the album is written, and I've been doing stuff with Down. But officially, I'm fixing to head to Europe for 25 days and play festivals, and Crowbar is scheduled to go into the studio in July 16 to start tracking drums. We're going to knock it out as quickly as possible. We have the pieces. They just need to be arranged."

Windstein said he is hoping and praying to get the album out by November of this year. "I know it's close to Christmas, when all the superstar acts release their albums, but it doesn't make a damn difference in the music industry anymore," he said.

Windstein, who lives just outside of New Orleans, said that he doesn't believe the negative effects of Hurricane Katrina will influence the as-yet-untitled album, either. "It'll be five years on Aug. 29 of this year," Windstein said, "The storm had a huge effect on the last Down album, since we got together six months after it happened. It was fresh in our minds, and the area was devastated."

But given the clean up, the construction and the vitality of the culture, there appears to be more upsides and a focus on the positive, rather than dwelling on the negative. As a result, New Orleans is an economic anomaly, one that is bucking the national trend. "There is new construction and people are coming back," Windstein said. "People are coming back. The rebuilding of the city creates new jobs. All my friends that are plumbers, electricians and do air conditioning work are making tons of money right now since there is so much work."

Windstein, who is also in Kingdom of Sorrow with Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta, which just released their second album, 'Behind the Blackest Tears,' also admitted that the new Crowbar will have "killer riffs. [Guitarist] Matt [Brunson] and [bassist] Pat [Bruders] wrote some stuff and threw in some killer riffs. It's crushing." He also said it is a huge honor that so many young, hip bands name check Crowbar as an influence and wear the band's shirts on stage. He also thanked the Crowbar faithful for 22 years of support.