My love of Down is quite a simple thing to sum up and I’ll pitch it to you in this way, the band has Members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar and Eyehategod and are from New Orleans. Anyone who has a healthy understanding of sludge and heavy metal culture will know that NOLA and the above mentioned bands are vital players in the advancement of the Riff. Down is the logical end result of throwing all of those bands together and in 2012 it is nice to hear a band take the Sabbath sound into future and even doomier directions.
Black Sabbath will always be the sound of Heavy Metal for me and I’m always going to favour slow sludgy doom riffs over fast over the top speed and mathematics when it comes to Metal. Down do this sound beautifully and after three flawless (that is right, you heard me no flaws) studio albums the band have taken a different course for the release of their fourth movement of music. The band is releasing four separate EPs that will focus on different areas of sound. “The Purple EP” is the first EP to be released and it is six solid tracks of sludge and the classic Down sound that I love.
Raw as fuck and full of emotion, this is heavy metal for the 21st Century. Guitarists Pepper and Kirk riff with a confidence and intensity and degree of emotion that is unmatched. Mix this with the Bill Wardisms of drummer Jimmy Bower and punch to the dick groove of bass player Pat Bruders and you get the idea of just how well constructed the Down brand of rock n roll is.
I may be bias, due to my hero worship, but for me the thing that will always make Down so unique compared to the other Iommi worshipers is the vocals from metal legend Philip H. Anselmo. Phil is the greatest Metal vocalist to ever exist, period. No one comes close to his passion or his delivery and he has the ability to make the most boring “metal by numbers” bands sound a million per cent more exciting with his bark. What Phil brings to Down is a passion and intensity that lot of the other sludge bands can sometimes lack. He is living every word as he spits it out and you can’t help but pump your fist and bang your head. It is all “fuck yeahs” and all that kind of stuff but there is real emotions funding these Anselmo life musings. This dude is one tough motherfucker and a person who I idolise quite hardcore.
It is hard to review this EP because it is only the beginning of a four part journey into the Down universe. So my criticisms of it being too short are not really relevant because the band has more to come.
Just shut your fucking mouth, buy it, sit down and listen to it.
10 Cassette tapes out of 10