Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Initial Impressions: Down IV: Part 1 - The Purple EP

Down is my favorite side project band.  And it is not even particularly close.  I have been listening to the band since I first heard about them around the time that NOLA was released.  As most are aware, Down was originally formed from members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, and Eyehategod.  There has been a little bit of turnover at the bass guitar, but the basic idea is still there.

Of course with a side project it is sometimes difficult to find time to record which explains why the band has only released three full length albums since their formation in the early 1990's.  This is just an EP, but the band has announced that they will attempt to release four such EPs in quick succession.  All with new songs. It is a lot easier for the members to get together and put out shorter releases.

As much as I love the band though, none of their subsequent releases have really held a candle to NOLA.  There was just something about the energy on that album.  And every single track was a classic.  It ranks as one of my favorite albums of all time.  The other releases have just not come close to that one.  It is still the one I spin the most frequently when I am in the mood for some Southern fried metal.

This is probably one of the strongest releases, if not the strongest, that Down has put out since their great debut album.  Because there are only six tracks, there is no filler here.  Each song is well-crafted and sounds incredible.  Of particular note are the lead single "Witchtripper" and "Misfortune Teller".  Phil Anselmo's tortured croon is used to full effect on this album.  The riffs are as heavy as anything you would expect when you have Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein on guitars.  The band does a terrific job of taking their influences from Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Southern rock and mixing it into one package.  This has always been the band's trademark and it sounds just as good here as it did on the first album.

This is an incredible EP, one of the best releases Down has ever put out.  It is just six killer tracks with absolutely no filler.

1 comment:

  1. Time to do a little more damage to my metal street cred: though I've heard of Down many times, I didn't actually know they were a side project.