July 21, 2024

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TMD Rocks!

New Orleans, Louisiana’s DOWN, fronted by legendary ex-PANTERA vocalist Philip H. Anselmo, return in 2014 with the new EP “Down IV – Part II” – and fans can rest easy, for they have undoubtedly packed more stoner metal greatness into the collection of six tracks. The lineup has slightly changed this time around as the band has replaced Kirk Windstein with Bobby Landgraf on guitar, but they have not lost a step in delivering non-stop, heavy as all hell music. To be straight up, this is the most intense material I have ever heard from this band. Produced by Michael Thompson, Anselmo and DOWN, the new EP starts off with the haunting first cut “Steeple”, followed by the powerful as a jack hammer “We Knew Him Well” and the all out rocking “Hogshead/Dogshead”. My personal favorite “Conjure”, one of the most frightening songs you will ever hear, crawled out of my home stereo speakers next and totally scared the shit out of me. Founding guitarist Pepper Keenan and the new guy Landgraf combine for a killer sound that will crush you into your couch like you just smoked the biggest joint in your life.

The first thing you will notice is the absolutely wicked vocal performance turned in by Anselmo, who sounds like a young Ozzy Osbourne on the latter tune. As a matter of fact, I will go a step further… this is how ‘heavy’ I expected the new Black Sabbath album to sound, but was totally disappointed by Iommi’s lackluster guitar work and Ozzy’s uninspired moaning. I never would have thought that DOWN would out doom the masters, but the bluesy, ‘end of the world’ riffs dominating “Down IV – Part II” will no doubt send chills down your spine for many years to come. The steady rhythm section of Jimmy Bower on drums and Patrick Bruders on bass feels eerily reminiscent of Bill Ward and Geezer Butler doing their thing back on the early Sabbath records.

The EP concludes with the songs “Sufferer’s Years” and “Bacchanalia”, and while they are not as ‘balls to the walls’ slamming as the first four ass kickers, they still rocked my face off and at the end of the day, that’s a job well done. There are no throwaway tracks included on this bad boy. Let’s not forget that DOWN has been one of the most important bands in rock music for over two decades now and I feel they have now made their biggest statement to date. Any fan of hard rock/metal music will be simply blown away by the brilliance delivered on “Down IV – Part II”.


[starreview tpl=16]
DOWN – “Down IV – Part II” EP

(Down Records & ADA Music/2014)

1. Steeple
2. We Knew Him Well
3. Hogshead/Dogshead
4. Conjure
5. Sufferer’s Years
6. Bacchanalia