Down return with “Down IV Part II”, the second in the highly anticipated series of four EP’s. When a discussion about the band comes up, the term “supergroup” is immediately brought up. WRONG!! Down is a band, that just so happen to have in it’s ranks some of the most accomplished and beloved musicians in metal. ” Supergroup” is a term thrown out too loosely nowadays. Twenty months after they released “Down IV Part I The Purple EP, they come back with a vengeful fury of a bayou gator in the midst of a death roll.
“Down IV Part II” starts off with guttural disdain and a piercing shriek from the legendary mouth of Phil Anselmo, and right into the trademarked signature Bower blast of the opening track “Steeple”. They waste no time gettin to the gettin, as the down tuned slabs of macabre laden misanthropy crumble the foundation and very fiber of the most hallowed hall. Pat Bruders bass hits like Thor’s Hammer, leaving total devastation in it’s wake. The EP, has similar elements to it’s predecessor at times, but you can hear the difference in the heavier meaty parts. I have never heard Down sound so heavy at times, and yet so melodic at others. Pepper Keenan has delivered yet again, and has drawn up some of the nastiest riffs of the bands career, alongside new guitarist Bobby Landgraf, who replaced longtime guitarist Kirk Windstein. The duo of Keenan and Windstein have been deadly for over 20 years. Landgraf steeped into some pretty big shoes to fill , and far exceeds the expectations that fans of the band could have possibly had for the new EP. The heavy, bluesy guitars that Down has hung their hat on are more apparent than ever before. The soulful hooks and chops, intertwined with Anselmo’s vocals can’t help but to stir up some emotion from the listener.
Overall, this is a masterpiece in an already stellar catalog for the band. I give “Down IV Part II a 10 out of 10. There are many heavy bands out there that do the “low and slow” thing, and it works for them. Down have perfected the nastiest and dirtiest heavy they possibly could have on this release, while working in the straight up jams they have always been known for. “Steeple” sets the tone as Anselmo foreshadows the unstoppable forthcoming doom proclaiming ”The steeple will fall, and the people will crawl.” Many times has it been stated that aggressive, harsh vocals were not needed for Down. Phil silences all, as the disgusting, yet melodic way he approaches IV Part II will prove beyond any doubt that “The Kid” is, and will be the greatest metal frontman of all time. “Conjure” is mind blowing with harmonies and heaviness, that take the listener deep into the foggiest, eeriest forest to resurrect the most unspeakable things. The closing track “Bacchanalia” is a heavy jam, and ends with a Zepplin like feel to it, maybe a taste of things to come on the next EP. Make arraignments to bury yourself in smoke, The Brotherhood of Eternal Sleep summons you.
2- We Knew Him Well
3- Hogshead Dogshead
5- Sufferer’s Years
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