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‘Down IV, Part 1 – The Purple EP’ – Review

Down Records/Independent Label Group

Six songs from Down are better than a full album of tunes from many other bands. The title of the band’s new EP, ‘Down IV, Part 1 – The Purple EP,’ is incredibly long for an extended play, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.The quintet makes efficient use of the space they’re working with and not a second is wasted.

The EP is like a high quality, low-calorie meal. It fills you up, sustains you, gives you energy and makes you feel good, but with none of these excess pounds or throwaway fillers.

Of course, it leaves you wanting more, because Down are that good, but you’re not starved. You’re satisfied.

Singer Philip Anselmo is in as good of shape vocally as he has been in years. His low rumble hasn’t sounded this healthy or this commanding since the Pantera days.

‘Levitation’ roars with a moshable groove and guitar-tistry. It’s eerie and by the time Anselmo shows up to partner up with the equally dominant riffery, you’re consciousness will be elevated to a higher state.

‘Witchtripper’ positions itself as a modern anthem, opening with a short squall of feedback before pounding your skull into a fine dust with its rhythmic roar. Close your eyes for a minute and you’ll swear parts of Anselmo’s delivery sound like a young, robust Ozzy Osbourne. Even with its heft and its girth, the song’s melodic bluster makes it catchier than germs on a packed subway car.

Anselmo provides the rumble of thunder over the bottom-feeding riffs on ‘Open Coffins,’ as well.

‘The Curse Is a Lie’ is a doomy, sonic sign of the apocalypse, and it boasts equally swamp-dwelling guitar sludge that was reared deep in the NoLA bayou. The ominous, lower-than-low tones are heavier than the atomic weight of lead.

‘This Work Is Timeless’ is a little faster and a little chunkier than the songs that come before it, but it’s just as thick and heady. ‘Misfortune Teller’ closes the EP and it packs the most potent groove of the bunch, and on an EP laden with potent grooves, that’s really saying something.

Overall, Down make no effort to hide their Black Sabbath worship on these six meaty, muscular songs. But this EP is by no mans paying homage. Down soak their riffage in a metallic gumbo found only in NoLA, and it’s uniquely their own.

But Down aren’t all bones and braun. This EP is the work of true metal artisans who aren’t afraid to be unpolished and dirty. What’s more metal than that?

5 Stars

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