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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Down IV Part I - The Purple EP review

Year : 2012
Genre : Doom Metal, Sludge
Label : Independent
Origin : United States
Rating : 9.0 / 10

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Down IV Part I - The Purple EP is the first of four extended plays  the band plans to release on consensus throughout the - logically - coming years. If you are not yet familiar with this band, then know that it is a Southern-State ensemble with quite a few illustrious members in its rankings. Fronter Philip Anselmo surely rings a bell or two as casual co-creator of the groove metal genre, and how about Crowbar fronter Kirk Windstein, who now handles the guitar strings of doom with much hoped for efficiency? The most relevant characteristic of the latest to date Down package that flatters the receptors, is a splendid and sublime spiritual similarity to - hold on to your horses before you vomit into the cleavage of the lady - ZZ Top, but these ZZ Top dudes have gone zombie on you, and now they are coming in to rip your heart out. As a start.

During the 2343241323 years I personally have been waiting for this release, I have collected public intel from time to time, - I HAD time to do it, trust me - and Anselmo wasn't reluctant to inform the audience that the forthcoming first EP will be a doom metal declaration. And he did not lie, either.  The EP, as a coherent whole, exhibits a splendid tendency to maintain elegant AND paradoxically crude,  but super-efficient balance between the torment of sludge metal and the heft of a type of metal that has a secret love cultivated for raw rumble of the groove. Luckily enough, the disc never loses sight of dead serious fun, and never trades in the insatiable weightiness for misplaced variation, and sports absolutely no trace of recent day(over)production wizardry.

When compared to its vast majority in the context of pure/unalloyed content-character, the EP starts out in relatively unorthodox fashion, and the fray remains free to wage a sonic war on many fields, - could be fantasy related power metal or technical death metal, really - up until 1:22. Then, following a short and powerful melodic twin guitar interlude, The Anselmo finally emerges to declare what is up - by the form of the enigmatic sonic declaration : "ONE!, TWO!, THREE!" - and eloquent sludge is finally poured on you from then on, but, this is not. just. that. simple. The build is pretty colorful and clever. Here are the vibes I can pick up in the opening song : Nirvana, early punk rock, the solo guitar language of Tommy Iommi, and if all this does not excite you right away, then I don't know what to tell you. And the wounded beast singing of Philip Anselmo really puts an extra layer of hair on a MAN's chest.

Second track, "Witchripper" - Anselo pronounces it "With stripper", in my opinion, which is just hilarious - offers a solid, clearly identifiable verse theme, which also comes to you as the premiere hook of the whole build. With the elegantly simple and acceptable chorus, the song reeks a ZZ Top vibe all over the place, and leaves me with the hunch that this INDEED IS the music you would hear if ZZ Top would decide to play their music with an insatiable affection for doom.

"Open Coffins" propagates more of a ballad-stance and offers that along a quite tastefully varied harmonic arch that successfully seeks to occupy mutliple luscious sonic domains. Philip Anselmo's emotionally powerful tormented singing is the icing on the cake for a song that could be an instrumental classic as a Doom IV song anytime, you hear me, Mr. Carmack?

"The Curse" sounds to collide sludge metal with insatiable doom tendencies that lurk behind the curtains with an agenda, permeating the structure with ruthless efficiency between the falsely assumed solace represented by the gaps between verse structures. Furthermore : !!! Think of early Black Sabbath, and you will have an idea of what to expect. I like the bluesy interludes, by which the band submits for the concept of hope for some moments, so it looks all the more hilarious when hope is fucked in the ass violently by a pack of zombie crocodiles. Hell yeah! The elementary guitar solo also demands recognition, and gives reason to voice a consorting qualm : why is the solo so short? The song, although 6 minutes in length, goes by without you noticing it just did, and that always is a sign that the track is doing something right.

The track called "This Work Is Timeless" speaks for itself, so I 'spose I don't have a thing to say about that one.

"Misfortune Teller" not only brings a superb song title, but does a tremendous job to wrap the EP up with a 9 minute Epic that both succumbs to the character of its proceedings, while successfully emerges to claim valiant and sublime closure along a Pantera vibe. The complexity in this one not only borders on progressive, but breaks through and entertains it, as well. A pretty strong, muscular structure is offered that is composed of myriad hooks. A hook-galore, basically. Multiple tempos, and eloquent listener treatment. What does eloquent listener treatment mean? It means that you are not being fed the same line twice in a row, because the Down members assume that you are not retarded.  It means that you are not being fed the same line twice in a row, because the Down members assume that you are not retarded. Just kidding. The tormented and insatiable music which taints the fabric of things never stops, because it has no concept of how to stop - so the only solution is to fade the volume out. Funnily enough, the band decided to offer a healthy amount of silence after the fadeout, then, a snippet comes in to conclude the record in abrupt fashion. Uuuuuuuuuuuh. Okay.

The southern vibe (vice?) and the original doom of Black Sabbath entertains and compliments each other with inventive and relevant musical thought throughout The Purple EP, and I for one especially like Anselmo's singing, because it simply is just authentic as a buckshot and reigns 111% free of mannerism. The disc is all about Balls kept intact when a galaxy is falling down on you, and, as such, the spin emerges as the EP you hoped it would emerge as. Highly authentic and highly recommended.

Rating : 9.0 / 10

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