Down - 'Down IV: Part 1 - The Purple EP' (Roadrunner Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ross Welford   
Friday, 12 October 2012 03:10

They still have the power to enthral.
They still sit apart from any crowd.
They still do it exactly they way they want to do it.


The veteran New Orleans band that rose from the ashes of Pantera and Corrosion Of Conformity, have returned to grace us with the first in a planned series of 4 EPs. And 'Down IV: Part 1 - The Purple EP' is a 6 track, 33 minute opus that will whet the appetites of all the fans of the sludge laden monsters out there plus Sabbath and Cathedral devotees alike.


Opener 'Levitation' is quite simply a track of intent - HEAVY (read that in bold and block capitals) with a foot stomping catchiness that is nowhere near as easy to create as the band make it seem. They even throw in a blistering shredded riff that comes right from nowhere yet remains fully a part of the song set up despite its obvious stand-alone charm.


'Witchtripper' at 3 minutes 49 seconds, seems much longer than it appears - and that's simply because the guys seem to cram so much into it.  There's a long building intro before Anselmo spits "1,2,3 - Go" and the Sabbath beast rears its head - Iommi may have started it all but I think that Pepper Keenan may have picked up the mantle that everybody else seems so scared of grabbing. The combination of these two can't help but remind you of Iommi and Osbourne  - and the fact that Bower, Windstein and (new boy/Crowbar bassist Pat) Brudners are a powerhouse trio of Ward/Butler proportions only adds to the fact.


'Open Coffins' detunes to sloth like speed as Anselmo power lyrics over the top whilst 'The Curse' will make you want to sit in an empty house, get stoned and look at the imaginary flamingos cooking your steak on a barbeque made of buffalo carcass - yeah, it's that sort of head bobbing stoned as fuck behemoth! 'This Work Is Timeless' is more of the same slow heaviness and will either be considered a stoned out piece of brilliance or a filler (that'll probably depend on your devotion to the Down cause)


And finally we come to the 9 minute epic of 'Misfortune Teller'. A faster and lighter tune that takes all the brilliance of the previous 5 tracks and adds to them a clearer, more majestic oil that keeps the Down machine whirling - it's just set at a different pace. There's much more clarity within the sound and whilst true sludge-a-holics may feel it's not for them, many more may see this as the crowning glory to 'The Purple EP'. Perhaps this is a taster of things to come on the next instalments?


There are rumours that the next 3 EPs will showcase different sides to the band, however whilst they continue to play the style of heavy music that we have become accustomed to, the Down legend will simply continue to grow and grow.


Sometimes less really is more.


To pick up your copy of 'Down IV: Part I - The Purple EP'