Karma: 13 (+13/-0)
Found this old review of II
DOWN "II" Elektra Records
Purveyors of Stoner/Doom-Metal before it was the rage of the unwashed underground DOWN are back and fully fueled with their second tank of swamp gas ditties to smoke, drink and !@#$ by.
The players names and their "other" bands you already know, (Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown of PANTERA, Pepper Keenan and Jimmy Bower of COC, Kirk Windstein of CROWBAR, for the benefit of all the "Homies" out there), and you have undoubtedly heard the first record but you are not at all likely to be prepared for what I will confidently refer to from this point forward as THE Metal album of 2K2.
This collection of eminently vital Metal tracks is the biscuits and Budweiser alternative to the Sweet and Low/Tofu BACKSTREET BOY-Metal of LINKIN PARK and the rest of the Metal pretender crowd. I swear that midway through the first listen of "II" my mind was already forming elaborate scenarios where the men of DOWN all hopped into a rusted out Chevy, double-barrels loaded with buckshot in hand, and set about tracking down those who defile the name and spirit of Metal. Oh, there was this bit about Phil impregnating Brittany Spears but that was only after the song, "Doobinterlude" which gets us a little off track but such is the grand beauty of the disc, by the time you realize you are drifting you still have half a disc’s worth of prime fuel to burn.
Speaking of burning tracks, here are some thoughts on a few of the fifteen numbers contained herein. "There’s something on my Side" is perfectly paced plodding Metal that will inflict all listeners with shin splints from all the stomping that will be done to it.
"The man that follows Hell" is a BLACK SABBATH "SABOTAGE"-era flavored charger that has some of the most smoking guitar since Tony Iommi put his mangled fingers to a fret. Between Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein you have the only guitar tones available on disc to offer the true flavor of SABBATH’s Iommi without actually ripping the man off.
The last thing that you thought you would be hearing much of here is acoustic picking with Phil actually singing instead of grunting but that is what you get with "Landing on the Mountains of Meggido" and Christ is it beautiful, all eight minutes of it. The comparisons to LED ZEPPELIN are easy and justified simply because they where the trailblazers in the "Heavy acoustic" field but with all due respect to my British brothers they were limey’s glomming on to Southern Blues whereas this is the real !@#$-kickin’ deal here.
"Stained glass Cross" is so perfect that you have to wonder who in this band it was that still had ownership of enough soul to leverage the Devil out of the track. This number is beyond anything PANTERA, COC, or CROWBAR have ever done and on its very own justifies the purchase of not only this particular disc but any other that should ever be engraved with the DOWN trademark. The Hammond organ, (yes organ on a pure Metal disc!), and guitar weave in and out of each other like two heads of a single snake and it is impossible to figure out which is the more lethal of the two and in the end they both bite you right on the ass.
In "Flambeaux" you have a Cajun-ization of John Bonham’s solo track from the "CODA" album and something cryptic about stolen Kool-Aide, funky and funny.
"New Orleans is a dying Whore" is a highly critical, sociological examination of the changing culture of the South’s Grande Belle city that impacts all previously held notions of normalcy in a climate of technological/industrial expansion. Either that or it is Phil and the fellas smokin’ a lot of weed while they jam but the result is total brain damage either way you go.
The fact is that there is nothing out there that could even remotely hold a candle to the energy and passion that Metal music has inspired in these five Southern gentlemen. The fact that these guys somehow managed to caste this much power and glory in solid Metal and then transfer it all to disc is just blessedly brain bashing brilliant. If you ain’t down with DOWN than you ain’t !@#$, punk.
I'm your God mother fucker...can you fucking love me? I'm the one who'll promise you Eternity
3/4/2006, 4:52 am
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