Today New Orleans based super group will release their long-awaited, The Purple EP. The EP which will be the first in a series of four new EPs and features six new songs that do not disappoint the listener. You definitely get the feeling Down took their time composing these track, and thus the yield is amazing. Down is a great band, and all the elements that the members bring together from their plethora of musical projects makes them so unique to all the other bands that are around today.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of this album starting with the first track, “Levitation.” This song starts off with a very groove oriented riff reminiscent of something that Pantera would have put out in their heyday. Soon however you get a very melodic riff that is played over the riff, which then leads to a more Sabbath inspired riff. This is the point where Anselmo’s vocals come in, and your reminded that this is definitely a Down song.
“Whitchtripper” is the next song on the EP, and starts off with a great Pepper Keenan penned riff. This then leads into a great vocal by Phil Anselmo. On this track Anselmo sounds equal parts himself as he does a low register, Sabotage era Ozzy. I have to give it up to Keenan and Kirk Windstein who stay incredibly tight. I also have to give it up for bassist (and Down’s newest member), Pat Bruders for his incredibly tight and punchy bass playing. Drummer Jimmy Bower also puts in a great performance pounding the skins in steady time, as he helps keep the riff kings in check.
Next up is the track, “Open Coffins.” This track is classic Down, and sounds as if it belongs on 2002’s Down II. It’s truly driven by the riff, and the power of that riff caries throughout the song. Anselmo’s vocals throughout the song sound good as do Bower’s numerous drum fills.
Next up is the track, “The Curse is A Lie” which is a true doom/stoner metal song consisting of the key concepts of the genre, “Tune Low Play slow.” The song slowly builds up to a chorus that features some heavy lyrics from Anselmo including the truly haunting lines “Your days are numbered, start counting backwards.” This chorus then leads into what I’d like to call the Black Sabbath section. First of all Anselmo’s lyrics start to sound a lot like Ozzy’s, but you can definettly hear the influence around the 2:45 when a truly Tony Iommi inspired riff hits the listeners ears. Yet there’s something in it that makes it sounds uniquely like down.
“This Work Is Timeless” is the second to last track on the album, and this track reminds me more of the material off of the 2007 album, Over The Under due to its up tempo rhythm, and yet it still keeps it’s very sludgy down trodden sound. This is followed by the final track, “Misfortune Teller” which is one of my favorite tracks off the album. This is another track where the riff just jumps out at you and reels you in. Anselmo’s vocals sound strong throughout as does Jimmy Bower’s drum work throughout. Make sure you listen to the song all the way through though.
As a big fan of Down, I was thoroughly impressed by this collection of six killer tracks. I think Amselmo, Keenan, Windstein, Bower, and Bruders all put some of their best work down. Check it out and see what you think.