Down is a metal supergroup consisting of (former) members of Crowbar, Eyehategod, Pantera and Corrosion Of Conformity. Their “Nola” and “Over The Under” albums are key albums within the whole sludge/doom metal genre. Now Phil Anselmo and his musical partners in crime are back with something brand new, namely an EP, entitled “Down IV: The Purple EP”.
This EP is the first instalment of a sequence of four EP’s. Reportedly, Anselmo and Co are through with the concept of full length albums and commissioning four different EP’s, which gives the band a chance to experiment a bit with various influences. Pure doom metal is the name of game of this sucker. Think of Witchfinder General, Black Sabbath, St Vitus and Trouble and you’ll get a pretty solid idea of what you can expect of “Down IV: The Purple EP”.
Songs like “Levitation”, “Witchtripper” and “The Curse” have sense of immediate urgency about them. Their straightforward nature and rawness brings the first Down album to mind. Phil Anselmo’s anguished and rough vocal style does the rest. Despite the uncompromising attitude, the songs are surprisingly catchy, thanks to some well-placed memorable hooks. “Open Coffins” and “This Work Is Timeless” are to other great examples of that.
In all honesty, I’d rather have seen a full-fledged album than an EP, but on the other hand “Down IV: The Purple EP” is one solid piece of work and proves that despite a 5 year absence Down is as vibrant and relevant as ever. I’m wondering where Anselmo and Co will go next on the upcoming releases.