Sunday, 14 October 2012

Down - The Purple E.P. (2012)

Now for another review by my friend Aaron Anarchy who as of tomorrow is going to become a full time contributor and co-author on this blog. Here's his review of Down's "Purple E.P."...

1. Levitation 5:00
2. Witchtripper 3:49
3. Open Coffins 5:44
4. The Curse Is A Lie 6:01
5.This Work Is Timeless 3:43
6. Misfortune Teller 9:05
Total Time: 33:19
Few bands have truly high musical pedigree, but Down are one of the few bands that can boast such a high class of membership, almost cultish status, a band truly worthy of being called a "supergroup", every member a veteran of the New Orleans music scene through one band or another. Given the bands almost stoner-esque laziness when it comes to putting out albums (having only released 3 albums since 1995) this latest installment, the first of four planned E.P. releases within the space of a year represents a rush of activity for a band of this calibre.

 It has been five years since the release of Down III: Over the Under, a well-received & critically acclaimed album, so new material has been anticipated with bated breath for some time… and the Purple E.P. fails to disappoint.

The Purple E.P. brings them back to familiar, definitely bringing back fond memories of their ground breaking debut NOLA which means you’re in for six songs packed with, southern-fried doom filled ecstasy. The band members all excel in their respective roles as Phil Anselmo, the legendary ex-Pantera crooner shines throughout with an impeccably refined voice which suits the band’s unique brand of doom metal to a tee. 

A particular favourite moment of mine is on "Open Coffins", when he just casually addresses the band and tells them to “tear this shit up young son” in his rich, signature Louisiana drawl. Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity) and Kirk Windstein (Crowbar) combine to make a guitar duo so intensely doomy, talented and full of stoner groove that I’m pretty sure it’s somehow blasphemous. Their brilliantly down tuned guitars and Sabbath resembling riffs make this a pleasure to listen to. 

Drummer Jimmy Bower (EyeHateGod) also shines with his bluesy drum beats empowering the rest of the band members to do what they do best. Sadly ex-Pantera bassist Rex Brown is missing from this E.P. so Pat Bruders (also of Crowbar)  is drafted in to replace him, whilst his credentials on bass shine through he isn’t quite up to Rex’s impeccable standards so the bass in this E.P. is somewhat lacking.

The tracks that are the most noteworthy on this are "Levitations", "Open Coffins" and "This Work is Timeless" respectively. In "Levitations", the opening chugging is quite frankly heavier than a body slam from Butterbean (If you don’t know who he is, Google him… then you’ll see what I mean) and sets the tone for the entire E.P., dragging you kicking and screaming up Doom Mountain by your entrails. 

"Open Coffins" has a heavy catchy beat which is as infectious as the plague and you’ll find yourself knodding your head like a noble tick every time it’s played. "This Work is Timeless" has essentially the same effect but in a shorter segment making it a bit more easy listening than some of the more prolonged parts of the record such as “The Curse Is A Lie” or “Misfortune Teller” which can get a bit tedious on occasion. The longer songs are both a blessing and a curse… meaning there’s more Down to listen to but making it easier for the Purple E.P. to become a tad droll at times.

In conclusion, apart from the slow tedious bits those only appear occasionally and the absence of more iconic, well known bassist Rex Brown…. This E.P. is a fantastic success both musically and artistically… marking another chapter in the incredible legacy of in my opinion one of the best metal bands of more recent times. I wholeheartedly recommend this as an essential purchase for Down fans or general fans of doom metal or just regular heavy metal. Altogether another fine addition to their repetoire. Well worth the long wait and I’m anticipating Down IV Part II like a lonely housewife anticipating a delivery from Ann Summers…. 


Check this out if: You enjoy southern styled metal or have an affinity for bluesy grooves in your music.

For fans of: Down, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity
The Purple E.P. is out now on Down Records

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