Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Anselmo And Gang Do It Again
on 2 June 2006
The mighty metal supergroup Down created a monster with their debut 'NOLA', a fine tour-de-force of gigantic riffing and Phil Anselmo's raspy vocals. With Down II, the group stick to what they do best, as Phil sings in 'The Man That Follows Hell' - 'I do one thing, I do it well'. And what they do is create monstrous metal anthems full of fat, juicy riffs, harsh vocals and a hell of a lot of attitude.
Combining members of notorious metal acts such as Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar and Eyehategod, Down are naturally mean, dirty and ultimately heavy. Opener 'Lysergik Funeral Procession' sets the mood perfectly with its big chunky riffs and angsty mind-set, with Phil snarling 'now I'm so damn mad'.
The album has its share of classic Down style tunes, which is a funny thing when you consider they've only made two albums to date. But nonetheless they certainly have their own style, epitomised by the riff-onslaughts of 'There's Something On My Side', 'The Man That Follows Hell', 'Beautifully Depressed' and 'Ghosts Along the Mississippi', the latter having one of the best adrenaline rushing, fist pumping riffs any of the band members have ever knocked out.
'New Orleans Is A Dying Whore' is another straight-up brutal Down number, evolving around two main riffs, the first is thick, slow and punishing, the second is equally punishing, just faster and like a big heady rush. Those who enjoy their metal with heavy yet sophisticated guitar/drum writing will enjoy these songs, the last of which is found in 'The Seed', and Down aren't hiding their love for the riff here, it opens with a kind of desperate groan of 'the power of the riff compels me', as if being said on a death bed. Yes, these guys die by their music.
Down II has its more experimental side, something the band didn't really stretch past the ballads 'Jail' and 'Stone The Crow' from their debut. There are a few slower ballads on this album, the best of which is 'Learn From This Mistake', a swansong for addicts everywhere with touching lyrics from Phil and some stylish, patient guitar playing from the guys. You just wait for Pepper Keenan to think, 'Argh, f*ck it' and burst into a riffing flames. But it never happens, and the song succeeds as a mellower touch. `Stained Glass Cross' deserves mention for its difference, standing out in the album as rather, well, out of place. But nonetheless I enjoy it. Starting out slow and gloomy it takes a right angle turn to a bouncy, jingly, catchy little number. Unusual, but like the more experimental 'Stone The Crow' from 'NOLA', it works.
Down's second album is an instant metal classic in my opinion. Slightly more padded out than 'NOLA', and probably more consistent, it's a step up. Great musicianship from a supergroup that actually works. Go buy if you're a fan of any of the member's other bands, or if you cimply enjoy a nice slab of old-style metal.