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Customer Review

on 24 September 2002
Never has the term "supergroup" been so fitting. Featuring Philip Anselmo (Pantera)-Vocals, Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity)-Guitar, Kirk Windstein (Crowbar)-Guitar, Todd Strange (Crowbar)-Bass and Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod)-Drums, Nola is an uncompromising straight-up classic. Opener "Temptation's Wings" instantly highlights the band's collision of southern grit and inch-perfect clashing of Keenan's superb lead riffage and Windstein's grinding bends and low rhythm. Anselmo is, unsurprisingly superb, mixing occasional Pantera-esque aggression with southern melody and incredible vibratos. Each track only continues to portray how truly amazing this record is. Even by the paced-out storming end of "Lifer" you'll realize that what Down have collectively created is truly monumental. Tracks such as "Rehab" and "Losing All" are dominated by Anselmo's vocals, whereas mellow "Jail" is all effects, "Stone The Crow" is run by Windstein and Keenan's duelling, and "Pillars Of Eternity" is Jimmy Bower's territory; a tribal opening culminating in a mammoth, cymbal-heavy outro.
Down are a collective, and at not one point do they seem as otherwise, the fact that Anselmo, Keenan and Winstein are the frontmen for other, more succesful bands does nothing to extinguish their musical desire. The five musicians compliment eachother as brilliantly as could be hoped for. Final track "Bury Me In Smoke" is the perfect finale to the perfect album; a sliding opening riff brought to life by Bower's pounding drums, split apart by Anselmo's phenomenal vocals, and brough to an epic end not least by Strange's epic swinging bass.
The band's view? "Nola? That was just a record to see if the tape-trading underground still existed".
In short? No, short wouldn't do this album justice. An epic from start to finish, replayable endlessly, pure southern metal perfection never seen before nor since.
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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars