The almighty DOWN will be unleashing their new EP, “Down IV – Part Two,” on May 13th via Down Records/ADA Music. Since “Nola” hit the stores back in 1995, this group has delivered some of the most consistent and powerful music on the planet. From the thunderous riffs to the emotionally driven melodic tunes, their sound is universal and continues to impress to this very day.
When DOWN revealed they would be releasing four EP’s to the masses, the anticipation was at an all time high to hear the new music. With “The Purple” EP’s release, their sound became more raw than ever, and driven by the pure emotion of each and every member like never before. With the release of “Down IV – Part Two” in May, they’ve taken that raw sound, blended it with their early influences, and have created a six song EP for the ages!
With an opening track like “Steeple,” the tone is set for an honest, brutal, and absolutely neck breaking release. As Phil screams “The steeple will fall” over the huge riffs behind him, you can’t help but sing along and raise your fist in the air. You also tell right away the influence that Pepper had on the guitar writing aspect for the record, as it’s more technical and proficient, while including the massive riffs that we’ve all come to love from this band. With “We Knew Him Well” and “Hogshead Dogshead” hitting the speakers next, the Southern groove is more present than ever, and it’s a reminder of “Nola” with a fresh new approach. Just wait until you hear these solos too… good lord.
As the next song opens with a ‘Sabbathy‘ riff, you know right away that you are about to hear something special. “Conjure” clocks in at eight and a half minutes, and will be the song that everyone will be talking about after they hear it. From the vocal approach, to the evil riff, to the intense rhythm section keeping the pace, the first four minutes put you in a trance until the energy kicks back in midway through at a frantic pace. As the solo ends, it just pulls you back in for an epic ending that will leave you breathless. “Conjure” is just undeniable and my highlight from the EP.
“Sufferer’s Years” is up next, and is one of Pepper’s finest guitar contributions in his career. The riffs, the solos, everything is just flawless. The song flows with extreme ease, and with Phil’s vocals on top, it’s another track that may result in you needing neck surgery, that is until you hear the finale…
The last track, “Baccahnalia,” is another one that will have people talking. With what seemingly starts with a jam session, it quickly turns into a chorus of riffs that go straight to your senses. Phil’s vocals are so exceptional on this track, that I’m surprised they left it as the final track. That is, until you hear the ending and your body is taken over by the pure power of it all. After one of the most energetic and commanding songs they’ve written to date, it trails off in a melodic trance, accompanied by acoustic guitar, that allows you to catch your breath after fully diving into the overall compelling release from DOWN.
Just like with “The Purple EP,” DOWN has kept the raw approach and sound for the new EP, but the songwriting on this release takes it to a new level. Maybe they are getting better with age, maybe they just found a new level of inspiration, but whatever it is, it works and it works well. “Conjure” will forever be one of my favorite DOWN songs they’ve ever written, and the more I listen to the other tracks, they may be up there soon. For a die hard fan of this band like I am, I couldn’t be happier with the release. Whether you’re a fan of DOWN for the vocals, riffs, solos, or the powerful rhythm section, “Down IV – Part Two” has it all, and you should pre-order your copy on iTunes or Amazon right NOW!
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