In the 70’s, worshiping Satan in rock music was a common thing. Occult rock and metal got their traits from the 70’s and a whole heavy metal culture is based on it. Devil symbolizes freedom and opposition to everything the system dictates. Our times, can actually be characterized as the Renaissance of occult music, a back to the roots beginning.
It has been a while since the last release of Anselmo‘s super band from Louisiana. We knew that they’ve been cooking some new evil stuff and about a year ago they announced the future release of four (!) EP’s, each of them with a different music attribute. And finally the first of them, The Purple EP has been released.
From the first look of the cover you could assume that this is the “doom” one! A photo of a cemetery cross in a grimy atmosphere and a reaper in the back, the message is pretty clear. And with “Levitation” kicking no place for doubt. After a fade in introduction with heavy doom guitar riffs by Keenan and Windstein and pure Down attitude, Anselmo gives the signal and we’re on for a trip into the southern comforts swamps. This first track has a back to the basics style, reminding the first steps of the band with “Nola“. A simple but strong track to begin with.
“Witchtripper” isn’t a surprise it has already been circulating via youtube for about a month before the release from live performances. A alteration between strong riffs and melodic passages, with a rhythmic spine biding the whole into the perfect combination of doom with southern heavy rock. I must admit that I find Anselmo’s vocals a little soft for this one, especially in the chorus part. The whole attitude and the pre chorus part prepare you for a more “screaming” chorus which you don’t get.
A more melodic approach, if we could say so, with the first notes of “Open Coffins“. The bass play of the fresh new Patrick Bruders is pleasantly distinctive, definitely filling the boots of Rex Brown. The South is more present with this one. An aggressive break pulling as back in more sludge feeling giving an even better draw back to the whole song. Exactly the same with “The Curse” which continues where “Open Coffins” left us. A rusty mourning southern feeling accentuated by the vocals.
I can say that I really enjoyed “This Work Is Timeless“. Too much incoherence in the first part of the song only saved by a atmospheric solo somewhere in the middle. But “Misfortune Teller” brings you back in the heavy stuff: more aggressive vocals from Anselmo and the heavy kicks from Bower. This epilogue track of the EP is the synopsis of it, having all its attributes.
Now we can say that the Purple EP is more close to their debut album. For the first part of the four releases Down moves more in doom waters, always with the southern spice that defines them! Watch out the swamp monster is back with a belly full of bourbon!
|Track List||Line Up||01. Levitation
03. Open Coffins
04. The Curse
05. This Work Is Timeless
06. Misfortune Teller
|Philip Anselmo – lead vocals
Pepper Keenan – guitar
Kirk Windstein – guitar
Patrick Bruders – bass
Jimmy Bower – drums