[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 6
Label: Roadrunner Records
Website: Link
Author: Kostas Tsotsanis[/colored_box]

After the release of the first part of a series of three EP’s, Down came back for the second one (this time without Kirk on the guitars!). For those who aren’t familiar with the project, the band decided to release a series of EP’s, which style ranges between the band’s influences as musicians. The first EP was a doom one, because it is actually pretty noticeable that the band is totally influenced by the classic doom bands. This EP, the second one, opens a whole different dimension and the band gets back to their blues-stoner, sludge style again…

Part two is a six-song EP, which will sink the fan into the edgy levels of sludge metal and southern metal. The music is what we actually expected from Down to create in this one. There are plenty of southern, groovy riffs, mixed with doom and slow parts. ‘Sufferer’s Years’, ‘Hogshead, Dogshead’ and ‘Bacchanalia’ contained some really powerful and swampy, southern guitars that produce a great energy. As far as the sound is concerned, the EP reminds me the sound of their previous one; dark, heavy, as if they have come out of Corrosion of Conformity’s old basement.

Doom metal couldn’t have been left out of the EP. ‘Conjure’ and ‘Steeple’ are the main songs which can be characterized as doom ones, strongly reminding me of their first EP. The songs are quite good. However, they are neither masterpieces nor the bands best ones. Kirk’s absence isn’t noticeable in this one, as the band seems to compose in their common way without him.

The great disadvantage of the record and Down nowadays is the vocals. I love Phil Anselmo and I admire him for his career in Pantera and in the first Down records, but to be honest, he can’t handle his vocals anymore. The vocal lines are bad too. Phil needs to learn again how to control his voice and if he can’t sing, he should ask for help, because his vocals on stage and off stage aren’t the ideal for his reputation and his band’s reputation. The duration of his low screams or the challenging vocal lines justifies my previous statement.

The new EP is recommended only for those who are completely crazy about the band generally. Down has released better records and can do better than something which isn’t that inspired. Maybe their series of EP’s just wasn’t the right idea for them.

Track List Line Up
01. Steeple
02. We Knew Him Well
03. Hogshead, Dogshead
04. Conjure
05. Sufferer’s Years
06. Bacchanalia
Phil Anselmo – Vocals
Pepper Keenan – Guitars
Bobby Landgraf – Guitars
Patrick Bruders – Bass
Jimmy Bower – Drums