Down – Down III: Over the Under
Record Label: Down Records
Release Date: September 25, 2007
New Orleans metal rockers Down show audiences what happens when band members Pepper Keenan (guitarist for Corrosion Of Conformity), Kirk Windstein (guitarist of Crowbar), Rex Brown (bassist of Pantera), and drummer Jimmy Bower (of Crowbar) are aviated by the frontman of Pantera, Philip Anselmo. What they get is a tonnage of gritty Southern rock and tankards of post hardcore and classic metal shelling. Down’s new release, Down III: Over the Under, produced by Warren Riker, who also produced the band’s previous album Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow, is a culmination of these musicians’ talents which outputs heavy metal thrusts with Goth rock texturing and a blues-rock swagger.
The opening tracks “Three Sons and One Star” and “The Path” are partial to Pantera’s stylizing, which is a no-brainer since Anselmo takes part in composing Pantera’s music and was co-writer on these two tracks. The flyaway chords on the guitar solo for “The Path” has that air guitar aeronautics which players of Guitar Hero games achieve vicariously. Anselmo’s vocals on “N.O.D.” permeate an Ozzy voicing and the music feels like old school metal. The howling guitar repetitions and menacing aura of “I Scream” is reflective of a Goth-hardcore blend.
The searing vocals and power metal guitar licks for “On March the Saints” and “Mourn” beam of classic metal. The blues-rock guitar swagger for “Never Try” form a nexus with Anselmo’s long extenuating notes producing a soul-wrenching slur. The distorted guitar twists in the chord progressions for “Beneath the Tides” orchestrate stoner metal psychedelics while the rapid drum dribbling on Pillamyd” enshrine a bestial vox. The ample melodic rock draping on “His Majesty the Desert” and “Nothing in Return (Walk Away)” bolts chilling guitar consonance while the guitars swell into furious series of bullying and friction action on “In the Thrill of it All,” which is loaded with aggressive seizures.
Down's latest release gurneys metal rock licks with a classic tartan. The songs show past influences with a modern approach. Some blues-rock/stoner metal psychedelics recall of Jimi Hendrix and the band's gritty rock at times shows a Jethro Tull armor. Down's classic metal is metal done right. The album shows an admiration for metal rock and in return it is something that metal rock fans can admire and strive to play vicariously, if not for real.