Down Down IV Part I: The Purple EP

DownDown IV Part I: The Purple EP
This is the first in a four-EP series from the NOLA sludge metallers. Gloriously long for an EP, the crushing six-track release clocks in at over 30 minutes and is the band's first new material since 2007's Down III: Over the Under. But it's been well-worth the five-year wait, as The Purple EP drips doomy sludge and down-tuned grooves, radiating influences Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath. "Levitation" fades in with a classic Down riff, as guitarists Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein chug away while Jimmy Bower viscerally pounds the drums. But it's that voice — that low, captivating rumble from Phil Anselmo, filled with years of intense, heartbreaking emotion — that gives Down their edge. Highlight "Witchtripper," in particular, showcases Anselmo's '70s-esque swagger, as the rise and fall of his vocal range matches the melodies and catchy grooves. Self-produced and recorded at Anselmo's home studio (dubbed Nodfertu's Lair), the recording quality is extremely raw, corresponding with the murky tone of the music. As the anticipation grows for the second part of Down IV, one thing is for sure: Down have set the bar high with The Purple EP. (Independent Label Group)