Down IV The Purple EP has all of the classic southern sludge you’d expect from the combined force of Pantera, COC, Crowbar and Eyehategod. Released Sept. 18, 2012.
Review by David Feltman
Southern metal supergroup, Down is establishing a definite ebb and flow with its releases. The debut album NOLA was a landmark metal album, Down II was strange and slapdash, Down III was a meditative monster and now we have Down IV, or the first part of it, The Purple EP, anyway. Sadly, Down IV seems intent on following its fellow even-numbered album into a strong “…ehhh” category.
IV doesn’t directly sound anything like II. There’s certainly none of the lighter country qualities of the earlier album. And maybe that’s something II even has over the newest release. II was at least interesting for its peculiarity. IV, for the most part, just is.
This Purple EP has all of the classic southern sludge you’d expect from the combined force of Pantera, COC, Crowbar and Eyehategod. In that respect it’s slow and mean, but slow should translate to swampy and brutal, not lethargic. Down’s latest release feels like the band is going through the motions for most of these six tracks.
“Levitation” starts strong but becomes repetitious and never goes anywhere. “This Work is Timeless” is aimless with a wandering hook that just doesn’t feel fleshed out. “Misfortune Teller” is the one standout track. Clocking in at over seven minutes, “Misfortune Teller” remains dynamic and ferocious throughout.
There are more misses than hits in these scant six tracks. It’s strange to break up an LP into double EP releases and makes it additionally difficult to judge the merits of half an album. Perhaps part two will be better, if maybe by no other virtue than that it’ll technically be an odd-numbered release.