Here we have the second EP released from New Orleans stoner/doom legends Down, keeping up with their decision to put out shorter albums that take less time to put together. Down IV-Part II might just be this outfits heaviest platter of material in years, as Philip Anselmo (vocals), Pepper Keenan (guitar), Patrick Bruders (bass), Jimmy Bower (drums), and new member Bobby Landgraf (guitars) have created six songs that deliver some truly monstrous riffage, crushing rhythms, and Anselmo's angst ridden vocals. "Steeple" kicks things off in fine fashion, a brutal slice of stoner/doom metal that could have easily come off the bands first album, and featuring some killer riffs that you just can't get out of your head. "We Knew Him Well..." is more of a groove laden slow burner that has its share of Black Sabbath influence, and "Hogshead/Dogshead" mixes that heavy Sabbath bottom end with some Southern Rock, a style that Down has perfected over the years. It's another groovy headbanger filled with kick ass riffs and some screaming guitar solos. Back to slow, heavy doom on the massive "Conjure", as Keenan & Landgraf's riffs create the evil backdrop to Anselmo's haunting vocal delivery. It's like a meeting of Pentagram and Black Sabbath...awesome stuff. "Sufferer's Years" is another heavy Southern rocker, as if Sabbath were jamming with Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the production even screams 1975. The near 9-minute closer "Bacchanalia" ends the EP with a healthy dose of psychedelic doom, the crushing riffs just unrelenting and unforgettable.
Sure, I've got a real soft spot for this band, but they've been so consistent over the years, and this new EP is no exception. Six songs, each one killer, roughly 36-minutes of heavy, doom laden stoner metal with plenty of groove, and some of the best riffs you'll hear this year. If EPs are the way to get new releases more often from these guys, I say keep the trend going.
2) We Knew Him Well...
5) Sufferer's Years