Down IV Part 1: The Purple EP Review
Sludgy, NOLA-style revised and revisited for your eardrums. Guitarists Kirk Windstein and Pepper Keenan do some of their finest work throughout the EP.
Levitation – A song that jumps out and does not apologize for the challenge of how low can you go without being a bass guitar, but keeps moving like a good steady stoned fuck.
Witchtripper – The beauty of Phil Anselmo’s voice is that even when he’s growling you can still make out the lyrics – that is if you haven’t completely ruined your ears with audio assaults from his prior works. The pitch of the melody is a bit higher than in Levitation, but still contains that sludge and chug-a-chug-a-chug riffs. Keenan’s guitar work is unmistakable, especially if you are familiar with his work with Corrosion of Conformity.
Open Coffins – A bit more poppy in sound as we open the track, but is it catchy enough to be played on hard rock radio like The KATT? As we approach the midpoint of the song, this is one that I want to have blaring as I wind my way home drunk on whiskey on country dirt roads, avoiding the cops and the coffin, windows down, of course.
The Curse is a Lie – And now we enter one of the darkest shades of purple in the mosh pit earned bruise. Back to the pace that was set in “Leviathan”, the song contains a lot of symbolism in the lyrics. On a first listen (which this review is written from), I hesitate to fully wrap my head around them.
This Work is Timeless – Are we getting a bit cocky with the song title contained in this symphonic masterpiece? Or will the song be truly timeless? Will our grandkids discover this song and still rock out 50 – 60 – 100 years from now? Hard to predict what tastes in music will look like so far in the future, but good music does cross cultural and age boundaries. Take out the lyrics and the music is a masterpiece in in the heavy metal world. The cockiness implied in the title knocks it down a notch, in this reviewer’s opinion.
Misfortune Teller – Clocking in at over 9 minutes, this is the longest track on the EP. Reading the signs and circling around to the beginning to try something new – that is if you learn from your mistakes or learning from others’ mistakes in history. Could this be a commentary on where the political landscape is going in America with the Tea Party and the Evangelicals high-jacking one of the major political parties? Again, on a first cold listen, without the benefit of being able to read liner notes, it is difficult to tell. But as with all art forms, the person listening takes what they want and injects their own experiences in the the interpretation.
This is a wonderful EP that grinds out it’s best. Jimmy Bower keeps time beautifully throughout the assault on your speakers and ears. Make sure when you crank it up that your woofers can handle the deep rumbling of the lower registers that vibrate you body and soul.
Listening notes: You can listen to the entire album before it’s release date on Tuesday September 18, 2012 at Metalinjection.net. Listen to streaming on my laptop through those Altec-Lansing speakers I still need to replace, but they are better than the ones on my laptop.