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CD Reviews:  Down: II

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Seven years after supergroup Down released Nola, the planets aligned themselves properly so that the members who had commitments in their regular bands finally had the time to make a follow-up record. If you're not ready for a muscular, in your face, super-metal record, then stop reading and move on. But if the personnel of Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Pepper Keenan of Corrosion of Conformity, Jimmy Bower of EyeHateGod, Kirk Windstein of Crowbar and Rex Brown of Pantera (who replaces original bassist Big T from Crowbar) excite you, or raise your metal ear to curiosity, then this is an album for you. It is loud, tough, moody and rugged, but what a really good, loud, tough, moody rugged record it is. 

If you're familiar with Anselmo from Pantera then you are aware that he is not Johnny Mathis, but a thick-voiced metal vocalist with a scream that could pierce your soul. The musicianship underneath his growl is top-notch metal, with Keenan ripping at his axe with the precision of a surgeon. Much like a great Zepplin record, Down proves it can switch gears and mix a bit of blues into its sound, as the moody piece "Beautifully Depressed" demonstrates. The majority of the record is a complete assault on the senses, and oddly enough it seems much more from the soul of metal than those pretenders that are selling millions of records as the band(s) of the moment. If you are looking for a good punch to the gut album, put in Down's II and enjoy gasping for the air it sucks right out of you. This is 66-plus minutes of metal heaven (or is it hell?), so if you dare, enjoy.  

~R. David Smola : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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