Down - Down Ii: A Bustle In Your Hedgrow
One of metal's most notorious 'super-groups' featuring members of Pantera and Damageplan (amongst others), Down seems to be a project constantly in limbo; after coming together to record their debut "NOLA", they quickly split to concentrate on their respective bands. Several years later, a more matured and prepared Down would reform with a new bassist to give us Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow, their biggest and most ambitious project to date. Pure sludge and stoner metal with blues and country overtones, the true definition of southern metal. Down II has the weight, swagger and confidence needed to be considered a classic, as it is in many circles.
"Lysergik Funeral Procession" opens with a doomy riff reminiscent of Black Sabbath, and the whole track feels like a tip-of-the-hat to that clearly influential bunch of legends. In fact, much of the first half of Down II is dedicating to satisfying the band`s fetish for swirling together doom and stoner metal, only with more of an edge and plenty more aggression than Sabbath ever could have possessed. Indeed, the roots of this band cannot be denied; hear how Pantera rears it's ugly head on "Ghosts Along The Mississippi" and the killer cut "The Man That Follows Hell". Phil Anselmo is on the top of his game throughout, full of passion and power. He shows his range on the softer, more experimental pieces like "Learn From This Mistake" and ""Lies, I Don't Know What They Say But...", a couple of extended jams with a true "live in the studio" feel. What really dominates the album are Pepper Keenan`s and Kirk Windstein`s 10,000lb riffs, almost all of them excellently written and performed, whether they be sludged-out and damn-near drone in effect or strummed on a twangy acoustic. Their talents shine thanks to a rock-steady rhythm section, constantly in the mix and constantly in harmony.
Clocking in at nearly 90 minutes, Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow impresses deeply in never getting repetitive and staying consistently on it's toes throughout. This is emblematic of how a super-group can defy the typical critical process of disregarding them as cash-grabbing ventures. Certainly Down are about bringing the sludge and the doomy nature of southern metal to the masses, and when your made up of such talented musicians, the end results are expected to be damn good at least and unforgettable, preferably. Down II is damn near unforgettable, a monumental album and one that more than deserved to spike into the top 50 of Billboard's top albums back when it was released. If you're one of the poor unfortunate souls who hasn't heard it, what are you waiting for?
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.