At the height of Pantera’s
popularity Phil Anselmo and RexBrown got together
with some friends – no one important, just a few guys from Crowbar, Corrosion Of Conformity and Eyehategod – and formed a band
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After dropping their debut record Nola in 1995 we didn’t hear any new music from the band for seven
years, but at the tail end of 2002 Phil and co kindly delivered
their third and quite possibly strongest album to date. You can stop
looking for the soundtrack to your next bar fight, coz this is it!
If you’re a fan of Down’s
previous work then you are going to love Over The Under. The
band’s trademark groove is as strong as ever and the quality of the
riffs is second to none, however it’s the more bluesy, almost “classic
rock” moments that will make this record appealing to people outside
of the metal community.
The thumping drums and guitar
feedback that introduce “Three Suns And One Star” is a gentle introduction
to the sleazy riffs that are about to come through your speakers. Throw
that into the mix with Phil’s crooning vocals and you’ve
got yourself one hell of a song.
“The Path” sounds like Pepper Keenan (Corrosion Of Conformity) and Kirk Windstein’s
(Crowbar) guitars have been smoking as much weed as they do… never
has the term “sludge” been a more appropriate description for a
series of guitar parts! The rumbling bass line of “N.O.D.” gives
the song a solid foundation to build from, and the remainder of the
band happily oblige as you’re hit with riff after southern inspired
Too many heavy bands make the
mistake of over producing their albums and end up sucking the life out
of their own songs. Down is one band that understands the importance
of capturing the raw intensity of their live show on record, and “I
Scream” is a prime example. Every instrument cuts through the mix
and is perfectly audible but there’s still a natural energy present
on each track that cannot be ignored, especially in the mid paced drive
and chorus of “On March The Saints”, which is one of the catchiest
things Down have written in their decade long existence.
fascination with classic rock has allowed them to significantly diversify
their sound. “Never Try” could have been written by the resident
band at the sleaziest New Orleans bar, while Phil’s vocal performance
in “Beneath The Tides” is reminiscent of Chris Cornell’s
(Soundgarden) throaty melodies.
If I’d reviewed Over The
Under in 2007 I have no doubt that it would have made my top 10 list.
Sonically the record is flawless and there isn’t a weak track on offer.
A worthy addition to any record collection!