When the first Down album was released, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was not expecting it in any way. I was all for the all-star lineup since I was a huge fan of Phil Anselmo and Pepper Keenan. They were so raw and true to what they believed. Seeing them live was amazing. They just poured it on track after track. With following released, their songs lost their charm. Whereas I was a fan of every song on the debut release, I was really only psyched for Ghosts Along the Mississippi and New Orleans is a Dying Whore on the follow up. With Down III, I was not psyched for any of them. If I was to do a dream Down concert, it would consist of the two aforementioned songs and the debut album.
Now, we move into 2012, with the release of Down IV Part I – The Purple EP.
Levitation starts off the album right way. It is classic Down hearkening back to the distinct sound of Bury Me in Smoke, but teeters off a little for the verse sections sounding more like something off of Down III. Regardless of which time span it sounds more like, it is a very solid song that I can get into. The break is a typical rocking Down sound.
We then move into Witchtripper, which we have all heard a million times by now. This is still a very good song and keeps getting better with each listen. The remainder of the songs pretty much follow the same flow where the songs are good in their own way, but do not seem to do anything that would make we really want to hear them live. Open Coffins has the depth of Anselmo’s multi-tracked vocals and The Curse has deep, dark riffing.
Overall, The Purple EP is sort of what I expected, which is solid songs, but nothing groundbreaking going on here. I am not hating on the album since I enjoy it more than 95% of what is coming out these days, but when you have set such a high bar for the fans, they are bound to feel let down when an album is just good and not great.
Down IV Part I – The Purple EP Track Listing:
03 “Open Coffins”
04 “The Curse Is a Lie”
05 “This Work Is Timeless”
06 “Misfortune Teller”