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Down IV Begins
on September 18, 2012
As Phil and Co. have stated, "The Purple EP" will be the first of four, each to highlight a different element of the band's sound. This is officially supposed to be the "heavy" one, sparking a buzz (so to speak) with Down fans. All six songs are intended to concentrate on the more in-your-face, upbeat, energetic side of Down.
For this reason, some are comparing it to NOLA. That's not a bad comparison, but I'm hearing a little of everything that makes Down heavy. The first track, Levitation, starts with a slow, doomy crawl, before shifting into an up-tempo metal vibe reminiscent of Down II. Next, Witchtripper steps up the pace with a Sabbath-inspired headbanger that could've been on NOLA. Track three, Open Coffins, gets slower, with a mix of doom and bluesy metal that would fit on any Down album. The Curse Is A Lie continues in similar fashion, with plenty of Iommi-like riffs, some that crunch and others that soar, but with an underpinning of mid-paced doom. This Work Is Timeless is a true Down stomper; short, sweet, and full of muscle. The last song, Misfortune Teller is a seven-minute epic spanning nearly every aspect of Down's metal roots. It's a powerful way to end the first installment of Down IV.
In the vocal department, Phil sounds like Phil. He hasn't varied too much on any release aside from dropping the screams that characterized NOLA, and you won't hear many on this. On Down III, I thought he sounded a little thin, like he'd lost some of the power behind his singing voice. On this EP, he sounds more like he did on Down II. The bellow is there, as well as the nuance Phil has always injected, making him one of metal's most compelling vocalists. Basically, getting this EP is a no-brainer if you like Down, doom, sludge, heavy rock, or metal. You really can't go wrong with these guys.