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Down IV Part II

4.4 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

With a collective resume encompassing Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, and Eyehategod, Down puffed out its first haze of sonic smoke on the 1995 platinum-selling classic, Nola, followed by the critically revered offerings of Down II (2002), Down III (2007), and Down IV Part One (2012). Their shows built a certain live lore with unforgettable runs alongside Metallica, Heaven & Hell as well as coveted spots on Download, Soundwave, & Ozzfest. On 2014's Down IV - Part II, the boys once again deliver passionate, powerful, and pure heavy music.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: DOWN
  • ASIN: B00IU6HQBW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,420 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Hill TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 13, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's always exciting when new Down music drops, but even more exciting when the early response is mostly positive. I'll add my voice to the chorus praising "Down IV, Part 2," a collection of six songs that ooze with swampy, blues-driven, metallic doom in the best Down tradition. Part Sabbath tribute, part C.O.C. spawn, part Southern metal, Down finds room for it all on the second EP of a promised four, which together will comprise the band's fourth album. Phil said before the first one that they would each feature a different aspect of the band's sound, and that the first one would be the "heavy"one. If that's the case, then I guess Part 2 is the "heavier" EP. The riffs are much thicker and more menacing than on Part 1. To use Sabbath as a reference point, this EP is musically more "Master of Reality" than "Vol. 4." Phil's vocals are much more aggressive, too, adding to the heavier feel. He did a bit more singing on Part 1 than what he does here, and much less screaming. One of the features that made NOLA a classic was the interplay between Phil's Southern-tinged singing and his all-out screaming. I'm not saying he does it as much as the old days here, but he uses it some, and that's better than almost none.

You might be aware that Down has parted ways with original guitarist Kirk Windstein, and before that, longtime bassist Rex Brown. I think they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt here that the essential sound of the band comes from Phil's vocals, Pepper's guitar, and Jimmy' s drumming. Take one of those guys out and I wouldn't think of it as Down anymore, but the essentials are here, so the sound is, too. My early favorite from Part 2 is "Sufferer's Year," which I'm beginning to like more than anything from Down II, III, or the first EP.
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I've been following Down since the '90's, NOLA is one of my all-time favorite albums. I learned to love II and III floored me (let's not talk about the live album, ok?). My initial response to every release has always been to compare it to NOLA, but after all these years I've finally learned that each release is it's own entity. That is what Down really is, the guys are making the music they want to make, not what they think we should be hearing. Down will always grow and change and as a result, will always offer something new and the 2nd EP is no different. Each song is an adventure, twisting and turning through the dark forests of the minds of the band. Yes, it may sound a bit familiar, especially if you listen to the two EPs back-to-back. I've listened to this EP about a dozen times and, while it probably won't get as much play time as NOLA, the more I listen to it the more I love it. Support heavy music!
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This album is the one us Down fans have been waiting for. This is the best since "II: Bustle In Your Hedgerow" and might be better actually. Aggressive, totally unpredictable and the production is spot on. FINALLY!!! I think Kirk leaving and the new guitarist (tech) now playing added some much needed freshness to the band...Just listen to "We Knew Him Well". You'll agree.
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I couldn't imagine these guys without the great Kirk Windstein, and yet I'm now completely blown away. Part 1 was supposed to be the heavyweight champ, but it just got knocked off. This is their best recording to date. What a dream of a recording mix. Phil is getting pretty adept at knowing how a mixing board works. His vocals jump out in 60 dimensions from 60 directions. This is the best thing I have heard since Reign In Blood. Crush your face in with this and buy it now. Mosh pit record of the year.
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I have to say that like many other reviewers I think that this album is in many ways better than their first EP, as the songs instantly resonate in a very earth and Sabathy tone. Not the more popular Sabbath, but the much more bluesy deep track Sabbath. I don't make that distinction in a bad way. Songs like Steeple, the Conjuring, and We Knew Him Well are all amazing songs, but they are all generally straight forward and don't have nearly the haze that allows you to find bits and pieces of song only after several listens. The structures of many of those songs are so dense that they were almost incomprehensible.

This album still has tons of riffs, but it seems to be much more straight forward and almost reminds me of how Reinventing the Steel almost seemed to regress to childhood inspirations and allusions. Down is a different band than Pantera, but I do love this album and it really does seem as if the new members of the band really were able to give this album some zing. My only criticism for this album is that it isn't longer. The previous effort seemed self contained, and while a full tribute album might have eventually gone stale, this one seems overflowing with potential. Not classic Down, but Down doing classic metal. Horns up.
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This is just a great EP from an already great band. Down III was a lot mellower than the previous albums. Down IV part I was very different from anything else they did, it was ok, but not great. This EP though, I feel is a lot better than its predecessor. I feel like this is what you would get if you were to cross IV part I with A Bustle In Your Hedgerow. We Knew Him Well, and Hogshead/Dogshead have that earlier Down southern vibe their first two albums had. In Conjure and Bachannalia, the band gets extremely sludgy and dirty, not much unlike Sabbath. And all four of those songs are great in my opinion. Steeple opens up the EP heavily and aggressively, setting a good tone throughout. The only low point for me is Sufferer's Years which doesn't really do much to stand out. Outside of that, it's not Nola, it's not A Bustle In Your Hedgerow, but it's still a really really good effort, and I like it a lot, definitely check it out if you're already a Down fan.
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