Written By Braddon S. Williams
If I were to describe the sound of the band Down to someone who had never heard them, I would say they sound like what would happen if Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Sabbath had an evil baby and raised it in a swamp.
NOLA was released in 1995 and represented a supergroup of metal veterans of bands Pantera, Corrosion Of Conformity, Crowbar, and EyeHateGod.
Although singer Phil Anselmo has an instantly recognizable vocal style, Down really doesn’t have much of a similarity to Pantera, which I have always enjoyed.
It is pretty interesting to hear him in a completely different context. Much of the sludge metal sound of Down comes from the twin guitar attack of Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein, bringing in key elements of their respective “main” bands. Another big strength of Down is the songwriting.
This band was never considered just a throwaway side project, and the quality of the songs proves that fact over and over again on NOLA.
Songs like Bury Me In Smoke, Lifer, Rehab, Eyes Of The South, Temptation’s Wings, Jail, and Stone The Crow are all killer tracks.
Down never overstays their welcome. They put out new music sporadically, tour for awhile, then the members go their separate ways until the next time that the evil swamp baby needs some attention.