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“Dedicated to sludge, but exposing more melody”
Some may criticize the title as uncreative, but in driving the sludge genre, Down leads the way with Part II. Front man Phil Anselmo has undoubtedly trampled his way through the heaviest hits life offers, yet manages to offer up melody and rhythm along with his iconic band mates. Down IV Part II marks the first recording without longtime guitarist Kirk Windstein, who says he left partly because of the downtime Anselmo needs to rest his voice between shows.
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Bobby Landgraf’s riffs blend seamlessly into songs like “Sufferer’s Years,” where Anselmo’s voice recalls a touch of what he had during the Pantera years. The repeated “I hate this time of year” refrain resonates well against the backdrop of muddy tones and calculated drum fills.
A sweet surprise occurs in the last two minutes of epic album closer “Bacchanalia,” which breaks off into ballad form with a distinct Alice In Chains effect. The calling lyrics cry out to an “ocean waiting,” which credit the overriding theme to Down’s music—the atmosphere of a Louisiana swamp. Cutting through the mud and murkiness of NOLA, Down’s final break demonstrates that yearning that so many fans and bands experience in bars. Join Down for a beer or three and mosh steadfastly to Part II.