Down hearken back to better days, while raising the bar for an entire generation to follow.
That's been the group's impact since the release of Nola in 1995 and not a goddamn thing has changed since then—thankfully. Except for the fact that somehow and some way Down are even more focused, fierce, and fiery than ever on the first track from their forthcoming EP One, "Witchtripper". This is Down at their best, and it's also the first sliver of the best hard rock record of 2012.
The group's brilliance lies in their ability to tap into a classical majesty, while remaining completely and utterly identifiable. There's only one Down, and "Witchtripper" proclaims that once again. Like two six-string sorcerers Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein light up an infectious riff, stomping between southern blues and sludged-out thrash. Jimmy Bower's drums sound like their signaling a raid on Olympus, while Pat Bruders weaves in and out of the maelstrom with deft bass mastery. At the forefront of the assault, Philip Anselmo delivers a massively memorable hook with the same fire and passion that made him a legend. These titans sound tight and tough, doling out a propulsive anthem in the process.
Every Down record remains a special occasion and a landmark in its own right. Consider this the first sign post to rock 'n' roll Valhalla for a whole generation to marvel at.
Make sure you get the record on September 18, 2012. There will be more to come.
—Rick Florino, ArtistDirect.com