PHILLIP H. ANSELMO AND CO. RETURN WITH KILLER EP
via Kerrang! Magazine
by Paul Travers
Down releases are like super-heavy, ultra-slow buses. You wait half a decade for one, and then four come at once. It might not be as ambitious as Green Day’s upcoming trilogy but, for a band as notoriously unprolific as Down, a quartet of EPs to be released within the space of a year represents a veritable blur of activity. And of this first installment is any indication, the whole collection will have fans frothing at the mouth. Put simply: this EP is better than most albums you’ll hear this year. Like Down II, it’s not afraid to get bluesy and melodic in places. But where that full-length was sprawling and occasionally floundered under its own ambition, the six-track format keeps The Purple EP tight and compact. Guitarists Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein excel themselves here, working some tasteful, blues-based licks into their trademark rolling grooves and megalithic riffs. And frontman Phillip H. Anselmo (as he likes to be called now) is on top of his game too, switching between a pugnacious roar and a throaty croon while delivering lyrics that go beyond the personal tragedies of Down III to tackle some philosophical themes. The results leave Misfortune Teller and Witchtripper sounding like a southern-fried Sabbath, while Open Coffins comes straight from the bowels of Beelzebub. It’s a sound that confirms one thing: Down just keep getting better and better.
(Kerrang! Magazine also added this blurb about Down bringing their tour to the UK later this year.)