Thrash Hits

January 31st, 2012

2012 Album Preview: Down – TBC

Down Phil Anselmo by Gary Wolstenholme Thrash Hits

Titles TBC
Roadrunner Records
ETA Summer 2012

What They’re Saying
Well, it’s a bit of a cheat to call this an “album preview” – as what Down have got slated for release in 2012 isn’t an album, but the first in a series of four EPs. The band have set a characteristically loose schedule when it comes to recording and releasing these EPs, but with recording of the first already underway, it’s a fair assumption that it’ll be out in just a few month’s time.

We’ve also got some indication as to what sort of direction Down are taking with them, c/o an interview with the band in this month’s Metal Hammer magazine. Kik Windstein had this to say:

“This is kind of a heavy-sounding record for Down. These six tracks are not loaded with a lot of dynamics like we have in some of our other material.”

Phil Anselmo also took some time to explain his inspirations for his lyrics this time around. And much like the giant-size riffs turned out by Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein, it’s some pretty heavy stuff:

“On this – and in the past – I write to basically give an outline and let the listener garner for themselves how they want to apply their own rules and regulations to the track. For me, I find one of the biggest realities of life is that no two men, no two cultures, no tow belief systems are really the same. There’s a lot lyrically where I’m kind of at odds with mankind’s relationship with mankind.”

While none of the EPs have an official title yet, the same cannot be said for the tracklisting of the first of them – ‘Levitation’, ‘Witchtripper’, ‘The Misfortune Teller’, ‘The Curse Is A Lie’, ‘Open Coffins’ and ‘This Work Is Timeless’ are the names being bandied around at the moment. The band go into more detail behind the inspirations of all six tracks in this month’s Metal Hammer, but you’ll have to buy the magazine if you want all the details. We’re far too lazy to type it all out here.

Watch probably our favourite interview ever – Pepper Keenan @ Download Festival 2009:

Thrash Hits verdict:
Now while there are plenty of people out there who’ll bemoan the fact that Down’s EP plan will mean they’ll only get to hear six new songs from the NOLA supergroup in 2012, we see it as a good thing. Maybe it’s because we’re getting old and our attention spans are shrinking in terror at the quite frankly ludicrous size of our Albums Still To Listen To pile, but we hope more bands start doing this. While Down’s career up to this point has been characterised by long, long, looong periods between albums (seven years between NOLA and A Bustle In Your Hedgerow, then another five years before Over The Under, and now five years and counting for these EPs…), but Down’s current plan means we’ll get new material from the band every year from now until 2016. Remind us why this EP plan a bad thing again?

As for the quality on display, the EP scheme means our expectations are higher too. While Over The under was definitely not a bad record, it’s still arguably not up to the standard of Down’s first two albums. By setting themselves the more manageable target of just a half dozen tracks, Down are free to concentrate on providing the very best material for their EPs, rather than stuffing in a few filler tracks they have knocking about in order to bulk up the tracklisting to full album-status.

See? Getting “just” six new Down songs in 2012 doesn’t seem so bad after all, does it?



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