Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Andrew Jacobs here,
Down was a heavy metal supergroup formed in the early 1990s and consisting of Philip Anselmo (Pantera, Superjoint Ritual and literally a million others) on vocals, Pepper Keenan (Corrosion Of Conformity) on guitar, Kirk Windstein & Todd Strange (Crowbar) on guitar & bass respectively and Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod) on drums (Todd Strange was later replaced by Pantera bassist Rex Brown). Many of you are probably most familiar with Down from their 1995 debut titled NOLA. And while I absolutely agree that NOLA is a metal masterpiece, I've decided to devote the better part of this post to discussing Down's lesser heard second album, 2002's A Bustle In Your Hedgerow.
In some ways, I actually consider ABIYH an even better album than NOLA. Where NOLA was pretty much straight up 1970s Black Sabbath style metal with a healthy dose of aggression thrown in for good measure, ABIYH shows a more experimental side of Down. Anselmo's vocal abilities, in particular, really come through and shine on this album, particularly on songs such as "Where I'm Going" and "Lies, I Don't Know What They Say But...", my two favorite songs on the album as well. Don't get me wrong, there's PLENTY of Anselmo's trademark bloodcurdling screaming on ABIYH to satisfy even the most diehard Pantera fans but I think that the best thing about ABIYH is it shows the band moving beyond the Sabbathy sludge of NOLA and establishing their own sound and identity.