Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

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CD review REX BROWN "Smoke on This"

Veröffentlicht am 23. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Rex Brown, Hardrock, Pantera, Down, Blues, Southern Rock, Rock, CD Review, News, Steamhammer, SPV

CD review REX BROWN "Smoke on This"

(9/10) I guess that the name Rex Brown makes you immediately think about the legendary Pantera and the mighty Down. Brown was/is bass player in these two metal outfits and in the meantime he also worked on his solo debut. Now, in case you expect a sludge masterpiece or a hard hitting thrash album, I think you need to re-calibrate your metal-system. Rex Brown breaks new ground with “Smoke on This”.

The first things that’s different is Brown handling the six string guitar which he does as professional as he does the bass. Secondly he also took over the vocals and these are surprisingly good. His loudly and sometimes rough and hoarsely vocals fit perfect to the Southern rock style music that you get with “Smoke on This”.

Rex Brown goes back to his roots when it comes to the new album which makes it feel very authentic and tangible. It’s the lighter that’s introducing the opener. “Lone Rider” is the first highlight of the album, being a rolling spot-on track with a good riff and great vocals. Things just fit together perfectly on this longplayer. I like songs that tells the message. Without even checking the title I had to think about a huffing and puffing train while listening to the song for the first time. In that sense the tune is excellently done, seeing the powerful transcontinental locomotive right in front of you.

Also the half-acoustic tunes are a treat. ”Buried Alive” is one of them, coming with a kind of Soundgarden reference. The calmest song is “Fault Line”. This ballad comes with a lot of emotional depth and it feels very personal. It’s a listener you get goose bumps while listening to it. Another songs that’s worth to be mentioned is “Grace”, reminding me of Alice Cooper. Partly light-hearted the tune still includes a creepy overtone that makes it special.

This album is full of good stuff and there’s no single filler present. Brown recorded songs that came right from the heart, making “Smoke on this” to a real and honest masterpiece. I must admit that I haven’t expected such a great album. A positive stunner. This album kick ass.

 

(9/10)


Tracklist:

  1. Lone Rider
  2. Crossing Linbes
  3. Buried Alive
  4. Train Song
  5. Get Yourself Alright
  6. Fault Line
  7. What Comes Around
  8. Grace
  9. So Into You
  10. Best of Me
  11. One of these Days

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: July 28th, 2017

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Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014

Veröffentlicht am 6. August 2014 von Markus W. in Down, Sludge, Thrash Metal, Alternative Metal, Pantera, Eye Hate God, C.O.C., Live Review, News

August in Amsterdam. Sun outside. 26 degrees. The weather tried to be a bit Lousiana style to welcome Down in the Melkweg.

The guys from New Orleans touring through Europe at the moment to play some of the big festivals. The Amsterdam crowd had the pleasure to see the mighty riff masters in a club environment. Nothing against the big festivals, but the intesity of a Down show in a small 700 visitors venue is not comparable to anything else.

This time there wasn't any support act. It was a pure evening with Down. Around 20:45 everything was prepeared for 'showtime'. The Oude Zaal in the Melkweg was filled up to the last spot, temperature was rising and the coming 90 minutes made it even hotter in the Melkweg.

It was "Down" from Harry Nilsson which opened the show as the intro before the band entered the stage. The start into the set with "Eyes of the south" couldn't have been chosen better. It set the tone for the coming one and a half hours. It also became obvious already at that stage that the band was up for playing this show. They all had a lot of fun. Also Phil showed again his great frontman capabilities. Not only that his voice is unique and awesome, also the way how he interacted with the fans was authentic and from the heart. It was great entertainment too - just thinking about a few ironic statements about corpsepaint and 'really evil frontmen' that made people smile. 

But it wouldn't be fair enough to focus too much on Phil Anselmo, since Down is a band and stands as one unit. Jimmy Bowers and Patrick Bruders gave the show the groove while Pepper Keenan and Bobby Landgraf hammered the mighty Down riffs into the crowd. Talking about Landgraf. It was good to see how he became a part of Down during the last year. 

The setlist, as you can see, covered all the important milestones of the band - at least as much as possible. New songs as the slow doom monster "Conjure" have been appriciated by the fans as well as the older songs like "Hail the leaf" from the debut album "Nola". With "Lifer" the show also contained the Dimebag Darrell tribute moment and what could have been a better end of the show as the mean and heavy performed "Bury me in smoke". In the end Phil Anselmo even picked up the guitar himself while the band handed over their instuments to the crew members for finalizing the song. A good symbol for what it is all about. It's about real music and fun.

All in all it was around 90 minutes of heavy riffs, high energy, passion, heat, sweat and tones of metal. That's what meta lis about and I hope to see the guys from Lousiana back on a Dutch stage pretty soon again (actually they are in De Pul in Uden tonight - go there).

 

Setlist:

  1. Down (Intro Harry Nilsson song)
  2. Eyes of the south
  3. We knew him well
  4. Hogdhead/Dogshead
  5. Witchtripper
  6. Lifer
  7. Lysergik funeral procession
  8. Pillars of eternity
  9. Hail the leaf
  10. Ghost along the Mississippi
  11. Conjure
  12. Losing all
  13. Stone the crow
  14. N.O.D.
  15. Bury me in smoke

 

Location: Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: 05.08.2014

Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014
Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014
Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014
Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014
Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014
Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014
Live review DOWN, Melkweg, Amsterdam, 05.08.2014
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CD review DOWN "Down IV part 2" EP

Veröffentlicht am 11. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Down, Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, Sludge, CD Review, News

(8/10) As promised Down released part 2 of the announced EP series. Another six anthems from the Louisiana based all-star band. What started many years ago with their highlight "Nola" climaxed in this EP. And Part 2 is a logical continuation for Part 1 which was released two years ago.

But there is also a huge difference. This EP was the first one without six stringer Kurt Windstein. He was replaced by the "Down family friend" Bobby Landgraf. Fortunately this change didn't have a huge impact on the sound and the songs. At least not a bad one. It actually looks like an extra push which was initiated by the new situation. Heavy riffs, a stronger southern blues touch and the incomparable voice from Phil Anselmo are the trademarks of the band and those come back in this release. And it seems that the band had really fun in recording this album. 'Part 2" expresses a lot of dedication for the tunes and the music. 

After I heard the album several times I have the feeling that the songs are a bit faster than on Part 1 and also a bit easier to access. The opener "Steeple" is one of those songs. Eventhough it starts pretty slow it gains pace along the way and ends up in a mean rocking beast. A similar structure comes back in "We know him well". A bit slower than the opener the track feels faster than e.g. the eight minutes long "Conjure". This song is a really slow one with some clear Black Sabbath references, esp. when it comes to the main riff. It's these differences and variations between the tracks which makes the album unique, esp. since Down is capable to have this flexibility within their trademarks. It always sounds like 100% Down. Compared to this real heavy stuff "Sufferer's years" feels almost swinging and light, but of course in the Down framework. It's a cool and grooving anthem which shows again a slightly different side of the band. The second eight minutes highlight is called "Baccanalia" and is the closer on the EP. It is about the pleasures of life and life in itself. The tube is another massive monster which combines the duelling guitars with the heavy punch from the rhythm section. The end of the track is surprising since it is an accoustical one. It sounds almost fragile compared to what you've heard before. It almost feels like a cliffhanger in a TV series which makes you curious on how the next album will sound like.  

"Down IV - part 2" became the expected next highlight in Down's discography. Music that makes your head bang. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Steeple
  2. We know him well
  3. Hogsheag / dogshead
  4. Conjure
  5. Sufferer's years
  6. Bacchanalia

 

Label: Roadrunner Records

Genre: Doom Metal, Stoner Rock

 

CD review DOWN  "Down IV part 2" EP
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New DOWN EP in May

Veröffentlicht am 17. März 2014 von Markus W. in Down, Metal, News

Down, the band around frontman Phil Anselmo, will release their new EP "Down IV Part two" in May this year. This record is the successor of 'part 1' and contains 6 new songs.

 

Tracklist:

1. Steeple

2. We Knew Him Well

3.  Hogshead/Dogshead

4. Conjure

5. Sufferer's Years

6. Bacchanalia

New DOWN EP in May
New DOWN EP in May
Photo: October Promotions (Promo)

Photo: October Promotions (Promo)

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