Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

sludge

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 CROWBAR "Symmetry in black"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Crowbar, Pantera, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge, News

(8/10) Three years after "Sever the wicked hand" has seen the light of day it's time for a new release from Crowbar. Kirk Windstein and his three companions cleared out their agendas and focussed on the new album called "Symmetry in black". Windstein even cancelled his participation in the latest Down EP.

The result of all this are 12 doom anthems which are on Crowbar's thenth album. Each new song from the New Orleans based quartett shows the typical trademarks of the band. Slow, mean and heavy riffs are the base. Listening to the tunes makes you almost feel the southern heat. In addition to that you have Windstein's hoarse vocals which are on the one hand full of energy, but also sometimes almost fragile ("Amaranthine"). Crowbar seems to be like wine, the older the better.

Sometimes even some older Type O Negative and Carnivore elements shine through the song structure ("Symbolic suicide", Symmetry in white").

Already the opener "Walk with knowledge wisely" gives you clear indication of what to expect in the coming almost 50 minutes. The title track is called "Symmetry in white". Yes, it's the right name. It seems a little bit playing with words here. It's Kirk Windstein charismatic vocals which dominates the song. However, it seems that the focus of the band members on Crowbar is reflected in the songwriting. The entire album stands like a rock. I couldn't find a song which doesn't live up to the high standards - no fillers.

Actually "Symmetry in black" has even an acoustical intermezzo. Half way the New Orleans guys put "Amaranthine" on the tracklist. It's a quite nice break after the riff orgy you heard before. The tune spreads a great atmosphere and is full of emotions. But again, this is only a small break before the next groove monster "The foreboding" hits you directly. 

For me it's the expected great new Crowbar record. New Orleans sound at it's best and for me one of the top three releases of the band. Stop reading, start listening.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Walk with knowledge wisly
  2. Symmetry in white
  3. The taste of dying
  4. Reflection of deceit
  5. Ageleass decay
  6. Amaranthine
  7. The foreboding
  8. Shaman of belief
  9. Teach the blind to see
  10. A wealth of empathy
  11. Symbolic suicide
  12. The Piety of selfloathing

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Doom Metal / Sludge

CD review CROWBAR "Symmetry in black"
CD review CROWBAR "Symmetry in black"
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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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CD review INDIAN "From all purity"

Veröffentlicht am 30. Januar 2014 von Markus W. in Indian, Sludge, Doom Metal, CD Review, News

(6/10) This is hard to digest. Indian from Chicago released their new album. "From all purity" is a real mean and nasty apocalyptical piece of music. This album is an infernal soundtrack which has an intensity which can hardly be described.

Indian plays a mix out of sludge and doom metal. As much as I like the doom approach on the one hand as much I have a hard time with the sludge elements on the other hand. Six songs demands really everything from you. Slow doom riffs, heavy as tons of steel, finds their way into your ear channel. The question is, if your brain can handle what you hear. Coming to the vocals I must say that there is a new way. We know singing, growling and screaming. Here it's more vomiting out the vocals with a high level anger. Maybe cool, but honestly not really my thing. I would appreciate the album if it would be fully instrumental.

"From all purity" is the soundtrack for the end of the world. You have to appreciate this kind of music if you consider this album to become one of yours. "From all purity" is more for a special small target group and for sure not for the big mass.

Giving a rating is hard this time. I think it is an 8 for fans of this kind of music and 4 for all the others. So it will get a 6 in total.

(6/10)

Tracklist:

  1. Rape
  2. The impetus bleeds
  3. Directional
  4. Rhetoric of No
  5. Clarify
  6. Disambiguation

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal

CD review INDIAN "From all purity"
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Tourdates from INDIAN

Veröffentlicht am 17. Januar 2014 von Markus W. in Indian, Doom Metal, Sludge, News, Tour

Chicago based Indian announced European tour dates for supporting their new album "From all purity". Here are the dates:

March 21 - Bournemouth UK - The Anvil
March 22 - London UK - Electrowerkz w/ Conan
March 23 - Nijmegen NL - Doornroosje w/ RED FANG
March 25 - Paris FR - Glazart
March 27 - Donostia ES - Heretic
March 28 - Madrid ES - Le Boite
March 29 - Barcelona ES - Rocksound
March 30 - Montpellier FR - Black Sheep
April 1 - Geneva  CH - Usine
April 4 - Antwerp BE - Kavka
April 5 - Drachten NL - Iduna
April 6 - Flensburg  DE - Luftschlossfabrik
April 9 - Copenhagen DK - KB18 w/ -(16)- & Grime
April 10 - Leipzig D - Doom over Leipzig
April 11 - Bielefeld D - AJZ
April 12 - Tilburg, NL - Roadburn Festival
Photo: Edouard Pierre

Photo: Edouard Pierre

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