We Knew Him Well
Hogshead / Dogshead
Down may call this an EP, but at 36 minutes or so and featuring six solid tracks, it’s essentially built like an old-school Black Sabbath album without the instrumentals. Phil Anselmo respects his audience, who show their loyalty right back, considering Down have a hardcore following second to none. It’s understandable why. When it comes to metal-sludge, no group are more committed to the cause than Anselmo and crew. How Anselmo’s throat can handle such constant shredding is between him and his ENT, but the results on songs such as “We Knew Him Well” and the eight-and-a-half-minute “Conjure” suggest he doesn’t always listen to doctor’s orders. Produced by Michael Thompson and the band, Down IV—Pt. II is a powerful experience, with drummer Jimmy Bower driving the riffs of Pepper Keenan and newcomer Bobby Landgraf into the zone. This New Orleans supergroup have arguably hit on the perfect format for their releases. Making EPs instead of hourlong albums gives fans the opportunity to learn all the songs, and it forces the band to pay closer attention to the pure quality of each and every track.