Release Date: March 26, 2002
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino

On this headbanging, 15-track follow-up to 1995’s Nola, Down once again serve up a southern rock, sonic stew of Sabbath-influenced heaviness. Bringing together members from Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, and Eyehategod, Down is a supergroup that takes the best of each individual’s abilities and adds them all together to make one hell of a great band with one hell of a good sound. The lyrics coming from Phil Anselmo are top notch, and his voice alone shows why he is one of the most respected singers out there in metal today. Raw, deep, and meaningful, Anselmo has a gift that he is not afraid to use. The guitarists, featuring Pepper Keenan (COC) throw out some of the best acoustic and heavier rock riffs I have heard in a long time. The bass and drum tracks are handled equally as good, with the bass being handled by Rex Brown (Pantera) this time around. The best thing about this CD is that you can tell it’s from the heart. I just wish more bands were equally as meaningful with their music. The amount of slower acoustic tracks really surprised me, they are so good that I welcomed them just as much as the heavier songs on the album. Check out the tracks “Lysergic Funeral Procession”, “There’s Something On My Side”, “The Man That Follows Hell”, “Ghosts Along the Mississippi”, “Beautifully Depressed”, and “The Seed” for that good old fashioned metal you’re looking for. Check out “Learn From This Mistake”, “Landing On the Mountains of Meggido”, and “Where I’m going” for some of the best acoustic work from a metal band I’ve heard in awhile.

After listening to this cd, you can see why these guys are headlining the second stage of Ozzfest this year. Down II is an album that will blow you away with both creativity as well as brutality. If you are getting sick of the nu-metal infested mainstream and are looking for some real rock music, then get this CD. It will give you a sigh of relief knowing that some bands still know how to rock. I highly recommend this CD, and it truly is one of the best releases of the year.

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