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Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow
May 2002
Released: 2002, Elektra
Rating: 4.7/5
Reviewer: Wisco

O.K., Phil haters, it's time for y’all to recognize that Mr. Anselmo’s work with Down ain’t Pantera. DOWN II: A BUSTLE IN YOUR HEDGEROW must not be avoided because of anti-Pantera sentiment. This is old school metal in the strictest sense of the word. Seeing as how I feel the first Black Sabbath album is the metal equivalent of the book of Genesis, I’m tempted to file this album under “metallic creation.” However, this is 2002, roughly 30 plus years after the birth of, Black Sabbath. Yet here it stands, an album that seriously could have been made in the 70’s. Well maybe not all of it, but a lot of it. Man, it’s nice to have a new Down record!

"So, how are the tunes" you ask? Need you ask?!! The album starts with a funeral and ends with a mountain landing...need more? I like “Stained Glass Cross” the best in that it just lazily rolls along and yet rocks hard in a subtle sort of way. Trust me, you won’t notice until the song is over. It’s like an aftertaste or something. A few minutes after listening to the track you might find yourself muttering, “that song kicked my ass!” Another standout is “New Orleans is a Dying Whore.” Be forewarned, the chorus will stick to your brain for days. All I gotta say is this: be aware of who is standing near you. I learned the hard way that people generally don’t appreciate it when you sing the words “dying whore” in their presence. Especially when they don’t know what the hell you’re referencing to and/or that you’re even singing to yourself. Oh, well.

Be prepared for a few mellow tracks. I know that for a lot of metalheads, speed is an issue. Trust me, Down ain’t gonna be your band if it is. Actually, Down won’t trip your trigger if you require cohesive song structures. These guys are all over the fucking map and it rules. There are even a few acoustic songs. However, lemme tell ya, these select few tracks fit perfectly into the whole messy vibe that is DOWN II: A BUSTLE IN YOUR HEDGEROW. Overall, I enthusiastically recommend this album for anybody with even a passing interest in Black Sabbath and/or any fuzzed out, doom inspired, hard rockin’, 70’s styled band that you can think of. Pepper Keenan can sure crank out the riffs and, as Phil says, “the power of the riff compels me!” Damn straight it does.

Next review: » Down - Down IV Part I: The Purple EP
Previous review: » Down - Diary Of A Mad Band

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