Down - Nola 2LP Vinyl (180 gram/Reissue)

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Special Feature: 180 gram vinyl.

Tracklisting: 

Side One

  1. Temptaion's Wings
  2. Lifer
  3. Pillars of Eternity
  4. Rehab
  5. Hail the Leaf
  6. Underneath Everything
  7. Bury Me in Smoke
  8. Eyes of the South
  9. Jail
  10. Losing All
  11. Stone the Crow
  12. Pray for the Locust
  13. Swan Song

Release Date: May 6, 2016

Label: EastWest Records

Origin: USA

Some bands produce an album that is incredibly influential and will contain more anthems than a band will release in their entire career. One album that comes to mind is Down‘s NOLA, one of the best releases of the 90s and arguably the best sludge album of all time. Down are essentially a ‘supergroup,’ made up of members from Pantera (Phil Anselmo), Crowbar (Kirk), Corrosion of Conformity (Pepper) and Eyehategod (Jimmy). In 1995 they produced one of the best albums of the 90s and a work that is still an essential release today. There is a reason that the band’s setlist is NOLA heavy and one listen through yields why.

There are so many positives on this album. Opening track ‘Temptation’s Wings,’ sets the tone for a mystical journey through New Orleans, Anselmo’s shrieking has sheer power, he certainly means business. The second track is fan favourite ‘Lifer.’ This crowd pleaser contains the sing-a-long of “I’m staring right back at myself!” Another momentous sing-a-long on the album that is more chilled out is ‘Stone The Crows,’ a song that was designed to be sung at a festival in a crowd with thousands of fellow metalheads. It is hauntingly beautiful, as is the swamp like track of ‘Jail.’ The song paints a vivid image of a relaxing cruise in a swamp, with fireflies lighting up the sky. This is what I love about metal, the power it lets the listener’s imagination run riot.

One of the strengths of NOLA is that it successfully weaves melancholy with positivity. ‘Lifer’ moves onto the bleaker ‘Pillars of Eternity,’ with ease. It does not seem out of place, it’s a skillful transition. The album has so much skill and passion running through it, there is so much to take from it, meaning returns to the album are imperative as there is more to take from each hearing. The solos on tracks like ‘Rehab,’ and ‘Bury Me In Smoke,’ are the stuff of legend. Every note is perfect and Kirk and Pepper deserve full credit for work on this album. As with every Down album, the real star of the show is not Anselmo’s voice (even though it is steller), but the riffs. ‘Hail the Leaf,’ ‘Eyes of the South’ and of course ‘Bury Me in Smoke,’ has phenomenal riffage on the tracks. I’ve mentioned ‘Bury Me in Smoke’ a lot in this article and for good reason, it’s the best track on the album. It is so infectious, on every listen I sing a long with Mr. Anselmo and have found myself in awkward situations yelling “Bury Me in Smoke” on public transport, but it has been worth it every time. I like to think someone has discovered Down through my outburst. The solos are exquisite, the plodding sludge riffs have a monumental pace and structure. It’s just an example of a near perfect song.

Harsh, anthemic, beautiful and harsh. NOLA has stood the test of time and will for many years to come, it’s up with Reign in Blood and Master of Reality as a crucial item in every Metalhead’s collection.- Jack (MetalRecusants.com August 6, 2014)

http://metalrecusants.com/2014/08/06/blast-from-the-past-down-nola/