As many of you might know Down is a so-called super group with (former) members from Pantera, Crowbar, Eyehategod and Corrosion Of Conformity. It basically started out as a fun project, however things got quite seriously when their debut album Nola turned out to be quite a classic. Its successor didn’t turn many heads, but still had some decent tunes. Their third record, entitled Over The Under, is a real killer. Let’s talk some magic here.
There are three key elements that make Over The Under such an impressive record. Firstly, the songwriting is very tight and focused, which shows in On March The Saints, The Path, I Scream and Mourn for example. Secondly, the songs are delivered with a laidback vibe, but they show a band on fire hellbound on getting the message across. Thirdly, one can feel the brutal honesty of Phil Anselmo shining through his lyrics and you can hear the raw emotion when he pours his heart into N.O.D, Three Stars And One Sun and In The Thrall Of It All.
Over The Under is also a sort of catharsis for members of Down, because many of the topics tackle the tragic shooting of Dimebag Darrel and the aftershock of hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans back 2005. Despite all this, there is a certain optimism shining through, which also adds to the magic of this record.
The production is handled by Warren Riker who gave Over The Under its rather gritty sound, giving it a nice raw and vintage edge.
In short, this is another classic like only Down can deliver. I just hope we won’t have to wait another five years before a new album sees the light of day.
written by Raymond Westland