Nola - (Import CD)
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- Rock & Pop
- Mono / Stereo
- Down; Matt Thomas
- NOLA [PA]
Down: Philip Anselmo (vocals); Pepper Keenan, Kirk Windstein (guitar); Todd Strange (bass); Jim Bower (drums).
Additional personnel: Lil' Daddy (water pipe, percussion); Ross Karpelman (keyboards); Sid Montz (percussion).
Recorded at Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana.
All songs written or co-written by Phil Anselmo and Pepper Keenan except "Hail The Leaf," "Pray For The Locust" and "Pillars Of Eternity" (Phil Anselmo).
Ever wonder what happens when five righteous headbangers pile into a New Orleans garage with a lot of beverages and, as they say, "a mission"? Wonder no more, and look no further than NOLA. As Pepper Keenan (who also plays guitar in Corrosion Of Conformity) tells it, that's how Down was born. He was just off a tour, and hooked up with his pal Philip (Pantera) Anselmo. One thing led to another, and by the time they and the rest of the guys stumbled out of that garage, what was now Down had laid the basic tracks for three of the songs on this incendiary debut, including the opening jam, "Temptation's Wings."
"Wings" says just about all there is to say about NOLA. The guitars, cranked up, fuzzed-up and loud, harmonize along a perfect line of distortion one moment, only to chatter away at each other like angry machine-guns the next. Down plays metal pure and simple (Metallica meets Led Zeppelin with many dark, sinister vibes thrown in for good measure) but there's a hint of a New Orleans backbeat propelling the whole wailing construct. But don't get the wrong idea--this is not groovy easy listening.
Anselmo does some truly incredible things with his voice--painful, unholy things. Yells become screams become moans become long, keening wails of frustration and pain. The band kicks out the jams in track after track. Down even approximates a kind of hybrid blues/metal on one number, "Underneath Everything," wherein Keenan shows his bayou roots with chunky pieces of guitar work. In the end, that ten seconds of guitar sums up Down. These guys know where they're from and where they're going. And, trust us, they're going there LOUDLY.
Personnel: Ross Karpelman (keyboards); Sid Montz (percussion).
Audio Mixers: David Farrell ; Down; Matt Thomas.
Recording information: Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, LA.
Illustrators: Jim De Barros; David Manteau.
Photographer: Michael Miller .
The combination of Phil Anselmo and Pepper Keenan should be enough to cause heavy metal fans to drool, but with a full cast made up of members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, and Eyehategod, Down is truly a supergroup, and performs as such. Make no mistake, though, the music inevitably comes back to Anselmo and Keenan. NOLA (an acronym for New Orleans, Louisiana) takes the two superstars' writing talents and distinctive sounds and focuses them in a feast of Cajun-style heavy metal. Like much of Pantera's music, NOLA is lyrically enigmatic and frequently celebrates the use of controlled substances. Glorification of cannabis aside, the album's true focus is inner melancholy and atonement for earlier sins. Keenan's own brand of crunching axework -- the kind that typifies his work with Corrosion of Conformity -- compliments Anselmo's genuinely sorrowful vocals, and the two propel the album to its logical conclusion without the flashy solos or other excesses that often accompany their separate works. The two also combine in a unique way on "Pray for the Locust," an instrumental that was written by Anselmo but consists simply of Keenan on the guitar. From the highly layered "Stone the Crow," the group's only major radio hit, to the ponderous, introspective "Bury Me in Smoke," the members of Down display their abilities to play quality rock & roll outside the comfort of their individual bands. In terms of consistency and sheer rock power, NOLA surpasses all but the very best of the featured artists' other works, and can proudly be embraced in any of the associated bands' catalogs. This is a landmark album that combines the talents of dedicated rock musicians, and should be included in any collection of heavy metal music. ~ David Reamer
- Country of Origin
- WEA (Distributor)
- Songs / Tracks
- [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Temptation's Wings
- [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Lifer
- [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Pillars of Eternity
- [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Rehab
- [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Hail the Leaf
- [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Underneath Everything
- [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Eyes of the South
- [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Jail
- [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Losing All
- [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Stone the Crows
- [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Pray for the Locust
- [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] Swan Song
- [ Disc 01 Track 13 ] Bury Me in Smoke
- Studio / Live
- Video Disabled
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