As supergroups go, they don’t get much better than DOWN. But it has been A LONG time since the last DOWN album landed. Is there hope for a new DOWN album? Here’s what you need to know…
DOWN is perhaps one of the only supergroups in existence that not only lived up to expectation but excelled in creating some of the best metal albums of the last two decades. The band’s 1995’s debut, NOLA was a masterpiece, as was its 2022 follow-up, DOWN II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow.
Combining elements of sludge metal, doom, metal, and a lovely helping of blues, DOWN’s sound is as heavy as it gets. The first two albums also represent some of Phil Anselmo’s best work outside of Pantera. But it has been a good long while since the band put out any new material; 2014 was the last we heard from the band with respect to a studio record with the second part in its two-part EP series.
New DOWN Album – What’s The Deal?
When it comes to a new DOWN album, it appears there is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that it isn’t looking like there will be a new balls-to-the-wall studio album.
The good news, however, is that there will – potentially – be a new EP released in the not too distant future. This EP will be made up of covers, however, not original DOWN tunes.
At one point for a good number of years, 2006 through 2013 for me, Down was my priority. And then when we parted ways I started doing Crowbar full time. They kept doing a little bit with Down, but then it kind of came to a halt. But yeah, doing a covers EP makes the most sense because there’s no stress. We can pick some obscure tunes that we can turn into our own and we’ll technically be putting out Down music without having to bang our heads against the wall.
And I mean, it’s a difficult process writing and recording a Down record just because everyone writes. It’s not like you got a main guy or whoever that does it. Everybody can write shit. A lot of times we have too many ideas and we don’t know what the fuck to do, really. So I think the cover song EP thing is like a happy meeting point halfway. It’s a happy medium of us being able to put out new music without the stress and everything of having to go into the studio and write and record it.Kirk Windstein
The above comments come from an interview with Kirk Windstein, ahead of DOWN’s US tour which kicks off in May 2022. The idea of a new DOWN album, one of NOLA or DOWN II’s length, appears to be too much of a commitment for the band right now – all of its members are active in other bands.
Interestingly, Windstein discussed the dynamic of how music is created in the band. I’d never thought about this before, but it appears that DOWN is a heavily collaborative effort with everyone bringing ideas – not just Pepper or Kirk or Phil. This would go a long way to explaining why the band’s sound constantly changes, and never stays too static.
A DOWN Covers Album Has Potential…
When you have a band made up of members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, EYEHATEGOD, and GOATWHORE, there’s always going to be a lot of divergent and similar influences going on. Black Sabbath is an obvious example of a band each of these respective bands draws influence from, so I’d definitely expect a Sabbath tune to make the cut.
But Windstein said they’d likely focus on obscure songs that the band will put their own unique twist on. How many tracks make it onto the final EP is anybody’s guess. Cover albums have a habit of being very hit and miss. But with DOWN’s credentials and influences, I’m sure this EP will be brilliant. I mean, what could go wrong when you have some of the best metal and sludge musicians working together in the same room?
DOWN’s 2022 US tour kicks off in May. You can catch them on the following dates – get your tickets here:
- 5/19 – Daytona Beach, FL @ Welcome To Rockville
- 5/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
- 5/22 – Dallas, TX @ Amplified Live
- 6/16 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Copenhell
- 6/18 – Dessel, Belgium @ Graspop Metal Meeting
- 6/19 – Clisson, France @ Hellfest
- 9/9 – Alton, VA @ Blue Ridge Rock Festival