IV: PART 1, THE PURPLE EP
Of all the guys from Pantera, it really is surprising that Philip Anselmo was the one to emerge and find the most success after that band. We all know what happened to Dimebag, but Vinnie Paul's decision to join an average to below average Supergroup and Rex Brown's recent move to the decent but not going anywhere band Kill Devil Hill leaves Anselmo as the lone guy still making music that a lot of the Pantera fans actually love and respect. Returning from the great but disappointing album OVER THE UNDER (disappointing because the production was so God awful), Anselmo and his southern fried project Down are back with the first of a multi-installment set of releases. THE PURPLE EP is exactly what you would expect from Down, especially if you were a fan of DOWN II: A BUSTLE IN YOUR HEDGEROW.
YELLOW & GREEN
While the Red and Blue albums certainly shimmered with moments of grand brilliance, the masterful Yellow & Green is Baroness' most complete majestic offering to date. Filled with melodious surprises the new platter is genius from alpha to omega — no small feat considering its 1.2 hour play time spread over 18 disparate yet somehow analogous sonic puzzle pieces.
Where Baroness rise above their peers is in their expert use of dynamics. The band's best trick is an uncanny ability to lull listeners into a hypnotic state with delicate droning passages only to boisterously break trance an instant later with a wall of fuzzed out intellectual cacophony.
While I'm sure most of you are going "who?", this is one release that I've been anticipating for well over a year. From the ashes of the band, and this site's namesake, PiT, guitarist Jim Lavender and bassist Curt Briscar have found new members, a new musical vision, and have finally resurfaced as Voodoo Brother.
To say the least, Voodoo Brother is a far cry from what these guys have done previously. So much so in fact, that Lavender no longer uses his former stage name of Joe Campo. He fooled me! Voodoo Brother is like a collaboration of the known and the unknown; like if Down shared a tour bus with the late, great Agatha Crawl.
Kill Devil Hill
KILL DEVIL HILL
Kill Devil Hill features guys from three of my favorite metal bands (Black Sabbath, Pantera, Pissing Razors) trying their best to not sound like Black Sabbath, Pantera or Pissing Razors. Try all they want, there's no getting rid of elements they brought to other bands. In short, Kill Devil Hill feels like some sort of musical love child of Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains, only with that thick groove that Pantera built a legacy on.
A EULOGY FOR THE DAMNED
It took five long years, but seemingly those years were well spent away by Orange Goblin. Since HEALING THROUGH FIRE came out in 2007, the band has seemingly rediscovered themselves, which is a very good thing. That last album was almost the death of the band, as they nearly completely abandoned their stoner metal heritage and dumbed down their sound to become a typical metal band. Thankfully, those five years since then have seemingly reminded these guys of their roots. They are back with what might be the strongest album of their career.