Down III is in stores, at long last! My first impression after about 4 or 5 spins is that, again, their sound has changed quite a lot while maintaining their classical trademarks. Some observations:
- The songs have become more complex, the production more sophisticated (reminds me a bit of C.O.C.’s In the Arms of God). The album features few potential hit singles (Down I had lots of those, remember the video to “Stone the Crow”? Down II had for example “Ghosts along the Mississippi”).
- Phil screams less, sings cleanly most of the time, sings background to his own lead voice a lot.
- Kill me if you like, but I some passages remind me of Alice in Chains! Maybe a more mature touch? I guess “less outright aggression but still the same intensity” describes what I mean.
- Very often, a simply melody is repeated endlessly, like an incantation. They already did that on Down I, but here it’s almost in every song. The first couple of times I listened to the album I thought this way of composing wasn’t really dynamic enough, but now I can’t help but nod my head during every one of those passages.
In a nutshell: the album is less “user-friendly” but not less brilliant than its predecessors. It’s a new dimension to Down. It takes a couple of spins to get into the new way of nodding but once you’re there you know once more that Down is one of the greatest outfits of misfits out there!