Tag Archives: down

[REVIEW]: Kill Devil Hill – “Revolution Rise”

For a band that includes talent from Pantera, Down, Dio-era Black Sabbath, and Dio, Kill Devil Hill do not seem to receive as much recognition as other related “supergroups.” This is slightly disconcerting as this particular group has efficiently melded together the varying musical styles of the members’ previous endeavors. This is exhibited in Kill Devil Hill’s latest release, Revolution Rise.

While the band’s self-titled debut had some great tracks on it, Revolution Rise blows its predecessor out of the water.  It sounds like a glorious hybrid between Down and Heaven & Hell with a large sense of originality, leading to a deeply textured delivery.  Lead vocalist Dewey Bragg (Pissing Razors) often reverts the listener’s ears to an auditory memory of young Philip Anselmo.  However, Bragg showcases his unique vocal capabilities and wide range in the ballad, “Long Way From Home,” which tastefully breaks up the heavy rockin’ of the majority of Revolution Rise.

Overall, this new release is comprised of good, heavy rhythms, occasional guitar shredding, and catchy choruses. With the speed and precision on the kit, it can be easily forgotten that drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, Dio) is not in his 20’s anymore.  The same goes for bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, ex-Down).  With that said, both musical veterans continue the legacies they have constructed over their respective careers in Kill Devil Hill.

Focus tracks on Revolution Rise include “Crown Of Thorns,” “Why,” and “Long Way From Home.”


MusicTalker’s rating: 4.5/5


[SONG REVIEW] Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – “Usurper’s Bastard Rant”

As the two tracks released on the split album with Warbeast, War of the Gargantuas, were brutal, aggressive, and heavier than the Titanic, the latest from renowned metal vocalist Phil Anselmo’s solo project follows suit.  From Anselmo’s forthcoming full-length release, Walk Through Exits Only, “Usurper’s Bastard Rant” incorporates elements from Reinventing The Steel-era Pantera, NOLA-era Down, and Superjoint Ritual to create one angry musical bastard child.

Anselmo has done some amazing work in music.  From performing in his own bands to singing with Alice In Chains before William DuVall’s recruitment to playing Pantera’s “This Love” with former band mate Rex Brown and the entirety of Anthrax at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards, Anselmo has participated in many entertaining endeavors.  With that said, “Usurper’s Bastard Rant” is no exception.  If most of the songs on Walk Through Exits Only are this well-composed and exceptionally interesting, it may very well be in the running for many “Best of 2013” lists.

It is great to see and hear that Anselmo is undeniably sticking to his roots with this solo project.  It would be pretty foolish of him to write a country album, especially with his success in heavy metal music.  Therefore, that is always reassuring to know.  Although, he has only released three songs from this project thus far, so it is possible there is some country and perhaps R&B on Walk Through Exits Only.  Let’s hope not.

Walk Through Exits Only will be released on July 16th via Anselmo’s own record label, Housecore Records.  “Usurper’s Bastard Rant” can be heard here.  His recently announced tour dates can be found here.

Artist of the Week [4/26/13]: Black Water Rising

After first hearing them when MySpace Music was still a thing, it is exciting to learn that New York rockers Black Water Rising are continuing to implement their well-honed, personal brand of hard rock.  Prior to the 2008 independent release of their self-titled debut, I remember wearing out “Brother Go On” on the MySpace music player.  It wasn’t until 2010 when the album was officially released through Metalville/eOne Records.  It was previously only available digitally on iTunes.

Black Water Rising are planning to unleash their sophomore effort in July.  Currently, the new album has yet to bear a title.  The first single, “Show No Mercy,” is available on iTunes and can also be streamed via this Blabbermouth.net article.  “Show No Mercy” picks up right where Black Water Rising left off.  While it doesn’t sound like it could be featured on the band’s first album, it undeniably has Black Water Rising’s signature watermark on it.

As the band’s Facebook page notes, Black Water Rising play “No Frills, Riff Raging, turbo charged, wall of pure kick ass Power Rock.”  It is pleasing to hear and know that this description has not changed.  As sort of an underground super-group, the band is comprised of members from Dust To Dust, Boiler Room, and Stereomud (Blabbermouth.net).

Band founder, mastermind, and lead vocalist, Rob Traynor, definitely has a knack for quality rock n’ roll.  His voice embodies the epitome of the grittiness of hard rock.  With the addition of heavy riffs and groovy hooks, Black Water Rising create a sound refreshing to rock listeners everywhere.

Upon listening to Dust To Dust, Traynor’s previous band, it can be said that Black Water Rising might show more promise.  The former offered a nü metal-oriented sound.  Although it sounded pretty good, nü metal is extinct, with the exception of Korn and Slipknot, and that is probably for the best.  With that said, the music of Black Water Rising is much more aesthetically pleasing and will hopefully explode into a larger listening base very soon.

Fans of bands like Black Label Society, Sevendust, and Down should check out Black Water Rising.  Five focus tracks are “Brother Go On,” “The River,” “Rise,” “Tears from the Sun,” and “Show No Mercy.”

For more information on Black Water Rising, visit their Facebook page and/or their website.

Artist of the Week [2/22/13]: Philip Anselmo

Music entrepreneur Phil Anselmo is MusicTalker’s Artist of the Week for February 22, 2013. Best known as lead singer of bands like Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual, Anselmo is a true entrepreneur of the music industry.  He also runs his own metal record label, Housecore Records, in addition to producing records of bands on Housecore Records, such as Warbeast, who supported Down on their latest North American tour.

In January, Anselmo released two new solo tracks via a split album with Warbeast, titled War of the Gargantuas.  In discussing the split release, Anselmo told Houston Press, “My solo stuff covers a lot of ground…So I picked these two songs for this EP because, in my opinion, they fit better with the straight-ahead thrash thing.”

As Warbeast play “straight-ahead thrash,” that was a very knowledgeable route to take for Anselmo.  Still discussing the two new songs, he added, “They’re very different, in my opinion, than the full-length record, which is more unpredictable.”  That is an interesting statement and provokes questions of what listeners should expect from the full-length release.  The CD is expected to arrive this summer.

Additionally, according to the interview with Houston Press, this extremely busy heavy metal legend is in the process of writing a memoir.  Writing memoirs seems to be a common venture among musicians today.  Everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis to Lady Gaga has written or is writing an autobiography/memoir.  While, for them, it may be for some extra cash, it is a special experience for their fans to learn about these musicians’ lives firsthand in great detail.

With that said, Anselmo has a full plate with creating pieces of different mediums to appease both himself and his fans.

Five noteworthy Phil Anselmo-related songs are “This Love,” “Cemetery Gates,” “Pillars of Eternity,” “Rehab,” and “Hole In the Sky.”  “This Love” is off of Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, acclaimed by many fans as the band’s best album.  This one song is a good example of reasons for the high acclaim.  “Cemetery Gates,” off of Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell, is a depressing metal ballad which has become a classic in many fans’ eyes.  It has also been covered by many newer bands, such as Between the Buried and Me and Evile.  I actually played this song twice on my former radio show as tributes to both of my late grandmothers, on separate occasions.

“Pillars of Eternity” and “Rehab” are songs off of Down’s debut album, Nola, which is easily a fan favorite.  The former is as fast and heavy as a sludge/stoner metal band can get with their sound and the latter is more melodic and requires more clean singing from Anselmo.  As for “Hole In the Sky,” many readers may recognize that title belonging to a Black Sabbath song.  This fifth highlight of Anselmo’s career repertoire is indeed a Black Sabbath cover.  Pantera’s version of “Hole In the Sky” is as pleasing to the regular metal listener’s ear as the original, if not more so.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for all of Anselmo’s upcoming project releases.

[REVIEW] Down – Down IV Part I: The Purple EP


Five years since the release of 2007’s Down III: Over the Under, New Orleans “super-group” Down are putting out the first of four upcoming EPs, beginning this Tuesday, September 18th.  Currently streaming on Billboard.com, The Purple EP shows great promise for this series of EPs.


This collection of six new Down originals sounds like good ol’ Down, incorporating the influences of all of the band members’ former and current bands.  On this release, the roots of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, and Crowbar are especially prominent.  Also heard on The Purple EP is a distinct reminiscence of Down’s debut album, NOLANOLA is arguably the most energetic and powerful of the band’s previous three releases.  While Over the Under had its moments, this new collection of songs is closest to NOLA in Down’s now four main studio efforts.


It can also be said that The Purple EP is more or less a combination of main elements from both NOLA and Over the Under.  It has both aggressive and melodic vocals, speed and lack thereof, and lots and lots of sludge.  Specifically, “Misfortune Teller” is arguably the most signature Down track on here.  Everything Down-related is thrown into this one song.  There is no song more Down than the epic “Misfortune Teller” on this new release.


Check it out if you like sludge metal, this band, or any of the other bands previously mentioned in this article.  It is definitely worth a listen…or seven.



%d bloggers like this: