This is the seventeenth of the “50 Albums to Christmas 2019” series.
Some of the best food comes served after a long, slow cook. The flavours intensify, juices intermingle, sharp edges mellow, the ingredients meld and the smell (and thus the anticipation for it) is heightened. You salivate. And occasionally the prepared meal is even more satisfying than the wait is agonising.
The concept of the supergroup is often dismissed with the results often far less than the sum of its parts - an underdone flash in the pan. But Down is not that. A bunch of friends that also happen to be famous in their own groups - Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Eyehategod - jamming just for fun over a number of years, not expecting to release an album. And yet, as the various choice cuts of top quality metal, sludge, groove, weed and Sabbath are slow cooked into a delicious meal of New Orleans riff gumbo, so NOLA came about after some five years of preparation with little fanfare or advance notice.
It’s completely coincidental that first and last tracks on NOLA are called On Temptation’s Wings and Bury Me In Smoke to finish the cooking metaphor neatly. It’s a total no-brainer to seek out and sample this michelin-starred bit of Southern Metal.