Saturday, May 14, 2022

Down - NOLA (1995)

Down - NOLA (1995)

Tracklist front / back album covers

1. "Temptation's Wings"   4:24

2. "Lifer"   4:36

3. "Pillars of Eternity"   3:57

4. "Rehab"   4:03

5. "Hail the Leaf"   3:28

6. "Underneath Everything"   4:46

7. "Eyes of the South"   5:13

8. "Jail"   5:17

9. "Losing All"   4:21

10. "Stone the Crow"   4:42

11. "Pray for the Locust" (instrumental)  1:07

12. "Swan Song"   3:35

13. "Bury Me in Smoke"   7:04

Total length:   56:33

Down Band Members / Musicians

Philip Anselmo – vocals, mandolin (track 8), guitar (track 11)

Pepper Keenan – guitars

Kirk Windstein – guitars, bass

Jimmy Bower – drums

Todd Strange – bass

Although Todd Strange is credited as bass in all of the credits on each release, Kirk Windstein played the instrument in the studio. Strange still contributed to some songwriting, and also played live.

Lil' Daddy – percussion (track 8), water pipe (track 5)

Sid Montz – percussion (track 8)

Ross Karpelman – keyboards (track 8)

Technical personnel

Matt Thomas – production, mixing

David Farrell – mixing

Ted Jensen – mastering

Clarence John Laughlin – photography

Michael Miller – photography

Atom Bomb – photography

NOLA is the debut studio album by American sludge metal band Down, released on September 19, 1995 by EastWest Records. The title is the abbreviation for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

NOLA was written mainly by Phil Anselmo and Pepper Keenan between 1990 and 1995. Throughout 1991 to 1993, the band released three demos, a three-track demo (1991), a four-track demo (1992), and a ten-track demo (1993). Originally, the band made the three-track demo for underground trading. The demo featured the tracks "Losing All", "Temptation's Wings", and "Bury Me in Smoke". In an effort to build a fan base, the band would ask heavy metal fans if they had ever "heard of this band, Down" and hand them copies of the tape without telling the person that they were in the band. In 1992, the band recorded a second demo, this time featuring the same track listing as the original but with an intro. In 1993, the band made the Demo Collection 1992–1993 which is a ten-track demo featuring all the songs that would make the album cut except "Rehab", "Pray for the Locust", and "Underneath Everything". Anselmo solely wrote only three songs on the album ("Hail the Leaf", "Pray for the Locust", and "Pillars of Eternity"). Eventually, the original demo tape was distributed throughout the United States and Down played a small concert in its home town. A record executive from EastWest Records was attending the show. When he found out who the members of the band were, he signed Down to a recording contract. The band began recording the album in the summer of 1994 at the Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana, and completed the recording sessions by January 1995.

The booklet art is by Jim DeBarros and David Manteau and makes extensive use of vintage photographs by Clarence John Laughlin.

Although a sludge metal album, NOLA contains traces of hardcore punk, southern rock, stoner rock, and grunge. Lyrical themes on the album prominently focus on topics such as death, suicide, drug use and personal struggles.

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