According to Blabbermouth.net, Down's new song "Witchtripper" is now available for purchase from iTunes. The track comes off the band's first in a series of four EPs to be released over the next few years (with a year between EPs), each touching on a different aspect of the band's sound.
The first six-song EP, "Down IV Part I - The Purple EP", which heralds the sound of Down going back to its roots, with influences from Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus and Witchfinder General, will be released on September 18. It will be followed by the second collection of songs early next year, around the time of a planned U.S. tour. EPs three and four are scheduled for later in 2013.
"I have not really put too much pressure on myself with Down, and I think that's the best approach," vocalist Philip Anselmo tells RollingStone.com. "Right now I'm looking forward to the public's consumption and letting them hear it. I'm not sure if it's gonna break any ground. I never put any expectation on any friggin' record I do. We didn't overanalyze anything. We just let the songs kind of unfold, and once it felt right, there was no reason to go back."
"I do believe that we have delivered a record that will be accepted and hopefully enjoyed by the Down horde - if you will," says Anselmo. "If you're looking for a Down record, it's very pure and real."
Lyrically, the EP goes beyond just personal experiences, and explores themes that include the faith of mankind, the imperfection of mankind and cultural belief systems.
"Down gives me the platform to be poetic and paint imagery with lyrics," says Anselmo. "That's the approach I took. They complement the music and create an ominous feeling. Ultimately, when people consume the words, it's always their interpretation that matters. I could be image-conscious though when I wrote. It's not so gut level or street. The darker shit is some of my favorite."
When asked about Down's plans to release four separate EPs, Anselmo recently said, "That's the idea right now, but I think that after you work on a body of music, you need to reload, you need to refresh, you need to clear your head. Get that, digest it, get it out of your system, and then decide what direction you're going to go. It's a good idea and I think we should see it through. But there's no way we can rush it. Because I think if it is a series of four, each one should be unique, and that... We've shown flexibility - we have songs like 'Bury Me In Smoke' and then we have songs like 'Stone The Crow'... acoustic pieces and what-not... We have all that. So we've touched on many, I guess, dynamics, so... I would expect each EP to have its own life."
Anselmo previously described Down's new EP as "very stripped down. Nothing flashy. Straight to the point really just Down music. If you liked the first record, the demos... something like that... This record, we're pretty dead straight and honest and on the money as far as making it as simple and direct as possible and I think we did that... It has that practice-room vibe to it. We didn't really try and fucking slick it out and anything. We went the more raw route, as far as an approach."
"Down IV Part I - The Purple EP" track listing:
03. Open Coffins
04. The Curse Is A Lie
05. This Work Is Timeless
06. Misfortune Teller
"Witchtripper" audio stream:
"Misfortune Teller" audio stream (taken from SiriusXM broadcast):