Elektra - 2002 - 66 minutes

Down may contain members of metal legends Pantera and Corrosion of Conformity and they may be the genre's best known (and coolest) supergroup, but no-one could ever accuse the New Orleans boys of being careerists. It's now seven years since their first record and the follow-up comes only after a frenetic month of writing and recording in a Louisiana lakeside hideaway.

Once again the template is the two S's - The South and Sabbath - and the quintet crank up one monstrous primal jam after another, sounding as if their record collection stopped somewhere around 1978. Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo supplies the vocals but while there are plenty of growls from the Bayou, the likes of 'Learn from the Mistake' and 'Landing on the Mountains of Meggido' showcase a mellower and wiser side to their rock.

And while there's still the disappointment that Corrosion guitarist Pepper Keenan doesn't share the mic, the riffs he churns out all over the album are the perfect antidote to nu-metal and would have most 15-year-olds wanting to grow beards and own cut-off denim jackets.

Down's debut shifted over 500,000 copies despite the fact that they only played 13 gigs. With the quality on 'II' and a pact to tour properly, they should make room for plenty more platinum discs on the back porch.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Lysergik Funeral Processions - There's Something on My Side - The Man That Follows Hell - Stained Glass Cross - Ghosts Along the Mississippi - Learn from This Mistake - Beautifully Depressed - Where I'm Going - Doob Interlude - New Orleans is a Dying Whore - The Seed - Lies, I Don't Know What They Say But... - Flambeaux's Jamming With St Aug - Dog Tired - Landing on the Mountains of Meggido