LOWDOWN – Antidote

LOWDOWN - Antidote


Black Balloon
Release date: August 28, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Lowdown is a band from Rogaland, Norway. Their first gig ever was a talent show in 2001, which they proceeded to win. The first album, Unknown, came out in 2003, and Antidote is the follow-up. The style is that of brutal, often groove-to-mid laden Thrash with Hardcore leanings. Basically, they sound like an extreme Pantera. Of course, Pantera went off to great success and had a big hand in what direction Metal would take in the 90’s (although it has been debated Exhorder actually came before with the style in question). More attention was placed on heavy, monotone riffing and less on actual melody; be it musically or vocally. This eventually took off on a mainstream level and became a trend, just like the sugar-coated Glam had a decade earlier. Suddenly, plenty of bands who sported goatees and wore shorts, with lots of riffage and way less melody in their luggage, flooded the market. The problem with this style of Metal is that without melody, the impact of heaviness wears off … fast, and as a result a lot of Metal’s original musical ideas and power became lost in the transition. At least a lot of the 80’s Thrash bands, especially those who came from the Bay Area scene, had distinguished vocalists and talented lead players to lend melody and dynamics to the heaviness.

Lowdown suffers from loss of dynamics; just like most every band of this style, they lose impact after a mere few songs. A few tough, heavy riffs here and there can’t make up for the loss off melody sense, hooks, and what not. It’s not what truly good songs can solely be based. Case in question here is when hints of dynamics materialize, as in when the acoustic piece “And Reborn” precedes “Be The Clown,” or when it slows down for a minute during “Stick It In.” “Your God Failed” starts promising with a great Thrash riff, but none of these examples of promising dynamics proves to hold up as the band reverses back into their general mode.

Basically, none of the (short) solos here are remembered afterwards, and the same goes for the actual songs at hand. As for the vocals, they grow extremely tiresome and tedious after just a few lines. Really, what’s the use of a vocalist who sounds like the little possessed girl in The Exorcist? The singer does pull a “laughing” effect during “Nothing Will Come,” which brings something slightly different to the table. For a few parts during “Imperfection,” he actually sings kind of proper, just a few parts as said, before the imperfection at hand continues.

The thing is, in the end, this neither comes out aggressive nor powerful. It’s just dull, and ends up being monotone music. Even the talented guitarist in Lowdown, with his riffs and (very) occasional melody, can’t alter that fact. Especially if, as in the case of Antidote, it doesn’t make its mark on your ears even for the first few seconds after it’s ended. That can’t be how Lowdown intended it to be, but nevertheless, that’s how it’s turned out.


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