Apocalyptic chants and chunky guitars ring out on Downer's debut album on Roadrunner Records. Aside from an interesting blend of the alternative metal and new age genres, the self-titled album falls short of even mediocre appeal. Most of the tracks seem to have been derived from a free-jamming session, lacking form and hooks. The instruments are very dry and lack personality, which results in a very bland overall sound. Effects that tend to give the vocals too much personality surround the vocals on every track. The songs drag on for what seems like forever and, to make matters worse, the drums carry the verses on almost all the tracks. A lot of melody is missing from the guitars, and the vocals make no attempt to harmonize in a catchy manner. The vocals typically go on like the endless chattering and whining of a three year-old brat, leading into an eventual screaming fit on the chorus. Though the choruses are full of energy, they're anything but exciting -- except, however, on the track entitled "Weed Eater." The album's one bright spot, "Weed Eater" features an uncharacteristic ultra-catchy vocal hook, and is a very charismatic song worth some attention. Keeping with the positive, influences seem to run very deep throughout Downer's debut; influences from Tool, 311, and even Pantera can be heard from time to time. Roadrunner Records really pushed and got behind this band and album, hoping that Downer would make some new noise in the music industry. Maybe the second album will.
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AllMusic Review by Jeremy Ervins