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Down} is an all-star heavy metal} side project, whose original lineup consisted of members from Pantera} (singer Phil Anselmo}), Corrosion of Conformity} (guitarist Pepper Keenan}), and Crowbar} (bassist Todd Strange} and drummer Jimmy Bower}). Formed in the mid-'90s when Pantera} was on a brief break (between their Far Beyond Driven} and The Great Southern Trendkill} releases), the quartet's members had been longtime friends and decided to break up their downtime (hence their name). The East/West} label issued Down}'s debut in 1995, NOLA}, an abbreviation for New Orleans, LA, where all its original members hailed from. While many assumed that the group would specialize in over-the-top, extreme metal}, it contained more elements of classic rock} than the member's usual bands (a prime influence of the group being Black Sabbath}). After a supporting tour wrapped up, little was heard from the group, as the members returned back to their full-time projects, leading many to assume that Down} as a one-off. But this proved not to be the case. Anselmo}, Keenan}, and Bower} reconvened to work on new material in 2001, with Pantera} bassist Rex Brown} taking Strange}'s spot in the lineup (which then included Crowbar} guitarist Kirk Windstein}). March of 2002 saw the release of Down}'s long awaited sophomore effort, the appropriately titled Down II}. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide

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