Review Summary: Phil Anselmo is back and he’s even more pissed that usual. That fact gives hope that a worthwhile album may be coming soon.
After the end of Pantera, Phil has been in a rotation of side projects. With a revolving cast of characters he has recorded everything from stoner and doom metal to straight up death and black metal. The results of which have been inconsistent. Some border on greatness, while others touch the murky bottom of the metal world. So after years of slipshod projects it was with a collective ‘meh’ that it was announced that Phil would be releasing a solo
release in 2013. The project so far is to be known as Phillip H. Anselmo and the Illegals, however with a shady release date that is subject to change. What we do have though are 2 tracks on a split E.P. with Texas based thrash outfit Warbeast. While the Warbeast songs are worth the download I want to focus on Phil’s effort here.
Being a big fan of his work with Pantera I can say that this is the most energetic he has been both vocally and musically since the release of The Great Southern Trendkill. The venom drips from the two tracks that are presented here. It is difficult to write about a project from Anselmo without invoking his namesake band. It is fitting however, as the new music here sounds like a “what if” situation where Pantera toned down the guitar wankery after Trendkill and focused more on the thrashier elements of their music. Bringing along former Superjoint Ritual guitarist Marzi Montazeri, drummer Jose Manuel Gonzales (of Warbeast) and bassist Bennett Bartley they showcase 2 cuts from the impending release on this split. The music is stripped down and raw metal with a heavy, and I mean HEAVY dose of thrash influence. It is interesting though that you can pickup bits and pieces of each of Phil’s side projects through the two songs. The main thing that shines here are the vocals. Rage like we haven’t heard from Phil in years blast from your speakers on these 2 tracks. It’s the sound of pure domination that we haven’t heard from him in over a decade. This taste of what’s to come gave me a great feeling of nostalgia while listening to it and gives me hope that the full album coming later this year will be something special.