Phil Anselmo, legendary frontman for bands like Pantera, Superjoint Ritual and Down, can be a bit of an enigma. So often he delivers on every front, yet every now and then you sense one or two weak spots emerging in that brutal vocal of his. Lately, he has been hard at work in the studio with his backing band, The Illegals, polishing off material for his forthcoming solo album and the prospect is sending little ripples of joy through the metal community. This split EP with Warbeast is our first glimpse of what sort of frontman we can expect to hear.
Well, I’m happy to report Anselmo has never sounded angrier or more
focused than he does on the 2-chord aggro action of “Conflict”. The
break-off into a squirming, panicked attack of chugging guitars and
effects is almost too much to bear. It’s certainly not the easiest track
to sink your teeth into but face-rippers never are first time around.
The degree of just how narked he is here is clear when he brings
those closest to him, his “Family, Friends, and Associates”, into
question. It’s a big, grinding Superjoint-esque dirtball of a song based
around a deep groove and a vicious line in interrogation – “What colour
do you bleed? Is it the same as me?” Oh yes, he may now be going by his
full title, but the fire still burns strongly. I think I’ll just call
him “Sir” from now on.
His decision to team up with Warbeast is an interesting one. Whilst
Anselmo is melting ears, these Texans spend much of their time speeding
across the surface. Surprisingly though, it is Warbeast who are the ones
who demand repetition more often with their anthemic blasts and fiery
Covered in a crawling tone, “Birth Of A Psycho” is a pure speedball
of filth-infused thrash, peppered by short bursts of rich vocal and
light-fingered shredding. Listen out for the plunge headfirst into a
jarring breakdown, then a mosh as the groove hits hard. “It” is nothing
short of genius. The highlight of the split, this monster is
mean-spirited, punk-fuelled, smeared in dripping, stinking swamp with a
vindictive mania of interlocking strings. Oh, and the hook in the
chorus, “Pray for me, for I am Gollum, body without a soul”, is one that
will follow you about for a long time after you’ve stopped listening.
Philip H. Anselmo’s old lust for violent metal paired with the new
blood of Warbeast offering up riffs to die for. What’s not to love?
Also online @ Ave Noctum = http://www.avenoctum.com/2013/02/philip-h-anselmo-warbeast-war-of-the-gargantuas-season-of-mist/