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Review: Philip H Anselmo And The Illegals | “Walk Through Exits Only”

Philip H. Anselmo (backed by the Illegals:  guitarist Marzi Montazeri, bassist Steve Taylor, and Jose Manual Gonzalez on drums) is set to drop his debut solo release, Walk Through Exits Only,  on July 16.  The 8-track disc is as brutal and heavy as anyone familiar with Anselmo’s previous efforts would expect yet much more personal.

Lyrically, the album touches on several themes: the music industry (Music Media Is My Whore, Walk Through Exits Only), questioning of the establishment (Battalion of Zero, Betrayed, Usurper’s Bastard Rant, Irrelevant Walls and Computer Screens) and (presumably) and Phil’s own personal demons (Bedroom Destroyer, Bedridden) … they  are all certainly worth a read-through along with one’s first listen.  Anselmo’s vocals sound exactly as they should … like he’d gargled glass during his warm-ups;  rough, gravel-y and as potent as ever.  Musically, the pounding drums and frenetic riffage mesh well with Anselmo’s vitriol but the frequent use of the double bass drum and pinch harmonics risk distracting from the essence.

The album kicks off with Music Media Is My Whore which the shortest track on the disc (just under 2 minutes) with squealing guitars and Anselmo’s biting lyrics aimed directly towards what is coming out of popular music today, “This is not music, But the rebuttal is truth, Regurgitation’s boring, Emulation is death.”  The song is by no means a standout and is not representative of the disc but serves a purpose that is not disclosed until the last line, “Takeover begins now.”  If you’re starting your listen at the beginning of the album, don’t stop here.

The second track, Battalion of Zero, sets the pace for the rest of the album and is sure to grab the listener’s attention … fast and chaotic and certain to be pit-inspiring at the upcoming live shows.  Other standouts on the album include Walk Through Exits Only and the subject of their first video, Bedridden.

The album ends with Irrelevant Walls And Computer Screens, a 12 minute opus that morphs from an angry dirge into an instrumental that sucks the listener in through  the last note.

Walk Through Exits Only is one of those albums that exhausts the listener; there’s nothing remotely soothing about it.  Imagine being the guy that crafted it; someone that clearly spends a lot of time inside his own head.  Frustration fueling art.

I am, a vociferous man

Bedridden, and master-baited

Bedridden, annihilated

And there is no master plan

No. Master. Plan

 

Tracklist:

  1. Music Media Is My Whore
  2. Battalion of Zero
  3. Betrayed
  4. Usurper’s Bastard Rant
  5. Walk Through Exits Only
  6. Bedroom Destroyer
  7. Bedridden
  8. Irrelevant Walls And Computer Screens

Be sure to catch Anselmo and the Illegals along with Warbeast and Author and Punisher on the “Technicians of Distortion” tour:

JULY
31 Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

AUGUST
2 Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA
3 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
4 House of Blues, Chicago, IL
6 House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
7 The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI
9 Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI
10 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ONT Canada
11 Heavy MTL Festival, Montreal, QC Canada
13 The Palladium, Worcester, MA
14 Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY
16 Best Buy Theatre, New York, NY
17 Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
18 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
20 The Masquerade – Heaven Stage, Atlanta, GA

© 2013 Alan Snodgrass | www.digitaldiversion.net. Please do not use without express permission. If you like what you see, leave a comment below and subscribe so you can be notified of new posts. You can also become a fan on Facebook.

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