Philip H. Anselmo/Warbeast War Of The GargantuasHousecore Records 2013
A giant returns.
Given the tamer nature of his recent output and the damage he’s weathered over the years; it would have been easy to count out Phil Anselmo. His legacy already cemented through success and sorrow; he could have contentedly sat back and focused solely on the (relatively) calmer pastures of Down.
Perhaps that’s why it’s so shocking to hear the venomous ferocity instilled in his voice on this split. Checking in with two tracks intended for his long-awaited solo album; Anselmo (and his backing band The Illegals) absolutely devastate. It’s a level of savagery and hostility not seen from ‘the kid’ since Pantera‘s 90’s output bashed in the metal communities collective skull.
Truly a commanding turn, Anselmo barks and screeches with alarming conviction; scraping down his blunt lyrical content right to the bone. Thusly the thrashy metallic onslaught behind him is unsurprisingly light on showmanship. For its sludgy malevolence is far more fitting than virtuosic riffs.
This is admittedly the perfect battlefield for Anselmo to wage his war and indulge in a near-murderous sense of primality. So powerful is the onslaught he leads that there remains little recourse for the listener but to be crushed by his drastic return to fighting form.
Led by Bruce Corbitt of Rigor Mortis fame; Warbeast on the other hand lean on the tried and true appeal of the Bay Area’s quick and dirty brand of thrash. Delivering two scuzzy rippers that excel at speed, the groups aural blitzkrieg is impressively effective—if not a touch workmanlike. Following such an unexpectedly bruising turn from Anselmo is no easy feat to be sure. But Warbeast seem more than up to the task.