Philip H. Anselmo is not a man that we need to introduce at this point. He was the frontman for one of the most legendary and influential metal acts of all time, Pantera. He also went on to front the groove metal/southern rock/metal supergroup Down as well as front Superjoint Ritual and played various instruments under various different names for various extreme metal acts. Warbeast, on the other band, is a relative unknown Texas thrash/extreme metal band that should have received a lot of the praise that they are only recently receiving for being on a split EP with Philip H. Anselmo.
With the release Philip H. Anselmo and Warbeast – War of the Gargantuas, we are treated to four new songs, two songs each from Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals and from Warbeast. Anselmo’s own label, Housecore Records, took this one to the streets earlier this month and it is getting rave reviews around the Web. I am ever grateful for hearing anything new from Philip H. Anselmo at any time, so I was a buyer on this one right away.
The album opens with the first track from Philip H. Anselmo entitled Conflict, which is very similar to Superjoint Ritual-era Anselmo. The groove is there and the track is heavy as hell, but the biggest surprise is the energy and intensity than Anselmo still brings to the table. With the amount of time that he has been at the forefront of the metal scene as well as the success that he has had and from the rough times that he has endured, it is still a shock to see the intensity that he brings to the song entirely. Any doubt that you would have had that Anselmo still has it will be dispelled with the opening vocal yell to open the EP.
Led by Bruce Corbitt of Rigor Mortis fame, Warbeast delivers two tracks that excel at speed and ferocity. Following Anselmo is no easy feat, but Warbeast seems to be up to the task. Both of the Warbeast tracks are very good, but do not offer the vocal performance of which Anselmo has already set a high bar with.
The second of the Anselmo tracks is entitled “Family, ‘Friends’ and Associates,” and has more of a Pantera groove, but still following more along the lines of Superjoint Ritual’s work. The vocals lead the charge, but Anselmo is helped by some serious grooves in this one.
I wish that “War of the Gargantuas” was a bit longer, but it does offer a nice taste of what we can expect on Warbeast’s upcoming full-length release, “Destroy,” and Anselmo’s debut solo album, both due this year.
Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals Line-up:
Philip H. Anselmo – Vocals
Marzi Montazeri – Guitars
Bennett Bartley – Bass
Jose Manuel Gonzales – Drums
Bruce Corbitt – Vocals
Scott Shelby – Lead Guitar
Joe Gonzalez – Drums
Bobby Tillotson Jr. – Lead Guitar
Alan Bovee – Bass (since replaced by Dre Karst)