Thursday, 7 February 2013

Phil Anselmo & The Illegals/Warbeast Split: War Of The Gargantuas (2013)

1. Conflict
2. Birth Of A Psycho
3. Family, "Friends" & Associates

Few men have the musical chops to make a mere four track split EP with one of their own label's lesser known, fledgling recruits and make it into a highly noteworthy musical event, but then again are most men the one and only Phillip H. Anselmo, pureblood metal royalty and one of the mosh pit's favourite agent provocateurs? 

With his very first solo album set to hit us early this year like a fuckin’ mental metal train (imagine Thomas the Tank Engine on PCP), I like many others will eagerly jump on the tracks with reckless, jovial abandon. Not meaning to take diminish Warbeast’s contribution to this EP of course, which is astounding considering they are up against a man who literally helped write the holy books of metal and has 3 decades of experience in nearly a dozen bands. Warbeast offer up belligerently heavy tracks, reminiscent of aggressive metallers Black Breath or Goatwhore. They truly live up to their bestial moniker.

Opening with Anselmo track “Conflict” it becomes abundantly clear "Big Phil" has chosen to leave out the melodic sections of some of his of other work in favour of crushing, punishing heaviness, and it works. With Anselmo’s trademark tortured screams punctuated with eight stringer Marzi Montazeri’s dynamic riffs makes this my favourite track on the EP.

Warbeast’s first offering is up next and “Birth Of A Psycho” keeps the brutality steam rolling onwards. With Slayer like guitars combined with impressive vocalist Bill Corbitt’s rage filled snarls this makes for fantastic listening, with the song paying homage to the old school Thrash Metal of the 80’s. 

Up next is Anselmo’s offering “Family, 'Friends' & Associates” and this one is a complete belter. With riotous monolithic riffage meshing perfectly with Anselmo’s nazgul like howls as the catalyst for an incendiary, titanic punch in the face, courtesy of the deep south. With a guitar reminiscent of NWOBHM, it illustrates Marzi’s creative depth and capacity for diversity even within the same record and I thoroughly believe he deserves huge recognition for his role as he is a true virtuoso on this EP. Also an element of terror is added with Anselmo’s frequent cries of “I’m calling you out!” what a petrifying prospect… Oh and you wouldn’t piss yourself with fear? Really? Thought so. Anyway I digress…

Concluding this audial assault is “It” by Warbeast. Making sure this EP sounds off as savagely as it started, eviscerating airwaves as it goes. Complete with guttural vocals and maniacal riffs not too dissimilar to Anthrax in their prime. This ascertains that Warbeast are without a doubt a band that shows huge promise and Phil’s Housecore label is onto a winner here. 

My only complaint is brevity. Another song by each and it would have been tantamount to the excellence of the Purple EP last year. But Down’s work and this EP are two very different animals. This EP is a quick savage assault, Ferocious and terrifying… then over as quickly as it had begun and on the same leviathanic note… My advice? Acquire both Phil’s solo album and Warbeast’s upcoming album “Destroy” by any means necessary.  Because from what this EP suggests, they’ll be absolutely fantastic *read as Ken Barlow*.


War Of The Gargantuas is available on Housecore Records

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review! Marzi is one of my best bros ,so I`ve heard the whole album and it is brutal.This is only a micro-teaser of some of the most incredible guitar work that`s ever been laid down.