Deliberately constructed to be difficult to listen to

Phil Anselmo really needs no introduction at this point in his career, and has both earned the right to do and proven that he is capable of whatever musical form he chooses to twist himself into.

This Illegals project sees him attack the sludge metal and hardcore insanity of a band like Eyehategod with a mix of nasty death metal. Thrashing straight out of the swamps of Louisiana, opener ‘Little Fucking Heros’ calls  out those who hide behind a keyboard driven opinion online to attack the ‘outrage of the day’ before moving onto the next topic. It’s something, it could be argued, that Phil has been good at over the years.

Following straight up is ‘Utopian’, a song that gives you just under 30 seconds to catch you breath from the opening hit and proceeds to unleash in a similar manner. If grinding heavy music is your place, welcome in.

As it grinds away, it is painfully obvious that Anselmo is letting out some of his closest held demons on this album, with the songs amounting to a big middle finger, from hard over muddy production hiding some of the great percussion by Joey “Blue” Gonzalez or some of the best pained screams by Phil in years. This isn’t his black metal take on vocals like the Scour project, just some genuine all-over-the place swivel eyed lunacy type stuff, best heard on the tracks ‘Choosing Mental Illness’ and ‘Individual’, the former track like the opener on the album with its barbed and pointed lyrics, although its almost seven minute run time feels very drawn out. Although the vocal lunacy peaks towards the end of the album with the very black metal inspired ‘Finger Me’, this track also loses its bite due to self editing issues.

The album feels like it has been deliberately constructed to be difficult to listen to, and is easily one of the heaviest things that Phil Anselmo has put his vocals on. Even if you are not a fan of him and his associated antics (he can make himself difficult to like) his forthright honesty here should be admired. The band as a whole has written a very nasty album, if only let down by the muddy production previously mentioned. Everyone plays themselves to the bone giving an all out performance that is going to lend a great energy to the live arena.

 

  1. Little Fucking Heros
  2. Utopian
  3. Choosing Mental Illness
  4. The Ignorant point
  5. Individual
  6. Delinquent
  7. Photographic Taunts
  8. Finger Me
  9. Invalid Colubrine Frauds
  10. Mixed Lunatic Results