Release Date: Jan 8, 2013
Record label: Housecore
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Speed/Thrash Metal
There have been whisperings of a solo album from ex-Pantera/current Down vocalist Phil Anselmo for years, and this EP is proof that it wasn’t just aimless gossip. That solo full-length, Walk Through Exits Only, is due this summer, but it's preceded by Anselmo’s two tracks, “Family, 'Friends,' and Associates” and “Conflict,” on this split 10", which also features a couple of numbers from Texas speed-metal outfit Warbeast. Warbeast impresses with their modern thrash aesthetics, but Anselmo's contribution is the selling point to War of the Gargantuas.
Over his career, the former Pantera frontman Philip H. Anselmo has never rested on his laurels and has kept an active role in underground metal. Whether it be knelling in reference to Black Sabbath with the much-loved Down; grinding it out with the NOLA miscreants in his hardcore/punk/crust project Superjoint Ritual; dipping his toes in murky pools of death metal (Necrophagia) and black metal (Eibon/Christ Inversion); or making numerous guest appearances and starting his own record label, Housecore, which has released records by Arson Anthem (a hardcore punk band also featuring Anselmo), haarp, and Warbeast, Anselmo has had a presence in nearly every facet of the scene.
This split release between legendary Pantera/Down vocalist Philip Anselmo and Texan neo-thrashers Warbeast is notable, first and foremost, for representing the first music ever released under the banner of the former's actual name, albeit with backing by an instrumental threesome dubbed the Illegals. Made available on vinyl 7", no less (and clearly inspired by that ancient format's indomitable spirit), the release basically provides a bite-sized glimpse into American heartland metal at its most extreme. Anselmo and company's contributions essentially resemble Pantera as they may have sounded had tragic events turned out differently: emotionally cathartic, yes; juiced up on energy drinks for the benefit of Adderall-fisting third millennium consumers, sure; but rather lacking in a riff or hook anywhere near big enough to fill Dimebag's Keds.