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Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals: Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue

Even though I'm writing this just a few days after this album dropped, there's already two points about which most reviewers agree. The first point is that the band sounds great (I'm skipping over Anselmo for now) and that the combined talents of Steve Taylor (guitar), Mike De Leon (guitar), Walter IV (bass), and Joey "Blue" Gonzalez (drums) create a raw and sludgy sound that would easily set this band apart from the crowd.

The second point of agreement is that it's hard to know exactly what to do with Phil Anselmo. His actions at the 2016 Dimebash are hard to forget. Worse, his vocals and lyrics here come across as a series of angry rants against, well, everybody. Is this is revenge for all the negative media attention? If so, he can shake his fist and rant all he wants but it won't help his image much. For my money, Anselmo is a strong singer but he's putting too much emphasis (especially on this album) on straining his voice to deliver all his anger. I get tired of anger for its own sake, partly because I'm not a teenager and partly because there's only so much rage I can carry around. Why would I want a whole album full of anger, especially coming from Anselmo's voice? Yes, his voice sounds strong here but there's that extra layer of vocal strangeness here. It's like he's choking on his rage and trying to capture the moment when voice becomes noise. My favorite track, "Mixed Lunatic Results," is also the best description of this release. There's a great band here but they are playing with a talented but distracting front man.

Track Listing:
1. Little Fucking Heroes
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

Added: February 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1229
Language: english

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