Review: Philip H. Anselmo/Warbeast – War of the Gargantuas

Rated:

4/5

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. His two solo songs won’t appear on his forthcoming album, contrary to previous reports, and they are, according to him, more “straightforward” than the songs on the full-length. Relatively straightforward as they may be, fans who have stuck with Anselmo all these years will be delighted at how vicious they are. Groove-infused thrash blends with a splattering of inspired death metal. Anselmo hasn’t sounded this volatile since the early ’90s, and the music lives up to the his past work, recalling in particular Superjoint Ritual and Pantera’s more extreme side–think The Great Southern Trendkill. This split will no doubt get metal fans excited for Anselmo’s eventual full-length album, as well as give some much-deserved publicity to Warbeast. DAN MARSICANO

Check out “Family, ‘Friends,’ and Associates” off War of the Gargantuas below: