Fan poll: Top 5 PHILIP ANSELMO vocal performances | Revolver

Fan poll: Top 5 PHILIP ANSELMO vocal performances

See which Southern-metal anthem ranked above the rest
pantera anselmo 1997, Mick Hutson/Redferns
Pantera's Philip Anselmo, 1997
photograph by Mick Hutson/Redferns

Pantera. Down. Superjoint Ritual. En Minor. The Illegals. Between those and several other side projects, Philip Anselmo has sang in a fuck-ton of bands over the years, and laid down many iconic vocal performances in the process.

We asked our readers to pick the single greatest vocal take in his entire repertoire. The votes included highlights from almost all of his many projects, but the top five submissions are ranked accordingly below.

5. "Stone the Crow"

Philip Anselmo's vocal performance in Down's "Stone the Crow" can be described as one word: soulful. The NOLA cut is unmistakably from the South, and the swampy heat comes through in both the song's main riff and through Anselmo's pipes. The singer's cleans are tastefully mixed with emotional shrieks from the very back of his throat, allowing "Stone the Crow" to become both a banger and a tearjerker.

4. "Shattered"

Anselmo's vocal performance in Pantera's rip-roaring "Shattered" harkens back to the band's glam and heavy metal roots. You'd be forgiven for mistaking Anselmo's highs for Judas Priest's Rob Halford himself, but the fierce switching between air-siren screams and raspy cleans is Anselmo's signature balance. He truly really is a vocal Swiss Army knife, and his "Shattered" performance effectively builds the bridge between '80s and '90s Pantera.

3. "This Love"

"This Love" truly comes reaching out of Anselmo's gut. The vocalist begins the Vulgar Display of Power ballad with an eerily calm style, but the haymaker ultimately arrives with each "Love!" in the song's iconic chorus. The technical and emotional versatility of "This Love" is a hallmark in the career of Anselmo. Nobody else could make a ballad sound so damn burly.

2. "Suicide Note, Pt. 1"

Anselmo's vocals in "Suicide Note, Pt. 1" almost come in the form of a country western ballad. From the very depths of his clean vocal range, Anselmo bellows through this fervent acoustic piece, and he very much takes center stage through a mournful performance. The push and pull Anselmo gives to the lyrics, "Try to die again / Try to live through this night," is as haunting as you'll ever hear from the Pantera singer — or any metal singer, for that matter. 

1. "Cemetery Gates"

One of Philip Anselmo's gifts has always been giving raw and technical power to raspy vocal parts. Anselmo's quiet cleans and high screams are both perfectly on point throughout "Cemetery Gates," but when he launches into the first pre-chorus with, "Well I guess you took my youth," he grabs the listener by the fucking throat. The force he's able to generate using that raspy hybrid style is actually freakish, which is why our readers named "Cemetery Gates" Anselmo's top vocal performance. It's the right pick.