(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
The living embodiment of the primal metal warrior spirit, aka Phil Anselmo of such historically significant bands as Pantera, DOWN, Superjoint (Ritual) and of late, Scour and Bill & Phil, among others, will soon be back with one of them.
This one happens to bear the man’s name as it is his own primary, somewhat “solo” band, Phillip H. Anselmo & The Illegals. This artistic outlet will release its anxiously anticipated sophomore effort, the follow-up to 2013’s Walk Through Exits Only, “Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue“, through their vocalist’s own Housecore Records on January 26, 2018.
There has been some changes since that début and the upcoming offering, where the band’s lineup shifted as Stephen Taylor (Superjoint) transitioned from bass to guitar, Mike DeLeon (Flesh Horder, Being Killed, ex-MOD) joined as a guitarist, and Walter Howard (Grieved, Oppressive Force) took over bass duties. Meanwhile, Jose Manuel “Blue” Gonzalez (Superjoint, Warbeast) held down the drums.
The process for recording the new album found Anselmo welcoming ideas and input from his cohorts and the result is the surefire caustic, conflictive album set to be unleashed on the masses in early 2018.
“It ain’t pretty,” Anselmo exclaims. “It’s more straightforward and cohesive to a degree, but it still goes off the rails here and there. We went through it song after song, cut and fucking dry. I was in a specific mindset. I wanted to further my endeavors into a genre of music that I adore. As all ten songs blow by, I wanted an unforgiving feel. This is what was on my mind. It’s a recorded capsule of time.”
“Their creative input is fucking fantastic,” beams Anselmo. “This is something that was very different from the first record where I was very staunch. I wanted it to be ugly. I was very firm that I was writing every fucking note. The thought was, ‘This is my contribution to ugly music right this second in a heavy metal vein.’
That was great at the time. Walk Through Exits Only made its own little statement that I am a free agent and I belong to no single band. This time, I worked closely with everyone. We tried different ideas together. It made the spirit of this thing come alive even more because of the enthusiasm these guys bring. It enhanced the integrity of the project.“
“Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue is going to get hated. It’s going to get loved. Like every record I’ve ever done, I put zero expectations upon my peers, critics, or the general fucking public,” he continues. “If you take one thing away from it, let it be this: Do not bog yourself down to one brand, character, or whatever. Have the guts to spread your wings and fucking flourish. I can promise you this is a beginning. As my music trickles out over the next two years, it’s going to be quite the roller coaster ride. This new Illegals is just the tip of the whole fucking avalanche.“
Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue will see release in North America via Housecore Records on January 26th. The record is being licensed in Europe by Season Of Mist.
Digital pre-orders will be available this Friday, November 24th, via all digital outlets with physical pre-order bundles to be unveiled via the Housecore Store here.
The first single, “Choosing Mental Illness“, is available for streaming below.
Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue track listing:
“Little Fucking Heroes”
“Choosing Mental Illness”
“The Ignorant Point”
“Invalid Colubrine Frauds”
“Mixed Lunatic Results”