• Steve Jenkins

Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue - PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS


Artist: PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS

Album: Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue

Genre: Brutal Sludge Metal

Release Date: January 26th, 2018

Label: Season Of Mist

Review by Steve Jenkins

Philip H. Anselmo is without a doubt one of the most iconic metal vocalists to ever yell into a microphone. With his trademark aggressive style of vocal, the frontman has made a name for himself fronting legendary heavy metal band Pantera, along with other bands such as Down, Superjoint Ritual, Scour and also lending his powerful and raspy voice to countless bands as a guest vocalist.

In 2013, Anselmo released a solo album, titled Walk Through Exits Only with his backing band The Illegals. With a more brutal and extremely confronting style, this in-your-face style of music is filled with fury and anger. Now they're back with a follow up album titled Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue and it's absolutely crushing as you'd expect it to be. With a unique blend of grindcore, thrash metal and pure mayhem, it might even be considered that this makes Pantera sound rather tame in comparison.

The sound you'll hear is rough and edgy overall, with the opening track "Little Fucking Heroes" ripping you apart with blast beats and chaotic riffs. It's a perfect set up for the rest of the album and straight away you know what you're in for, utter anarchy and discord. There are some hints of classic heavy metal sprinkled in amongst the sludgy death metal and grind-infused madness, but it's mostly chaos that some traditional fans might not be able to latch onto.

The theme of the album seems to be a strong one, as the title says, Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue. Anselmo roars with rage, anger and hostility, using his gutterals to spew forth the message of what mental illness can be like for those that feel trapped and how it can affect you. “Individual' is a standout track, with some insane guitar riffs that drive you to banging your head, but you'll experience this many times when listening to this album.

Fans will either love or hate this release, it's not for your average metal fan that doesn't venture far outside the realm of Pantera, Metallica and Megadeth. But for those who like their metal a bit more experimental, extreme and even dirty sounding then Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue will most likely be something that you enjoy. Another solid album to add to the stellar and diverse catalogue of Phil Anselmo, and despite what you might think of him, he is a true master of metal.

8.5 out of 10.

Listen to the track "The Ignorant Point" below:


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