Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bill + Phil - Songs Of Darkness And Despair

This is hands down one of the weirdest things I have heard in years - maybe not musically but definitely conceptually. Bill Moseley AKA Choptop and Otis has teamed up with none other than Phil Anselmo in order to create a heavy rock record that showcases a surprising amount of diversity for an album that weighs in at a mere six songs and features a wealth of guests, from members of Phil's other bands to dudes from King Parrot. This obviously leaves you with a lot to pick apart and makes Songs Of Darkness And Despair a fascinating listen.

I think what impresses me the most about this album, aside from the fact that it fits into the occult rock polemic in the broadest possible sense, is that the weird acid eating lyrics seem to craft totally unique soundscapes with each passing track. Bill + Phil is a collaboration unlike almost any other. While on the one had you hear elements of groups like Kyus, the guys aren't afraid to hint at far more abstract influences whilst simultaneously reflecting on the sort of morbid humor that defined a lot of old school death metal. Songs Of Darkness And Despair suggests a breadth of sonic ideas that leave listeners slightly confused and trying to pick apart all this band has come to represent

In many ways I think that Songs Of Darkness And Despair would have never worked if it was less absurd. These songs were reportedly thrown together in just a few days and their simplistic tripped out vibes seem to reflect that. That's not to say the music is subpar but rather that it feels stripped down and makes for a record that is straightforward and to the point rather than overwrought. In the end Songs Of Darkness And Despair feels very natural an reminds us time and time again of the fundamental beauty of this music.

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