Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, December 15, 2017

Phil Anselmo & The Illegals - Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue

Phil Anselmo has been on a creative tear recently with seemingly all of his myriad projects getting ready to put out albums over the next few months. We are seeing the sort of output from this guy that you rarely see from any artist, much less artists at his level. There is something strangely potent about this latest offering from Phil Anselmo & The Illegals Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue, one of the most fucked up offerings to come from Phillip in years and miles ahead of the bands debut Walk Through Exits Only.

One of the fascinating things I think about Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue is that it captures both a new level of heaviness for Anselmo's work but also isn't afraid to touch on themes from other projects. The quality of the songwriting is such though that that isn't problematic. So we find ourselves with groove metal riffs sitting next to black metal ones punctuated by powerful Saint Vitus inspired stoner ones. It makes for some truly exciting listening from a band who can't help but to fascinate the deeper you delve into the record. On top of that the death metal veneer and experimental fringes that have come to define the record only make it all the more interesting.

The overarching theme of this album though is probably incredible frustration. There is a sort of unreal bitterness here that you can't help but to admire. The sheer anger Phil communicates in his most crushing vocal lines and the mind melting assault of these tracks speaks of a world few of us are truly comfortable with. Anselmo and the gang are pulling apart societies problems and forcing us to choke on them. There is an anger here that is justified and twisted coming from years of suffering and decades of devastation. Dig it.

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