Philip Anselmo, legendary frontman of PANTERA and DOWN, will release his career-first solo album, "Walk Through Exits Only", on July 16 via his own Housecore Records (MRI/Megaforce). "Walk Through Exits Only" will be available digitally, on CD and on vinyl.
Produced by Anselmo and Michael Thompson, and recorded over the past couple of years at Philip's New Orleans studio, Nodferatu's Lair, with his band THE ILLEGALS — guitarist Marzi Montazeri (ex-SUPERJOINT RITUAL) and drummer José Manuel Gonzales (WARBEAST) — "Walk Through Exits Only" is abrasive, aggressive, anthemic and 100% Anselmo. The album's eight songs are as unstrained as it gets, from "Battalion Of Zero" to "Usurper's Bastard Rant", to the album's title track that goes against the grain and right through the exits. Brash, brutal guitars cut through punishing percussion as Anselmo screams with uncompromising ferocity and uncontainable fire.
"It wasn't about doing a paint-by-numbers thrash or heavy metal record," Anselmo explained about the project. "It's an angry album that only I could do. I don't see anybody else out there screaming about the same shit I'm screaming about. On this album, there isn't any wordplay, there isn't any hidden message, it's all right there in front of you."
In a recent interview with U.K.'s Terrorizer magazine, Anselmo was asked what prompted him to make a solo CD now. "I am a lover of all sorts of music but really my heart is ... really I love extreme music, underground music, whether it be grindcore, death metal, thrash, black metal, [or whatever other] subgenre, and I find beauty in a lot of this stuff," he replied.
"I wanted to do an extreme record that didn't necessarily fit in any of those aforementioned categories, really, but it's metal. It's very tough for me to describe, man. I really wanted to do an extreme record again. I did it out of pure, fucking need — need — and love. I just needed to do it for myself."
Anselmo said that he chose to release the CD under his own name because "if I was to name it something, to me, it may be tough on the fans, or people, that might be interested in hearing what I'm doing, just to buy into a whole new band, where in all truth, I'm very, very, what's the word, just very guarded and I wrote every fucking goddamn note of it and that's just how its going to fucking be."
He added, "I don't want another all-star band, I don 't want another supergroup, if you will, I don't want it to be misconstrued, and this is something I can take as a solo artist, as a free agent, I can take this wherever I want to go. If I want to make the next record a completely different style, yet still extreme in its own right, I can do that … So it's gonna be up to y'all to figure it out: it's really not my place to say it's death metal or it's extreme thrash or black metal, I'm not gonna put it in a category. It is extreme, though, in its own right. Anything that was completely traditional, I would stop it and fuck with it a little, make sure it wasn't so paint-by-numbers, because that's the last thing I wanna do, and as a matter of fact, I believe that's what people will be expecting."
On the topic of his lyrical approach on "Walk Through Exits Only", Anselmo said, "[It's] very real, very honest, very close to the sleeve, close to the heart, close to the fingertips, close to everyday life, and maybe [about] periods of my life that I've gone through. People that have heard the record have said it is the angriest record that they've heard in a very, very long time. And I have to agree with them — it is an angry, angry album. It is just a statement of my condition a lotta times. Daily I still deal with heaps of chronic pain, if you will, whether it be my knee, my hip, the shoulder sockets, the elbow, the fucking back — you name it, man. I've busted everything, man, so there is a frustration there that you can't necessarily get across in DOWN, so it does have an angry edge to it and really, truth be told, the name of the record could be 'Songs From The Bedroom Of Philip Anselmo'; it's not a pretty place. [laughs] [It's] not as sexy as it sounds'l [It's a] fucking, raging fucking place where I can simmer and boil over in private."
Audio samples of the songs "Conflict" and "Family, 'Friends,' And Associates" from Anselmo can be streamed at Amazon.com. Both tracks appear on "War Of The Gargantuas", the new split album featuring Anselmo and Texas thrashers WARBEAST, which was released on January 8 via Philip's Housecore Records. This album served as the first release of any solo work by Anselmo during the span of his nearly 30-year legacy.
Anselmo and THE ILLEGALS will support the new album with a major North American tour planned for this summer. Anselmo, who is up for "Best Vocalist" at this year's Revolver Golden Gods awards, will make a special appearance at that event.