After my initial honeymoon with Pantera at about the age of 19, I quickly figured out how polarizing the work of Phil Anselmo has become since Pantera‘s demise. Not only did metal fans start retroactively bashing Pantera but Phil’s abrassive, erratic public persona made him very unlikeable. I suppose the overweight slob wearing the Pantera cut-off in just about every mosh pit doesn’t exactly help the band’s PR either. Upon reviewing a proggy sludgy something band last week, I made a reference to Anselmo’s work and boy did it set off some talk! No drama but people obviously didn’t get that I wasn’t exactly referencing Vulgar Display of Power. I wanted to be like, “bro, do you even ‘Floods’ or ‘Suicide Note pt 1′ or ‘Stone the Crow’?” Those are really well-crafted, brooding tunes with great lyrics. What’s more is that part of the reason Down wasn’t entirely a smash with Pantera fans is that they didn’t understand that this wasn’t supposed to be a watered down version of their favorite band. The fact that both bands shared an affinity for Southern twang and pentatonic licks simply obscured the fact that this was a new chapter. Down‘s new song “Witchtripper, streaming over at Rolling Stone, showcases their particular brand of Bayou sludge at its best. Phil is also working on an autobiography and a Horror Film Festival set to take place in Austin, Texas in October of 2013. I for one am stoked on everything except the supposed book title (Mouth For War: Pantera, Pain, & Pride – Heavy Metal Highs, Drugged Out Lows, & The Battle For My Life) or does that bit of rhetorical absurdity make me more stoked? I’m not entirely sure.
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