EP Review: Phillip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – Housecore Horror Film Festival EP

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November 9, 2013 by Dan Swinhoe

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While Down lumbers slowly towards eventually making more music, frontman Phil Anselmo, with his Illegals in tow, have just bestowed their third release in a year unto the world. Featuring a Halloween-themed take of the original Kiss album, the Housecore Horror Film Festival EP contains two leftover tracks from the band’s Walk Through Exits Only recording sessions.

The most interesting thing about this EP is that it shows there’s more to this group than just vitriolic sonic assaults, something many fans put off by the extremity of the debut record will no doubt welcome. ‘Ugly Mug’ opens with grungey morose melody that wouldn’t be out of place on an Alice In Chains record, before weaving in and out of the buzzsaw thrash that occupied so much their debut album; relentless drums, shredding guitars and Anselmo’s pained wail.

The seven minute ‘Pigs Kissing Pigs’ opens with an eerie acoustic passage reminiscent of Down’s quieter moments or the Southern Isolation EP, but then explodes into a maelstrom of spleen-busting violence. Relentless blackened thrash swirls combined with Anslemo’s guttural screams make this one of the most unnerving tracks the band have released. It takes a left turn, however, becoming a mid-paced punk song with Marzi’s guitar wailing in the background, before diving back into the chaos.

Both track excel because they add new layers to the established bleak extremity of Walk Through Exits Only’s blueprint, and raise the promise of what to expect from the next record. Though only two tracks, the light & shade demonstrated on this EP make it probably the most enjoyable release so far from Anselmo and the Illegals. Listen below and download for free courtesy of Scion A/V.

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