Walk Through The Exits… Quickly
Those who are avid fans of relatively new metal are sure to be familiar with acts such as Pantera, Down and Superjoint Ritual. The one thing all these bands have in common is that the vocals were handled by none other than Philip Anselmo. Perhaps best known as the front-man of Pantera, he was known for his unusual vocals, which range from an aggressive shouting style reminiscent of hardcore punk to high pitched wails similar to Judas Priest and King Diamond. Using the former style throughout most of his career, Phil Anselmo has just dropped his debut album with his new band, entitled Walk Though Exits Only.
Those looking to check out this album should be aware that they are in for an unpleasant surprise. It is quite a chore to listen through this entire record, due to the overwhelming negative aspects that dominate each and every track. To start, the songwriting is just plain dreadful. From start to finish, the songs are generally sloppy, uninspired and generic. These characteristics are especially dominant within the first song, “Music Media is my Whore”. There seems to be no structure found in the songs either. As a result, verses, choruses, and solos pop up spontaneously. It makes the music sound confused, random, awkward, and most of all, carelessly executed.
But, being that this is Phil’s solo project, you’d think that his vocal performance would be spectacular; however this is sadly not the case. It’s not horrible, but then again, it’s nothing extraordinary either. The shouting style of vocals that he is known and loved for are present, but they sound rather strained, forced and overall quite unnatural. In some brief moments, his signature spark shines through. But these moments are rare. Unfortunately, Phil’s somewhat okay vocals are not enough to save this entire album. The strongest track here, though, is without a doubt “Bedroom Destroyer”, in which the aforementioned negative qualities aren’t so obvious.
Though the album does contain enjoyable and brief moments of impressive guitar work, it’s unfortunately overwhelmed with unpleasant characteristics left and right. Truthfully, it sounds like a band poorly attempting to imitate Pantera and are still in the stages of creating an album. To those who find themselves in a room where this album is being played, heading for the exits really wouldn’t be a bad idea.