On November 25th, rock and metal performer Philip Anselmo brought his band, En Minor, to the stage and streamed it virtually. En Minor was formed and centered around Philip Anselmo and events in his life. With influences of heavy metal, groove metal, sludge metal and extreme metal, En Minor has given Anselmo a chance to showcase some very powerful and heavy vocals. This show tonight consisted of Anselmo as well as several performers. The evening was exciting, dark and full of talent.
Before the show began, fans were chatting with each other in the chat, talking about how excited they were for the show and where they were gathering from. Some places that the virtual audience were watching from were: Canada, Florida, Texas, New York, Colombia, Australia, California and even Japan. It was clear the fan base was scattered all throughout the world. That’s the coolest part of these live show/live stream events, fans can gather from all over the world to watch a fun and extravagant show from the comfort of their own homes, no matter how far away that may be. Someone had even commented that it was three a.m. where they were watching from, and they “wouldn’t dream of missing this event!” The chat was popping off with excitement and an eagerness for the show to begin!
The stream began when Anselmo came on screen to introduce Spirit In The Room, the special guest and opener. The show began with a bang, as opener Spirit In The Room took to the stage first. This hard experimental band pumped up the energy and really started things off on a high note. It was a great way to preface what was about to come. Having an opener/special guest appearance really made it feel like a concert that was happening in person again, and the fans in the chat agreed. It also seemed as though everyone could not wait for the day they could go see such experimental bands and energy back on stage again.
Then after the brief (yet very entertaining) opener, Anselmo was back on screen and he had thanked everyone for being here and being present to enjoy the evening together. With that, the show that the fans had been waiting for, began. Anselmo walked calmly to the stage as the rest of the band welcomed him in with some background music. The stage was dimly lit with some darker blue lights as well as candles lit all around. There were several instrumentalists spaced out accordingly (in compliance with social distancing for sure). There were many guitar players, a cellist, a keyboard player, a drummer and of course Anselmo with the lead vocals. The space was also dressed with amps, a few rugs and a couple logs with skulls to give a very rustic and dark vibe.
The opening song, “Driftwood Alters,” featured many of the guitar players and instrumentalists around the space as well as the deep and intense vocals. It had elements of blues as well as those darker rhythms of rich metal. The many different layered guitar chords and patterns that were being played throughout the room filled the space with a full range of sound. The cellist in the back was playing the long bluesy chords that complimented the song perfectly.
Following the opening song, Anselmo transitioned into the 2020 tune, “Blue.” This song was originally released as a single, but then appears on their 2020 album, When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out. This song kicked up the tempos as well as introduced a few harmonies to back up Anselmo’s lead vocals. As with the first song, all the strong string instruments on stage really created the rich atmosphere. It was a very catchy tune that the fans in the chat were very excited to be hearing.
Another song off of the 2020 album, “This Is Not Your Day,” features more of a rugged guitar sound, and a few higher notes than the deeper lower tones of the previous songs, but it still had those lower, heavier sounds. This song hits hard and feels like an intense yet distinct blend of metal and rock. A fun song that took on more of a groove metal-esque tone, was “Dead Can’t Dance.” This song was fun because there was a little bit more of an emphasis on the drummer and the rhythms to back up the multitude of guitars. The drumming was still pretty light, but it was just the right amount to notice its importance.
“The Unkind Flash” was another tune that had those pieces of groove metal in it. It has a fun intro with percussive rhythms and exciting guitar chords. The tempo was still on the slower side, but that did not take away from the intensity and power behind the song. This song had Santana “Black Magic Woman” vibes as far as the backup groove and rhythm. Similar, but different at the same time.
“Knock Me Cold” was a song that really kicked it up in tempo. This song sort of brought back those Sons Of Anarchy vibes. It was sort of like a mix of the simple guitars with a lead overdrive guitar all at once. It worked all together and brought up that rustic metal kind of tone that the set of the stage was emphasizing. There was a great guitar riff and solo toward the middle and the end of the song that just ripped open the song and brought in those aspects of rock and roll. This was a favorite, from what the fans were saying in the chat. They were loving every second of it.
There was a brief intermission where Philip Anselmo was talking with Stephen Taylor (a guitar player) about how they started working together. Two other guitar players that were performing this evening, Kevin Bond and Paul Webb, were also talking about how they got started and the talent of Stephen Taylor. Stephen Taylor helped them to get some of their older ideas up and running into songs. This interview with some of the band was cool, it gave fans a little look into who they are and how they make their music. A few of the other members of the team, Joiner Dover, Steve Bernal, Calvin Dover and Jose “Blues” Gonzalez were also interviewed during this little segment. They all bring so many different elements to the table and they target a wide range of people to listen to their music. It’s clear that they love what they do, and the size and scale at which they do it.
One of the last songs was, “On The Floor,” and this song brought it all back with intense and very intricate details in the guitar riffs and solos. It kept up with the already established themes of darkness and intensity, but it was all the guitar players and other instrumentalists that really shined in this one. The very last song of the evening was off of the stage and room they had set up. The song was called “The Older We Get.” This was very different as it featured a piano player. This song had kind of an unplugged and acoustic feel. It was just the piano, a cello and Anselmo. While Anselmo had those very deep and haunting melodies he was singing, the background music was slower and closed out the show very peacefully.
Philip Anselmo’s talent to round down the deep and intense notes was a very powerful element of the show. He has a deep and almost growly voice, but it works so well with the dark undertones of the music. During each song, it was really the cello that stood out and created these dark and powerful moments musically. Lyrically, it was dark, but very meaningful at the same time. Most of the music played felt like experimental metal and was very exciting. There were definitely moments of groove metal, and while they were sprinkled throughout the show, they were always fun to listen to.
Overall the fans loved the event. Comments of how thankful they were for this evening, were flying. Someone even commented “wow, really needed this tonight!” Finding joy in music is so unifying and for fans to be able to come together across the globe, and watch their favorite artist like they did tonight, really means a lot to them. It was easy to see why the fans were so impressed, the talent of the instrumentalists and vocalist, Philip Anselmo, was unmatched. Comments like, “ENCORE!!!!!,” “that was beautiful!,” and “well done!” finished the night as people began to log off from the very entertaining evening they had just had.
This Is Not Your Day
Dead Can’t Dance
Love Needs Love
The Unkind Flash
Knock Me Cold
Warm Sharp Bath Asleep
Disposable For You
On The Floor
The Older We Get
File Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat