WARNING: Those of you seeking the next Pantera, Superjoint, Scour, or any number of the heavier projects that vocalist Phil Anselmo has been involved in over the years should turn back now because his latest outfit, En Minor, is the antithesis of ALL of that. Which suits us just fine.
Announced almost three years ago but gestating even longer (You can read our interview with Phil when he touched on the project here), En Minor is a true labor of love with a debut full-length that’s filled with layered, rich textures, and Gothic overtones. Fans of Nick Cave, Steve Von Till, and those epic moody numbers that close out many a Converge record (“Wretched World” or “Cruel Bloom” off Axe To Fall especially with the latter actually featuring Von Till) should take notice. For fans of Anselmo with open minds, When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out is a must have. As a body of music and a piece of art on its’ own, though, it’s definitely a must listen.
But I digress.
“Mausoleums” is moody and somber with Anselmo’s baritone a far cry from the screech that opened The Great Southern Trendkill. Stephen Taylor (Wovenhand) and Kevin Bond (Superjoint) along with Anselmo provide the acoustic backdrop while Steve Bernal accents the tone of the project with a cello sound that used to grace first chair in Temple Symphony Orchestra.
Eyehategod and Down’s Jimmy Bower goes for a subdued yet meticulous percussion performance on “Blue” with The Dover Brothers adding atmosphere with bass and keys by Joiner and Calvin respectively. “On The Floor” has some twang and a Tom Waits feel with lush strings and organs highlighting the tune while “Dead Can’t Dance” is dreamy, glistening like something out of an old school Twin Peaks episode.
“Love Needs Love” is akin to a sea shanty and something listeners could definitely picture Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson drunkenly singing in The Lighthouse and later, “Warm Sharp Bath Sleep” is the danciest of numbers simply because it has the most upbeat tempo. Anselmo’s voice here at times resemble that of the late Scott Weiland with vibes of “Sour Girl” off No. 4 permeating throughout.
“Melancholia” is airy and delicate with Anselmo going to the deepest depths of his vocal range while also soaring to create his own gorgeous dichotomy, “This Is Not Your Day” flourishes as it rides the electric waves of the screeching guitars at its’ center bringing to mind modern Marilyn Manson and Kenny Hickey’s post-Type O Negative outfit, Silvertomb.
“Black Mass” is surprisingly sanguine with Anselmo sounding almost content before “Hats Off” and its’ intricate sheets of tender pluckings change the tone once again leading toward closer “Disposable For You”, an undeniably tense track that’ll keep listeners on the edge of their seats through twists, turns, and a veritable symphony of sorrow from your new favorite Phil Anselmo outfit.
When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out arrives via Housecore Records on September 4th. Physical copies are available for pre-order here while you can get yer digital on by clicking here. For more on En Minor, follow them through the socials by clicking here or here.