At his age of 52 Philip Anselmo already founded or participated in more than 20 bands and projects, not including Pantera: from world-wide famous like Down to some real underground ones; quite diverse project, to be honest. Last few years Phil tries to release an album of one of his bands in a year and 2020 isn’t the exception. So, “depression core” (by the definition of Phil himself) project En Minor release the debut album When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out.
“The initial strains (in the most primitive sense) came about when I was given my first guitar at nine-years old, – tells Anselmo, – I didn’t have the patience to learn other people’s music, so I wrote my own […] In 1988 I bought my first 4-track recorder; those old songs took on a new life and newer songs were written. Heavy Metal was at the forefront of my performance-based output, but these little 4-track songs were there. For some reason, I always had an apprehension about allowing these songs to be heard because they were so different, therefore only a small circle of close friends got to hear them […] In 1993 I’d moved back to my hometown of New Orleans, in my old neighborhood. My place was a magnet for local musicians and artists, and at ungodly hours, these old 4-track songs took on an even newer life jamming with these cats. We learned a few of the songs and wrote several more, and soon we were recording under the moniker Body & Blood. Metal music consumed most of our time and lives, so having those Body & Blood sessions was damned-near therapeutic.
There was never a clear plan for the band, as far as playing true gigs or putting out material. We never did. We kept things simple and just jammed when everyone was home and played our recordings for friends.
[…] Then in 2012 I met Steve “Schteve” Taylor. He and I began experimenting with some vibey stuff, and soon after began recording the sessions. Together, we re-worked a few of the old 4-track songs and wrote several new ones in short order. These sessions are hypnotic and pulling. And we continue to write songs suitable for this project to this day (2019)”
When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out is outstanding compared to last Philip’s works. This music is heavy but not because of up-tempo or brutal riffs, like it was in The Illegals. This music is heavy like Tom Waits, Nick Cave or Johnny Cash were. These songs are comparably simple technically but they infinitely dark and somber; a tenebrous blues with gothic.
Two first songs “Mausoleums” and “Blue” are melodic and sound just “sad” without deep sullenness, things get worse further: “On The Floor” is full of funeral mood and “Dead Can Dance” takes the music to the blues and gallows humor, full of pain.
The inner pain, which was in a way restrained previously, breaks out in “Love Needs Love” and it is beautiful in this agony. Slow guitar, percussion, some touches of keyboards and Phil’s low voice, turning you inside out with lines “It’s sad when love needs love, somewhere something is broken” – this is the heaviness I talked about earlier.
“Hats Off” in its turn sounds like an old western soundtrack, keeping the darkness. “Melancholia” is fully complies musically with the name and the next “This Is Not Your Day” is some kind of antithesis: mid-paced, with some electro guitar (a rare guest in this album) but even here musicians express their inner pain with the music.
And the album ends with great melancholic “Disposable For You” with beautiful cello and memorable melody. But don’t think that this song will give you some hope in this darkness: the main theme changes to more somber in the middle and it is clear that all hope is lost.
Actually, the best description of this album and En Minor in a whole was made by Phil: “This is not “party music. This is “kill the party” music” and he is goddamn right. I can hardly recommend this album: if you are in the good mood, it will make you sad. If you’re sad, it will immerse you into a deep depression easily. This is the abyss that gazes back into you.
When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out will be released on September, 4th via Season Of Mist.
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