Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals, Warbeast, Author & Punisher | House of Blues | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals, Warbeast, Author & Punisher 

When: Sun., Aug. 4, 8 p.m. 2013
Price: $29.50
Best-known as the lead vocalist for groundbreaking groove-metal monsters Pantera, Philip H. Anselmo has a new backing band, the Illegals, but the racket they whip up on last month’s Walk Through Exits Only (Housecore) isn’t nearly as powerful or unique as what Dimebag and the boys used to get into. Their approach sometimes seems scatterbrained, almost like they’re trying to pile up as many extreme-metal cliches as they can—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Illegals aren’t out to reinvent the heavy-metal wheel; they’re just laying down a dense foundation over which Anselmo can go apeshit. They execute that task perfectly—and Anselmo, now 45, can still go off with just as much stamina and intensity as when he was a kid. His vocals are the undisputed star of Walk Through Exits Only, and he spends its duration running through his signature tricks: deep bellows, guttural growls, and bloodcurdling shrieks. The only thing missing is a Halford-biting “Cemetery Gates”-style falsetto.

Tristan Shone combined his career as a mechanical engineer with his pastime of playing in metal bands, building a series of what he calls drone and dub machines. Made mostly of heavy-duty steel, their chain-bound levers, slides, knobs, pistons, and cylinders control massive synth-bass frequencies and electronic drums, and they’ve evolved into a noise-making workstation that looks something like a cross between Professor X’s Cerebro apparatus and a Terminator T-800. Inside this setup Shone becomes Author & Punisher, an insanely heavy industrial-doom-metal cyborg. On his newest record, Women & Children (Seventh Rule), Shone dive-bombs his earth-shaking robotic beats with distorted electronic swoops and blows out his voice by running it through what I can only call a distortion mask. It sounds alien and dangerous—the sort of thing that would have Trent Reznor and Justin Broadrick shaking in their boots. —Luca Cimarusti Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals headline; Warbeast and Author & Punisher open. Anselmo will also appear at a free meet-and-greet and record signing at 2:30 PM at Reckless Records on Milwaukee.

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