Dear Phil Anselmo,
Why must you persist with trying to make music? Let's just get one thing straight before we get to talking about your new single, "Usurper's Bastard Rant" (actual title) -- Pantera was awesome. Pantera is awesome. Pantera makes us want to get up out of our seats and head bang like it's still 1992.
come on in public places. There
are exaggerated arm movements, multiple expletives, and foot-stomps
involved. Yet we cannot figure out, for the life of us, what your latest
musical project is supposed to achieve.
It only persists with destroying your own legacy, which has been going on for years now. Memories of Pantera were soured by your feud with guitarist Dimebag Darrell (Satan rest his soul), during which time you called him a "shallow, stupid man," and claimed that "physically, of course, he deserve(d) to be severely beaten."
Then there was all the uproar about your paranoid, racist tendencies -- which we selfishly tried to ignore so we could still listen to A Vulgar Display of Power without feeling guilty. We have to say that your whole stance on non-white people is not helped by calling your latest project Phil Anselmo & The Illegals. Seriously, shaved-head guy, what are you thinking?
Post-Pantera, we suffered through Superjoint Ritual and Down (yes, yes, you smoke weed -- well done, big deal, we get it, etc etc), which weren't the worst things in the world. But frankly, we've had it at this point. This whole Phil Anselmo & the Illegals thing is not only wholly unnecessary, it's just another nail in your musical coffin. "Usurper's Bastard Rant" is the kind of song that could've been written by a two-bit band riding on your coattails 20 years ago.
You sound like you're phoning it in, Phil. "Usurper's Bastard Rant" is... fine, we guess. Kind of. It's not so
terrible that we need to switch it off halfway through, but we've also
forgotten it the second that it's over. And when you release a track as bland as this one, it just serves to make us realize just how spectacularly far away from the thrilling sounds of Pantera you now live.
You remain a genuinely terrifying human, Mr. Anselmo. We're not trying to get a rise out of you, we just want you to get back to making truly visceral, exciting music again, and not just using your name to sell records that aren't worthy of it. Also, please knock if off with the weird white guy stuff. Nobody likes a racist.