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Phil Anselmo on the darkest and heaviest record of his career

Phil Anselmo (Image credit: Scott Dudelson - Getty)

Phil Anselmo says that although he’s recorded an album containing “the darkest, heaviest, most miserable shit” he’s ever written, he’s not sure he’ll ever release it.

The former Pantera frontman recorded the material with his alternative/goth outfit En Minor, who draw on influences such as Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure and Nick Cave’s work with The Birthday Party.

Anselmo tells Damnation Vault (opens in new tab): “I will say that the darkest, heaviest, most miserable shit I’ve ever written I have not released and that’s a band called En Minor. I’ve never put it out and I don’t know if I’m getting cold feet or not. It’s not party music, it’s not good time music. 

"People are asking me to do gigs with it and I just don’t know if it’s going to translate the way people might envision because they haven’t heard the music – it’s so hard for me to explain it.

“It’s heart-wrenching shit. I don’t know if people should hear it.”

The vocalist adds: “It is, I guess, the truest, darkest record I’ve ever done in my life and I’m just not sure about it. I think the musicianship is great and I love the band I have surrounding me.

“The way I sing on En Minor is completely bass. It’s a comfortable style, it’s a different style than people have heard me attack before. But it is what it is. I don’t know how people would take it.

“It’s recorded, it’s written and eventually I guess people will hear it, I just don’t know when the right time is. I’m sure all the guys in the band are like, ‘Now is the right time, you stupid man,’ but we’ll see.”

He adds: “It’s not heavy metal at all. We have a lead cello player. There are three guitars, a piano player and a keyboard player.”

Anselmo talked with Louder earlier this year about his love of The Cure and their albums Seventeen Seconds and Faith (opens in new tab).

In August last year, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals released a One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest-inspired video for Choosing Mental Illness (opens in new tab) - a track from their January 2018 album Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.