Philip Anselmo + Raging Speedhorn @ The Mill, 28th June 2019

First up we had Raging Speedhorn, a band I’ve seen twice before. The band always show terrific energy and passion onstage; the two vocalists John and Frank play off each other expertly with their classic hardcore style delivery. No need for mic stands here. They beckon the crowd wherever possible and to great effect.

‘How much can a man take?’ (2005), the older songs are an instant hit with the crowd, since their formation in 1998 and some key line-up changes the band have evidently garnered a reputation and a loyal fan-base in the UK. Heavy and in-your-face with some nasty hardcore riffs, dare I say that they reminded me of Pantera(?)

‘Redweed’ (2000), their second song of the night is from their first ever self titled album. The breakdown saw some tasty moshpit action and even some crowd-surfing.

The highlight for me was their final song ‘Ten of Swords’ (2016), a song which delves into the sludgier waters of heavy metal, comparable with the likes of Crowbar. Slow, sinister riffs with hard hitting and direct vocal lines.

 Philip Anselmo took to the stage last after his band The Illegals came on to play the opening to ‘Bedridden’ (2013), of which the lead guitarist Mike De Leon caught my eye. Possessing an insane stage persona he never stopped headbanging or shredding his heart out all night. The passion was evident to see.

Phil took some time out to chat to the crowd and joke around with a crutch onstage. Stating sarcastically that he’s sure everyone in the room knows these songs.

‘Choosing Mental Illness’ (2018), the newer material doesn’t hold back. It’s actually heavier than Pantera stuff, sharing more similarities with Napalm Death than anything else. Demonic highs and guttural low death metal growls; with Mike’s fast paced piercing djents and otherworldly drum fills; the new stuff bangs but in a different way to what we are used to with Phil at the helm.

The middle to the end of their set is purely Pantera covers. The crowd absolutely loves it.

‘I’m Broken’ and ‘Fucking Hostile’ are a trip down memory lane for me. These songs for me were amongst my first real tastes of heavy metal and they still hold ground to this very day. The crowd goes crazy with heads bobbing all around; moshing and nostalgic smiles.

The encore was what everyone would’ve hoped for when buying a ticket to this show.

 ‘Walk’, even though it wasn’t performed by Pantera the atmosphere said otherwise. It was electric and Phil gave his absolute all tonight. He looked healthy and in good shape which is very pleasing to see.

It’s great to see him come out tonight, have a laugh with the audience and deliver above and beyond of what people expected. He has lived and breathed the heavy metal scene since he was 19 years old in 1987, and even after that with Down and Superjoint Ritual.

Review & Photos: Neale Hayes

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