Phil H. Anselmo & The Illegals Go For Jugular On New Album

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Phil H. Anselmo & the Illegals released their second album, Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue, on January 26th, and if you expected anything less than violent and intense, then you were sadly mistaken, and we have parcels of land for sale on the moon. If you can believe it, the album is even less melodic than the outfit’s 2013 debut, Walk Through Exits Only. But melody is hardly the purpose of this band, which Anselmo alludes to:

It ain’t pretty. It’s more straightforward and cohesive to a degree, but it still goes off the rails here and there. We went through it song after song, cut and fucking dry. I was in a specific mindset. I wanted to further my endeavors into a genre of music that I adore. As all 10 songs blow by, I wanted an unforgiving feel. This is what was on my mind. It’s a recorded capsule of time.

If you want to hear the unleashing of brutal heavy metal warriors, head on over to, where the album is streaming in its entirety.

Also, below you can check out the in-studio video for the cut “Finger Me.” Anselmo has dedicated the track to “all the fucking moralist bloggers that try to police fucking music these days.”

The Illegals is comprised of Stephen Taylor (guitar), Mike DeLeon (guitar), Walter Howard (bass), and Jose Manuel “Blue” Gonzalez (drums). And regarding their contribution to the band beyond just playing, Anselmo said:

Their creative input is fucking fantastic. This is something that was very different from the first record where I was very staunch. I wanted it to be ugly. I was very firm that I was writing every fucking note. The thought was, ‘This is my contribution to ugly music right this second in a heavy metal vein.’ That was great at the time. Walk Through Exits Only made its own little statement that I am a free agent and I belong to no single band. This time, I worked closely with everyone. We tried different ideas together. It made the spirit of this thing come alive even more because of the enthusiasm these guys bring. It enhanced the integrity of the project.

Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue is available on CD, vinyl, and in digital formats in North America via Housecore Records and in Europe by Season of Mist. Physical bundles are available via the Housecore Store and digital orders here.


Although Phil’s voice has, let’s say changed, it’s still hard as fuck, and the passion that catapulted him to heavy metal god status is still very much evident.

Rock Hard \m/

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