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ALBUM REVIEW | Heavy metal

Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals, ‘Walk Through Exits Only’

On “Walk Through Exits Only,” Phil Anselmo expands his heavy-metal empire, taking over a piece of tough, guttural turf that sounds distinctly different from his previous work with Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual. Credited to Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals, “Exits” is a raw brand of battle metal full of barking vocals, squealing guitars, and martial rhythms. Despite his place among metal royalty, Anselmo remains a convincing outsider, partially because he doesn’t exclude himself from his own rants. On “Betrayed,” Anselmo asks how he could have slept soundly after acknowledging “mass obliquity” around him. On the title track, as Anselmo bemoans corrosion in music he bellows, “Everybody ruins music, not just me.” The difference between Anselmo and others is that he sets out to fix whatever ruination he sees. Judging from “Exits,” complacency is the enemy, and to that end, Anselmo tears down, builds up, and howls on. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Walk Through Exits Only”

Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals perform Aug. 13 at the Palladium in Worcester.

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