Love him or loathe him, Phil Anselmo is constantly putting out new, often boundary pushing, material. It’s hard not to respect a work ethic like that. Scour is Anselmo along with members of Cattle Decapitation, Pig Destroyer, Decrepit Birth and Cast the Stone and together they sound nothing like the sum of their parts. Well, Phil sounds like Phil but what can you do there and furthermore why would you want to change it? His voice has really lent itself to his more extreme side projects in the last few years, despite the Youtube neck beard brigade claiming otherwise in the cesspool that is the comments section.
Scour is heavily awash in nineties black metal of the church burning variety, instantly recalling Dark Funeral in the riffing and Marduk in its blasts. There are a handful of people I will, without protest, accept scene or band “worship” projects from and Phil is one of those people. His reverence for the source materiel is palpable as is his love of the underground which is far from the usual attention-grabbing/ass patting worship bands usually engage in. “Dispatched” is certainly a more fully realized (or perhaps just worlds better produced) and easier on the ears track than Phil Anselmo’s previous foray into the grim and frostbitten, Viking Crown. Yes, I know Viking Crown’s “Unorthodox Steps of Ritual” is “trve” because it sounds like it was recorded on a four track in a bathroom (not judging! just saying.) and that makes it better for some people. Me? Not so much. Anyways, I’m rambling.
One of the best things about Anselmo’s “super groups” (that’s a really loose application of the term here) and side-side-projects are that they allow lesser known but highly talented musicians time in the spotlight to get noticed. See: Marzi Montazeri. See: José “Blue” Manuel Gonzale. That’s the real benefit here in my mind; we get some good music to bang our heads to but more importantly the people who made that music are given more exposure than maybe previously received for their other efforts. Maybe it’s a trickle down effect of interest into those bands. I hope so. It certainly is for me as I find myself digging through the contributing members bands catalogs every time Phil launches a new project.
Dispatched is a solid track with riffs I’m more than able to lose myself in. I only hope that the rest of the EP (and the hopefully forthcoming LP) are as strong as this first taste. Now light your super joint’s and get lost in this blackness.