The Anselmo Project is a solo project of Anthony S. Anselmo who recently released his debut record entitled Uncommon Sense. As I was listening to his album I kept on thinking of the music on the 1981 cult classic Heavy Metal. There is something very 80’s going on with these songs between the synth sounds and brand of metal that Anselmo decides to delve into.
I wasn’t sure what to think half the time listening to this album. It felt nostalgic at points and enjoyed the cheesy synth sounds that are all over these songs. Take for instance the opener “Space Station Ten” which at times sounded like it could be a Joe Satriani song with extra arpeggiated synths. Lead guitars meld with synths into an intoxicating concoction of sound. As the song progresses more sine waves and pads come into the mix and the song gets more intense. The seven plus minute run time was pushing it. I felt like Anselmo could have had just as an effective song at around four minutes.
The next track “Destruction” is more or less 80’s inspired cock rock. The be frank the mix doesn't sound nearly as good as on the first sound. It sounds thin when comparing the two songs. This song is one that really could have been trimmed. The song feels redundant by the fourth minute. “Starting Over” fared a bit better but was another change in style with a different vocalist that left me scratching my head as to what to expect next. “Pretty Bird (Happy Reconnaissance)” is an eight plus instrumental song that contains some impressive lead guitar. “Teknikal Diffikulties” has a kinetic energy that is created with a hard hitting drum set while “Get Me through” is a highlight amongst the batch with notable vocals.
"Sad Space Opera" is a fourteen plus minute song that is thematic and epic in scope. It contains tons of synths sounds you heard in the 80’s along with a myriad of other sounds. The are some inventive parts and lot of retro sounds throughout.
After giving Uncommon Sense a number of listens it's hard not to get a sense that Anselmo seemed to over indulge in some of his ideas. It’s really not easy to listen to this album all the way because of the pure length of some of the songs that don’t feel completely justified. Anselmo does a decent job weaving in ideas and sounds but some of the songs do feel a bit out of place.
I love the fact that Uncommon Sense doesn’t feel contemporary. Anselmo is doing hs own thing which is admirable and there were a some solid songs on his album. If Anselmo can trim the fat on his future songs and improve the recording quality I think more people will be receptive to his music.
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