For metal fans, it'll be thrash before hash tonight at Warehouse Live when Arlington's Warbeast returns once again in support of Down, the New Orleans sludge metal supergroup fronted by Pantera's Philip Anselmo.
Despite the clash of styles -- Warbeast plays speedy death-thrash, while Down prefers languid stoner grooves -- their pairing is nonetheless familiar. Tonight marks the beginning of Warbeast's second tour in as many years supporting Down, and their second visit to Warehouse Live, too. Anselmo has made it something of a personal mission to spread the word about the DFW thrashers, who just so happen to be signed to his Housecore Records label.
"The Kid" and Warbeast front man Bruce Corbitt go back a ways. Corbitt was singing for seminal Texas headbangers Rigor Mortis, Pantera's contemporaries in the late-'80s DFW metal scene, when Anselmo first arrived in the Metroplex more than 23 years ago.
"I met Philip back in, like, 1987 at a Rigor Mortis show here in Dallas," Corbitt told Rocks Off when we caught up with him recently. "He had just come to town, in the process of joining Pantera, and he found out about Rigor Mortis while he was here and he wanted to check us out.
"We've always gotten along pretty well," he continues. "And then like five years ago, we got asked to go on tour with his band, Arson Anthem. That's when I got back in touch with Phil, and we just kind of shot the shit about what's going on in our lives. I mentioned a new project that I had going with some of the guys from Gammacide that Phil knew from back then as well."
That project was Warbeast, and when Anselmo heard their demo, he was converted on the spot. He's taken a real stake in their success ever since, releasing their debut on his label, taking them out on tour and even collaborating on a new EP. This week, Housecore put out War of the Gargantuas, a split containing two new Warbeast songs and two songs from the recording sessions for Phil's forthcoming solo album.
They're the first official solo tracks Anselmo's ever released, making the EP kind of a big deal. Using it to help promote the music of Warbeast was his idea.
"After our first album came out, and we were working on a couple of new songs," Corbitt said. "And Phil had the idea at the time to do a solo album, and he was, like, 'Hey, we should record you guys a couple of songs, and then whenever my solo album's ready, we'll just put out a split, giving everybody a preview of what's to come.'
"We recorded our songs, like, two years ago, and Philip, at the time, was still writing," he continues. "Actually, while we were there recording I suggested that they could use our drummer for his solo album, and that's how Joey Gonzalez got to be on Phil's solo album."