REVIEW: EN MINOR – “When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out”
The debut album called When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out by En Minor is intoxicating. It is a dark gothic creation with splashes of Americana. In some respects, this album conjures comparisons to the music of Murder By Death, Wovenhand, 16 Horsepower, and the Whiskey Charmers with Leonard Cohen on vocals.
En Minor is a new project from the mind of Phil Anselmo. Phil (vocals, guitar, bass) reworked early roughly hewn music with Stephen Taylor (guitar – also from the bands Phil Anselmo & The Illegals, Superjoint, Wovenhand, 16 Horsepower). They then began to write new music. En Minor the band became a fully formed entity with the addition of Kevin Bond (guitar/bass – Superjoint), Calvin Dover (keyboards – The Dover Brother), Joiner Dover (bass – The Dover Brothers), Steve Bernal (cello), and Jimmy Bower (drums – Superjoint, Down).
In some respects, it may be best to not think of other music created by Phil Anselmo. This is not metal, yet it is heavy. Heavy in the way that Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits are heavy. In any case, divorce from your mind that this has anything to do with Phil Anselmo and revel in the strange attraction that lies within.
The marketing for When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out calls it “depression-core”. While that may foreshadow the goth noir doom that the music inspires, it does the music a disservice. Songs such as “Mausoleums” and “Blue” are definitely not happy, yet they are sonically screaming with life.
“Blue” is a standout song that captures the trippy grainy feel of this album. You can’t help but feel like you are within a black and white movie of a carnival sideshow deep in the Mohave desert. The acoustic and electric guitars brush against your skin with flashing desert heat and evening chill. Phil’s resonate bass vocals are both soothing and unnerving. The keyboards and brushed drums add to the ethereal sublimation of the music.
The darkness and loss find a home on “Love Needs Love”. This song reeks of anguish. In this anguish, it shines with beauty. The gypsy accordion keyboards and mournful cello add weight and discordant majesty. The vibrant bleakness of Phil’s vocals are exquisite.
Another standout song on When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out is “Warm Sharp Bath Sleep”. There is an elemental earthiness to the tilt-a-whirl psychedelic vibe this song emanates. The danger seems to creep along the edges as the overall song carries you away. The guitar solo hums with electric blue in a velvet coffin.
It would be heaven to hear “Melancholia” live. That overall feel of otherworldliness on this album blooms into a festering flower. The dissonance is balanced by the oddly satisfying keyboards promising hope. The echoed vocals haunt and command your attention. The subdued drums march toward a lost horizon as the sun shines brightly upon the grave. This song screams with the damage we feel in a world of filth and loss.
When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out by En Minor takes you on a journey into a dark fog-shrouded alley that is hauntingly irresistible. The music moves around and through you like the lazy hazy in an Amsterdam coffeeshop. En Minor have created a fantastic album that will surely be the soundtrack for a birthday party in a funeral parlor.