Marzi Montazeri, a guitarist who has worked with Philip Anselmo on his solo projects, says the Pantera singer "ripped off" Exhorder vocalist Kyle Thomas. In a recent interview with The Classic Metal Show, Montazeri reflects upon his time working with both Anselmo in The Illegals and Thomas in Exhorder.

The guitarist was featured on Anselmo's first album with The Illegals, 2013's Walk Through Exits Only. Two years later, he joined Louisiana's Exhorder. Montazeri says based on working with both vocalists, he can conclude how intelligent they are. "Kyle Thomas is an original. He is entirely original. His voice, his presentation, his lyrics, the way he writes — everything about Kyle Thomas is an original," he says.

"I love Phil. I worked with Phil, and I enjoyed working with Phil. Phil, at his best, is imitating Kyle. So there lies this pretentiousness about him," Montazeri continues. Citing Anselmo's time in Pantera, he says, "He did Kyle, at that time, better than Kyle did. He ripped off his style, his vocal style… 'cause he was doing Rob Halford stuff back then, when he first joined Pantera. And when Cowboys came, he wanted to be in Exhorder so bad, he went back and said, 'We're gonna sound like these guys.' And he took it, simplified it, and became the biggest band in the world. But the formula was that."

"I mean, did they write great records? Did they write great songs? Shit, yes, they did. Is Dimebag the greatest metal guitar player? Goddamn right. He was my best friend. He was Pantera. His style, his lead playing is just unmatched, man — unmatched," the guitarist continues. "So that's basically the gist of it. One is completely an original and influenced by hell of a lot, but the other is trying to be the original, and doing a really good job imitating him, but in the end, it's just one guy trying to be somebody else."

Listen to the full interview here.

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