Pantera - _The Great Southern Trendkill_
by: Adrian Bromley (
Few bands, especially the metallic-oriented ones, have been able to match the success that these Texan boys have achieved in such a short period of time (that is if we overlook the time of their glam rock days). Ever since the raw and chaotic frenzy spewed forth by their stunning 'metal reincarnation' of _Cowboys from Hell_ (1990), Pantera have been a runaway train, plowing over every band in its path and made them a force to be reckoned with within the mainstream. The band's last two offerings, 1992's _Vulgar Display of Power_ and 1994's _Far Beyond Driven_ took the band deeper into the roots of a hard-grooving metallic outfit, providing not only some killer riffs by Dimebag Darrell but monstrous intensity shared by singer Phil Anselmo's screams and the strong backing of the potentially dangerous rhythm section of drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex. Onto their latest, _The Great Southern Trendkill_, a somewhat departure from the hard-based grooves of the past few releases (though not dissolved of them) and back to a very solid metal feel to the record. Rawer and harsher at times (death metal would be a better adjective at times!), _TGSTK_ still sounds like Pantera, but some characteristics have been changed and that is not a bad thing. With some extensive touring behind them with _FBD_ and Anselmo's other project Down, this album seems as though the band aimed to get back to their 'roots' of being a metal band - and many will not be disappointed. Opener title track (aided by screams of Anal Cunt's singer Seth Putnam) is enough to pique any metal fan's curiosity. Dig deeper into the record and find crunchers like "Suicide Note Pt. II", "War Nerve" and "Floods" doing some serious damage to our ears. Loud and aggressive, these "Cowboys From Hell" are on the verge of burying every metal act still trying to salvage some respect from the music industry.
(article published 6/9/1996)
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