Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill review
|Album:||The Great Southern Trendkill|
|Release date:||April 1996|
01. The Great Southern Trendkill
02. War Nerve
03. Drag The Waters
05. 13 Steps To Nowhere
06. Suicide Note, Pt. I
07. Suicide Note, Pt. II
08. Living Through Me (Hell's Wrath)
10. The Underground In America
11. (Reprise) Sandblasted Skin
12. Walk [live] [Japanese bonus]
Since Phil Anselmo joined Pantera they had gone from strength to strength with sales increasing for each subsequent album and along with their worldwide reputation as a devastatingly violent and energetic live act; this album was highly anticipated in the barren metal years of the mid-nineties. The pressures of success had however, along with excessive alcohol consumption, exhausting touring duties and Phil's drug problems, caused a rift in the band and the recording of this album was anything but a smooth process. What this in-fighting, drug addiction and despair with success spewed forth was one of the most powerful pieces of pure hatred, attitude and anger filled music ever to come out of the American deep south.
The first ten seconds is an aural assault on the listener as the screams come at you with the full force of all Phil's pent-up frustrations. The guitar barbarity and drum battery will quickly have you starting a mosh pit with any unsuspecting and unfortunate individual to cross your path. Before long Dimebag Darrell's trademark Southern Hard Rock, groove layered guitar flair rears its head and the riffs are as enticingly sinister as they are absorbingly technical. The lyrics lecture us on a wide variety of topics from the evils of the media to the corruption of the justice system. There are momentary breaks from this franticly heavy barrage on tracks like the comparatively slower "10's" and most notably on "Suicide Note Pt. 1" an acoustic tale of depression. Using unusual sound effects this sombre episode looks at the man contemplating suicide and divulging his innermost emotions. "Suicide Note Pt. 2" is Pantera's attempt at creating their fastest and heaviest offering yet as they get deep down into the angers and frustrations of life and offers a warning not follow the same path. One of the major standout tracks on this album is "Floods", the guitar solo on this song is widely renowned by guitar aficionados as one of Dimebag Darrell's very best in his illustrious career and the song itself is again a rather morbid look at the state of mankind.
This album is anything but easy listening and can come across as quite disjointed on the first few listens, but given time you will soon find that this album is right up there with any Pantera album and the songwriting is at times truly astonishing. It may possibly be the heaviest album they ever did yet they never got too caught up on being heavy on this one. The slower tracks really add to its diversity and make the heavier tracks sound that much more heavy. You can see why this was the beginning of the end for this band, any group this angry and self righteous would find it simply impossible to stay together indefinitely and this album sums up everything Pantera were in one nice little package.
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