4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One of the best metal albums of the 90s,
By A Customer
This review is from: Great Southern Trendkill (Audio CD)
When people talk about Pantera's best work, only Vulgar Display and Cowboys From Hell (bizarrely) ever seem to be mentioned. This is really puzzling. In the ten years I've been listening to extreme music this is in my top ten of albums. The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) is dark, exciting and will probably never be bettered.
The album opens ferociously with the title track. An evil, grinding riff then gives way to some stellar riffing by Dimebag Darrell. This part of the song is just a pleasure to listen to, particularly as the end hints at even darker tunes in the rest of the album. War Nerve has a slow start, then quickly picks up into a driving, military riff. Vinnie Paul's sense of rhythm is superb. If Dimebag shone on the first track then this is Vinnie's 3 or 4 odd minutes. Drag The Waters was a single for the band but unsurprisingly didn't exactly go Top 40. This is a sort of heavy pop song with a dark message of greed and corruption. The band's Southern roots really stand out on this track.
Track 4 is 10s. Despairing, slow and a middle part that is just beautifully miserable and forlorn. 13 Steps To Nowhere is again another superb track that never seems to get much credit from Pantera fans. The riff is haunting and frantic, particularly in the middle of the song where it just slows to the sound of a bell being tolled in the distance. Suicide Notes Part 1 and 2 are excellent - SN2 is in the same vein as Hostile but much darker, whilst SN1 is the sound of someone in the throes of topping themselves.
Living Through Me is easily the weakest track on the album. Very forgettable and the only average track on the album. Floods is a 7 minute mix of bleak acoustic guitar and grinding axework. The Underground In America has yet another creepy riff whilst Sandblasted Skin is an excellent finisher. Phil Anselmo's lyrics are very well written throughout.
Not everyone seemed to like this album, but I can't understand how. Ten of the eleven tracks here are excellent. If you haven't heard this album yet, then what's stopping you?