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Far Beyond Driven

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★★★★½
(214 Reviews)

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  • Yeah, as everyone knows, Dimebag Darrell’s life was taken abruptly last night by some crazy fan that blamed him for breaking up Pantera (or so I’ve read). Damageplan were just warming up when this gunman leaped up on stage and took Darrell’s life (and the lives of several other fans). Right now, I am at a loss of words for what I’ve just heard this morning.

    “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was truly one of the greatest guitarists the metal world has ever seen and heard. He pulled off riffs like no other guitarist I’ve heard. And it was this album that truly made me a metal fan.

    Sure, Slipknot got me into “nu” metal, but it was Pantera’s “Far Beyond Driven” that opened my eyes to a better view of heavy metal. I still remember when I first listened to this album. I heard it back in my freshman years of high school. And, yeah, Slipknot were my favorite… but not until a friend loaned me a copy of this album. I put it in my CD player… and I was just in complete awe. “Strength Beyond Strength” was the harshest song I’ve heard (at the time). The music was loud and the band played at a fast pace. The lyric “F*** you and your college dream! Fact is we’re stronger than all!” really stuck into my head. Phil sings angrily about certain economical issues like drugs. And Dimebag comes in with an eerie guitar sound. “Hail! King! The new… king! Stronger than all!” Phil immediately growls when Dimebag finishes his haunting solo. Yes… hail Pantera. Hearing that line immediately made me a newcoming fan of Pantera.

    Just hearing that first track catipulted me into the real heavy metal world. No nu-metal like Slipknot. The absolute harshness and darkness that heavy metal is. This album is downright brutal only to still be bested by “Vulgar Display of Power.” It sure packs a hell lot of great and kickass heavy metal music. Phil growls unlike anything before with lyrics that give a glimpse of the American Southwest and being born again with snake’s eyes. Rex on the bass is still kick ass, sounding like a reincarnated Cliff Burton. And Vinnie Paul (Darrell’s brother) on the drums is equally as good as John Bonham (former Led Zeppelin drummer that passed on). Pantera truly were a great heavy metal band, and I always considered them to be the best.

    And Dimebag played the guitar like no other that I’ve heard… at the time. He played fast and relentlessly. His guitar screeched to the point where you feel as if you’re going to go deaf or make your ears bleed. And his solos are simply amazing as each song progressed. He is no Hendrix, Page, or Kirk Hammett… no he isn’t any of them. He’s better than all of them. That’s what I think. That’s what I’ve always thought ever since first I heard this album and discovered Pantera.

    Dimebag Darrell will truly be missed by this fan, as well as his millions of other headbanging fanatics. From Pantera to Damageplan, Dimebag Darrell still kicked ass on the guitar. It’s so sad that he left this world so soon. But nevertheless, his music will continue to live on for the years to come. His legacy will never be forgotten.

    Because my friend, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott will always be stronger than all.

    May he rest in peace and my condolences go out to the familes of the victims who’s lives were taken abruptly last night.

    Posted on February 6, 2010