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The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboy's Vulgar Hits

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  • Like many Pantera fans are saying on here, this compilation is missing some essential Pantera songs (especially “F*cking Hostile”) in favor of some surprise appearances (i.e. “I’ll Cast a Shadow”) and rarities (“Cat Scratch Fever”, “Hole in the Sky” and a live version of “Where You Come From”.)
    In addition, some songs are on here that probably shouldn’t be. Take “Planet Caravan”, for instance. Though it’s a single, it wasn’t written by Pantera (it’s a Black Sabbath cover) and it doesn’t sound like what Pantera normally sound like (it isn’t a good representation of the band.)
    Also, “The Great Southern Trendkill” (a very overlooked album) is only represented by one song on here. “TGST” was as good of an album as “Reinventing the Steel”, thus it deserves more than one song (maybe “Floods” and/or the Grammy nominated acoustic ballad “Suicide Note Pt. 1″.)
    But, most of the Pantera classics are here (“Cowboys From Hell”, “Mouth For War”, “Walk”, “Revolution is My Name”.) Plus, most of the songs that ARE here are pure gold, and, “Planet Caravan” aside, no Pantera greatest hits collection would be complete without any of these songs.

    “Cowboys from Hell” is an instant classic that defined Pantera.
    “Cemetery Gates” is sort of a morbid power ballad, but it does have it’s heavy points. Plus, near the end, Phil yells in a falsetto voice.
    “Mouth for War”, “Vulgar”’s lead single, begins with a great opening guitar riff and drum work, which speed up as the song progresses, before falling into a groove.
    “Walk” has a famous and mighty catch staccato riff which runs throughout the whole song, and pauses (only briefly) for a speaker shredding guitar solo.
    “This love” has melodic verses, which lead in nicely to the still brutal choruses.
    “I’m Broken” has chunky, meaty, catchy riffs and a good guitar solo.
    “Becoming” opens with machine gun riffs and drums, “boom ba boom” sound. Towards the end, Vinnie Paul drives the beat with fast double-bass work. ”
    “5 Minutes Alone” boasts bobbing, grinding riffs, and Phil’s howl will stick in your head for hours.
    “Planet Caravan” is as aforementioned, a Black Sabbath Cover. Probably the most melodic song Pantera ever recorded, with a spacey atmosphere and vocals and soft percussion. It is distinguishable from but also remains true to the original.
    “Drag the Waters” layers “chug chug” riffs on top of each other, and the drum’s have a cowbell, which is a clever inclusion.
    “I’ll cast a shadow” a shadow begins as a brutal and pounding song that smacks you around, but after the midpoint, it goes downhill.
    “Goddamn electric” has a bobbing beat with pounding drums and another good guitar solo.
    “Revolution is My Name” is probably the catchiest song from “Reinventing the Steel”, and is a hit single. It has crunchy guitars, catchy drum beats, and two winding guitar solos. Phil howls throughout most of this song, but near the end he says one spoken word: “Revolution”.

    The DVD is a nice touch. It could have included a brief history of the band (like the C.D. booklet does), but for those of you who like Pantera’s music videos (and are tired of waiting for MTV to play a Pantera music video) won’t be disappointed with this DVD.
    So, this compilation has it’s ups and downs, but it’s–overall– a good selection and representation of Pantera. You might want to get this just for the aforementioned rarities, because Pantera only has five C.D.’s, and five isn’t that many. So, my advice to you is why not get all of them? If you insist on not getting all five, just get “Vulgar Display of Power” and “Far Beyond Driven”. These albums are almost greatest hits albums in themselves.

    Posted on December 13, 2009