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The Great Southern Trendkill

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(192 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • This was the first Pantera album I bought, and being a metal fan, I was very pleased with the agression that comes with the album, but when I first heard the 6th track, “Suicide Note Pt. 1″, I was amazed. This song totally described what I was (still am) going through. Being the most quiet track on the album, it was definatley the most strong and stuck out most. BUT, if you don’t care about slower side to metal, don’t worry, this album is packed with enough hard hitting guitars and vocals and guitar solos that should have you headbanging for more.

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I heard this morning about what happened to Dimebag, and found myself stifling tears. Its so appalling that someone could be hateful enough to destroy one of the greatest musicians of all time, and then, as if that wasn’t enough, turn on the innocent and punish them. I’m actually glad they killed him.

    Bob and Mark from the rock station here gave Dimebag a rightful farewell, playing Cemetary Gates in his honor. Then Beavis and Butt-head called in to give their condolences.

    As for the album, its no Vulgar Display or Cowboys from Hell, but in no way is it a bad one. The best songs are the title track (great album opener, heavy as hell) The Underground in America (awesome riff, awesome lyrics, awesome solo) and Suicide Note Pt 1 (good acoustic song, the 2nd best ballad they ever did, Cemetary Gates obviously being the best). The only songs I don’t really like are Suicide Note Pt 2 (WAY overdone) and Sandblasted Skin (too much distortion, can’t hardly hear it).

    My prayers go out to Vinnie Paul, the other members of Damage Plan, the Abbott family, and the families of everyone else who was hurt or worse during last night’s tragedy. Dimebag, you are, were and will always be remembered as one of the rockinest guitar dudes ever… and you will be sorely missed.

    RIP Dimebag Darrell, (…). Your fans love you.

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I don’t know why Amazon only lists this as a Japanese import, cause it’s easily available. So this review is for the US standard release, not the picture of the album that is on the cover of this website.

    And why is it their best? Even more so than the ultimate classic Vulgar Display of Power? Or the insanity of Far Beyond Driven? The one word is creativity.

    Vulgar was litteraly the album that gave the band the torch to carry high as the crowning metal gods. Then their next album Far Beyond was just a little too insane being just a little too crazy and overly distorted. Sake of playing fast and mean cause they could.

    Here with Great Southern Trendkill, the band got supper creative, with tinges of falseto singing, country roots swagger, and interesting songwriting and gelling such as in Suicide Note parts 1 and 2. That was almost borderline conceptual.

    There is not one single bad song on this album, and in some way they are all unique and different from each other. They all stand out on their own, and have all the hallmarks of classic Pantera: ingenious murderous riffs and solos by Dimebag Darrel, Great vocals by Anselmo, Pounding groove and some good fills by Rex, and intricate drumming from Vinnie that fires like a machine gun.

    ‘Floods’ is easily the best solo I ever heard Dimebag do. Drag the Waters has that killer piercing cowbell, and what great lyrics of depravity. 13 steps marching beat, Suicide Note, WOW impressive, I could go on and on.

    A must have for any Pantera fan.

    Posted on December 4, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • All three of Pantera’s previous efforts (before this) were very heavy, heavy metal albums. But on their fourth studio album, 1996’s “The Great Southern Trendkill,” Pantera simply went, well…bonkers!

    If I had been a Pantera fan at the time, I probably would have seen this album coming. You see, I believe Pantera gradually got heavier with each release (purposely making each C.D. heavier than the one before it). So, to top 1994’s “Far Beyond Driven,” they pretty much had to make an album like this (super heavy). The result is “The Great Southern Trendkill,” an album which is the group’s craziest, most out of control, noisiest, and most dissonant affair.

    The stomach-churning, tortured, constipated howling and relentless, wicked, equally-as-pissed off guitars comprise these 53 minutes of music (which I would understand if you hate at first.)

    With that said, this is also Pantera’s most underrated and overlooked album. That may be because it’s (usually) an import; or because these songs got very little radio-play; or it might have something to do with only being allowed room for one song on Pantera’s “Greatest Hits” album; or it might be because this is Pantera’s most underground-sounding album. I honestly couldn’t tell you the reason why, but, as any Pantera fan would tell you, “TGST” definitely needs more love from the fans.

    Highlights include:

    “The Great Southern Trendkill” shoots out of the gate with a heavy as f*ck metal explosion. Vocalist Phil Anselmo does some of his nastiest, most viscous yells in this song. Phil opens the C.D. straight from his gut, with a wicked bellow (“WAAAH!”). But it’s after the groovy guitars in the verses and the four part zig-zag guitar solo that you really know it’s on!
    “War Nerve” opens with machine gun riffing. The rest of this song is pounding guitars and drums, with the exception of an occasional off-kilter guitar riff. I like the lyrics to this song, too: “F*ck the world! For all it’s worth! Every inch…of planet earth!”
    “Drag the Waters,” the one song from this album that was included on the Greatest Hits album, has heavy chugging riffs layered on top of each other, as well as a creatively used cowbell by drummer Vinnie Paul. The chugging riffs make the verses almost slowly gallop, and Dimebag includes a mini, high-pitched guitar solo here, too (I wish it were longer!)
    “13 Steps to Nowhere” has some good and fast drumming (mainly a double bass line) bubbling beneath the surface. Towards the end, Phil’s staccato vocals ride the bobbing riffs well. But this song is, overall, fairly predictable. It could use a brutal breakdown, or something unexpected.
    Even though it’s not a good representation of Pantera, “Suicide Note Pt. 1″ is probably my favorite song on this record. This was one of the only times in his 15 years with the band that Dimebag Darrell picked up an acoustic guitar. And he was rewarded for it–this song was nominated for a Grammy. The acoustic strums (and an absence of drums and bass) give “Suicide Note” a spacey feel. And this song is also highlighted by some well-written, touching, and deeply depressing lyrics.
    Track seven, “Suicide Note Pt. 2″, is the polar opposite of the track that came before it. Sometimes the guitar makes a slight “wah-wah” noise, but for the most part it is blindingly fast and brutal with scorching riffs, and a heavy, grooving and pounding breakdown. Add more of Phil’s heaviest screams, and you have a song that is almost deafening.

    But I hope I haven’t given you the wrong impression: this C.D. doesn’t sound like any other band. Aside from the turbo-charged hate in most of these songs and the acoustic ballad halfway through, the group didn’t stray too far from their roots. Indeed, with nothing but more of the famous constipated howls, talented drumming, and speaker-shredding guitar playing, Pantera stick close to the cob. If you listen to this album with an open mind, you will realize this C.D. is just Pantera with maximized sound and intensity.

    It may not be Pantera’s best or smartest written album ever, but from the first few seconds of the first track (the title cut) to the last few seconds of the last song, it’s more than clearly evident that “TGST” is one hell of a hardcore album. Also, whether you’re shredding your throat trying to sing along, desperately trying to follow Vinnie Paul’s complex drumming, taking an Aspirin (because you have just listened to these 53 minutes of pounding beats), or straining your fingers trying to play air guitar alongside Dimebag, there’s one important thing to remember: it’s still Pantera. Love it or hate it, it’s still Pantera. Therefore, all Pantera fans should pick this up, as well as fans of hardcore/underground metal, heavy metal in general, and fans of Phil Anselmo’s side projects (particularly Superjoint Ritual-a band which didn’t exist as of 1996.)

    It may be because I’m a Pantera fanatic, but when I hear such moments of this C.D. (like when the title track hits its peak), I can’t help but think the same thing Phil is yelling: “Oh…f*ck yeah!”

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • By the time TGST released to the masses, it was obvious that Pantera was beginning to come up from the underground, much like Metallica did. By this time, however, Metallica had gone in a new direction musically. What did Pantera do? Go in another direction as well, with an extremely intense, dark, and fast album that was darker, scarier, and more intense than their previous releases. Trendkill has the mix of slow, melodic songs of dire mixed in with abrasive, angst-ridden ragers.

    The cover of the album is perfect, simply showing a Rattler in the hot sun coiled and watching with a wary eye. The opening title track starts out with a frenzy of drums and a screaming of rage that may startle at first listen, though not take one by surprise. A thrashing song with all the elements of speed, intensity and unleashed fury. They mix it up a bit as they go into slower, but still HEAVY tracks like “Drag the Waters”. 10’s is perhaps one of the darkest, most foreboding songs on the entire album. It has a haunting intro that sounds like it should be on some gory horror flick, but not the cheesy kind! The guitars drop down with some great riffs on the chorus part before rising up to a crescendo that allows the vocals to deliver the theme through the eerie lyrics. Very mesmerizing tune that has not lost flavor over time. “Suicide Note pt. 1″ is equally impressive in its moody, atmospheric sounds as it brays on in extremely sad tones. The guitars on here are very melodic and this isn’t considered of course, a thrash song, but if anything a sad metal song. “Suicide Note pt. 2″ Just does a complete 180 degree turn and we’re thrown into a flurry of crunching riffs and pounding drums. “Living Through me (Hell’s Wrath)” is another gem as it has some repetitive riffs that are more than welcome.

    “Floods” is another slow tune that has a superb intro. The guitars here sound almost “unplugged” and it’s a great little solo that leads off into some catchy chorus coupled with more of those haunting vocals. The final 45 seconds of the song breaks off into one of the most beautiful (in a metal kind of way) guitar solos I have ever heard. It evokes a feeling of uplifting power but at the same time, a great sadness. I could listen to that 45 seconds on repeat forever. Eleven tracks in all; The Great Southern Trendkill is a complete album that is a masterpiece in the discography of metal music. When others were going off in different directions, or fading out altogether, it was Pantera and the Great Southern Trendkill that helped hold the seams together to keep this style of metal alive and kicking.

    Posted on December 3, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now