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.