Pantera / Far Beyond The Great Southern Cowboy’s Vulgar Hits

The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboy's Vulgar HitsPantera was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas, formed by the Abbott brothers, Vinnie Paul (drums) and Dimebag Darrell (guitar) in 1981.[3] Bassist Rex Brown would join in late 1981 with vocalist Terry Glaze. In 1987 Phil Anselmo became the group’s lead vocalist.[4] After disbanding in 2003, any hope of a reunion was lost in 2004, when Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on-stage at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio on December 8 while performing with Damageplan.

The Analysis:

Cowboys From Hell—-Heavy Metal, as we know it, was never the same after the introduction of Pantera into our bedrooms and ears. Delivering a sound that was much more abrasive, yet amazingly mainstream, this was the next stage of Metal. This is a tremendous track, and perhaps the best known from the group. Delivered with a blistering drum track and electric guitars that defied the term, Phil matched the delivery word for word with his remarkable histrionics. This was a new birth for Metal…see what you produced guys!!!???? Thanks!

Cemetery Gates—-Delivered with a serene and almost sad guitar at the onset, Anselmo is in a surprisingly quiet form as the song begins. The soaring guitars are classic Hair Metal in delivery…much what we expected from the time period….the serenity does not last long! The band kicks into high gear as the metallic forces smack you upside the head and deliver a tracks that moves in and out of subtle serenity and leaves metallic flake in your mouth. This is brilliance…the lyrics speak of things we can all relate to and the end result is a recording for the masses. Theis is sheer brilliance…the sound of a band working magically together. The vocal harmonies are just brilliant!

Mouth For War—-Brutal from the onset, this is really when the band began to discover who they really were and the music that they were meant to play. This is layered Heavy Metal…delivered with an aggression that was magnificent to observe in a live settting…perhaps a bit scary as well. Anselmo is in rare form….delivering line after line of aggression that matched the static of the music very well. This was brilliance…no other band at the time was this heavy or even attempting to be. This was brilliance….sludge with a sharp delivery and full of pulsating drums that steered the whole damn thing. This was incredible and still stand remarkably well the test of time.

Walk—-Perhaps everyone’s favorite Pantera track, this combines all sorts of music into one huge amagalmut of mastery. there is a nice funk sound that is delivered with a metallic edge that could never be misconstrued as anything less than heavy…Anselmo delivers a vocal that is a nice mix of psuedo-rap and brutality that magically switches between the two….taking a wonderful lesson from Anthrax!!! This is huge…with nice short blasts of guitars and masterful percussion that sets the song in its own league. This is magnificent!!!

This Love—-Anselmo and Co. set a very high bar for any band that would come after them with this song. Delivered with a nice subtle ballad style guitar at the onset, this song is rather sedate, but has some high points that are literally breathtaking. This is not a ballad per se…not in the late 80’s early 90’s style…instead this is delivered with a razor-sharp edge that you are sucked into and cut from head to gut in a moment’s notice. When Phil lets loose with his screeching vocal you are left on the floor…wiped out and barely able to breathe. This is magnificent…even now!

I’m Broken—-With little pretense or mellow delivery, this finds the band delivering some of the best Metal of their career’s. Phil delivers line after line of lyrics that leave him sounding a bit demented and remarkably driven. The guitars are so sharp and the  drum track  is literally the star of the show…driving the pace of the song and almost even provides the breaks for the guitars…this is remarkably aggressive, yet incredibly accessible. This is a star that shines in the sky of Metal.

Becoming—-Do not expect gentle interludes or somber guitar deliveries…the band has hit its stride at this point and the Metal is not to be denied. Anselmo at this point delivers his lines in a much deeper and driven manner…leaving you panting on the floor after the delivery. The band is so tight…playing together like the proverbial well oiled machine…Dime delivers some guitars that are beyond comprehension…this is wonderful…brutal and aggressive yet remarkably accessible. This is brilliant!

5 Minutes Alone—-Delivering a relentless aggression that is undeniable and fresh, the band had a sole purpose….it’s intent was to drive you into the ground and they delivered with tracks like this. combining good old-fashioned Metal with a nice Thrash lean, this will leave you bleeding and blistered on the floor…and that is in your own living room. This is incredibly aggressive…but somehow appealing to the masses with little problem. These were the kings of the new emerging Metal.

Planet Caravan—-In a remarkable way, this has both Sabbath and Pantera signature written all over the song. I mean….Anselmno is no Ozzy but the gentle delivery of his vocal is as airy and dark as Ozzy ever hoped to deliver. The bass is not as heavy, but the atmosphere is remarkable. This is a classic cover that includes bits and pieces of the original and allows artistic allowance as the band makes the song their own.

Drag The Waters—-Just plain intense, this song has no introduction…the mayhem begins with the first note. The guitars come at you so heavy that they move your hair through your headphones. the vocal is so intense that you feel the hair raise on the back of your neck as you feel the color of your skin redden with the delivery…you feel instant agitation and anger,,,this in incredible aggression and instant anger….beat the shit out of what ever is around you…except your wife…LOL!!!!

Where You Come From [Live]—-With a remarkable bass delivery, this song has a nice deep tone that instantly found a place in my heart. Phil enters with a screech that is amazing and dime continues with the brutal guitar assault. Metal really never got much better than this during this time period when no one was listening to this genre anymore. This is brutal and layered with all sorts of guitar histrionics. Phil…no matter how deep in addiction still delivered line after line of brutality…he showed up for this one!!!!

Cat Scratch Fever—-The band does a remarkable job of effectively re-interpreting a classic from the Asshole Republican of Metal Hierarchy. Phil sounds a bit less than inspired, but the sound of the band is pretty brilliant…I have no need for Ted….next…..

Revolution Is My Name—-Full of huge metallic blasts from the very onset, this song is a mastery of lead feedback and mayhem that makes you shake you head and wonder how the hell the band manages to produce these sounds. Phil enters the fray with a vocal that is both a bit deeper but layered with a melody that matches the playing of Dime incredibly well. this is brilliant, brutal and bludgeoning. Personally, I miss this band a great deal.

I’ll Cast A Shadow—-This comes across as a bit contrived and less than inspired to me at times. You cannot deny the masterful musicianship that is on this song…but it appears that Phil is really not that present. I love the brutality of the band…and at times, Phil shows shadows of his old self…but overall this is a musical masterpiece and a mess of a vocal.

Goddamn Electric—-This is a huge barrage of drums and guitars that will leave you numb even before the vocal even comes close to entrance. The voice seems removed…making me wonder of Anselmo recorded this away from the band and was later inserted into the mix. I think the song lacks a bit of energy that the band had in the early formative years…I blame this on Phil…the music is as brutal as ever.

Hole In The Sky—-Covering another Sabbath song, the band seemed to really find its stride with this one. The riffs are incredible…the wall of sound that they produce is remarkable. Phil falls a bit flat on his delivery, but the incredible musicianship of the band proves to the listener that this band could do whatever it set its mind to. This is remarkably noisy yet incredibly structured…one of my favorite tracks.

****out of 5


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