Posts Tagged ‘Far Beyond Driven’

WOTC PanteraIt was once known as the cover of the week where we celebrated our favorite covers of the week before it morphed into the cover battle. In cover battle, we took the same song covered by two different bands and asked you to vote as to which one was better is now being called War Of The Covers. Now that we are doing this again, the same rules apply, you have one week to vote as to what version you like better and that version is king. Of course, we all have different opinions and tastes so if you’re version loses then remember to grab some cheese and wine because you’ll need it. This week’s War of the Covers centers around one of my favorite tracks from the chart topping album from Pantera entitled Far Beyond Driven. It was the album that put a band that was already on the map on the map again, but really all it did was cement the fact that they didn’t need radio play to validate them. In 2010, British heavy metal band Malefice covered the track I’m Broken for the Metal Hammer Magazine tribute album Getcha’ Pull: A tribute to Dimebag Darrell. In 2012, French groove/death metal band Trepalium covered the track for their album H.N.P. and now you will decide whose cover was better.


For this week’s Unsigned Band Of The Week, we are moving from Buffalo and we are heading to the garden state for Dayton, NJ’s own Strychnia. The death metal outfit who named their band after another name for the chemical strychnine. I don’t remember exactly how I came about the band other than the fact that I thought their name was different and the imagery is pretty bad ass as well. The best way to describe these guys is that they are intense and in your face. Their riffs are unrelenting and they pummel you into nothing before picking up the pieces once again to do it all over again. The song I chose for you guys to check out today is their 2013 track Reanimated Monstrosity that features John Gallagher of Dying Fetus. The track is exactly how I described them above as it’s fierce and the riffs will melt your face off. Why these guys haven’t been signed yet is beyond me. If you want further proof, check out their kick ass cover of my favorite Pantera track off Far Beyond Driven in Slaughtered by going here. Do not be surprised by me if I choose that as a future cover of the week. To check out the band visit their Facebook page here and check out their site here as well. Remember, support your local scene because it all starts somewhere.

dimeOn August 20, 1966, the world was given a man who would prove to be one of the greatest guitar players in Heavy Metal history in the late, great Dimebag Darrell Abbott (Pantera/Damageplan). Unfortunately as history would have it, he was taken away from us in the blink of an eye due to a senseless crime. If he was alive, he would be turning 49 years old on this day, but we will never forget the legacy he left on this world because I’m sure he’s tearing it up in the other with some of the other great legends that are there as well. So, to help celebrate Dimebag Darrell’s birthday, we are dedicating this week’s Music Video Of The Week in his honor. The music video we are using is one of my personal favorites from the band’s breakout record Far Beyond Driven in the video for 5 Minutes Alone. I always loved the slow motion action in this video and the close ups of Dime’s hands playing the guitar especially during the guitar solo. Check out the video, head bang till your head falls off, and celebrate the legacy of the great Dimebag Darrell. Happy Birthday Dimebag Darrell!!!

pantera farFar Beyond Driven is not only the first modern extreme metal album to hit number one on the billboard charts beating out Ace Of Base among others, but it’s also the album that cemented the legacy of a band that saved metal as we know it. Phil Anselmo (Vocals), Dimebag Darrell (Guitars), Vinnie Paul (Drums), and Rex Brown (Bass) were out to prove with their third album that they weren’t going to sell out, but rather that they were going to shatter all the conventions of what a follow up to a successful album was supposed to be. In fact, the band made the album heavier and more in your face to the point that fans were happy and they came out in droves to the point that mainstream America had to listen even though they chose to ignore the band. The album was produced by Terry Date and it was released on March 22, 1994 to which the band worked hard doing a record store campaign where they travelled to 12 cities in 5 days promoting the record to all their fans.

MI0001217826The first song the band recorded was Planet Caravan, a cover of the Black Sabbath classic which was originally intended for the Nativity In Black Tribute record, but for some reason that was scrapped and the band elected to release it on this album so it wouldn’t go to waste. The song featured Vinnie playing the bongos and Rex Brown playing Keyboards and a fretless bass to give it it’s authentic sound. The first song written and recorded for the album was 25 Years, a song that was a little personal for Phil who says it was written about his father. Becoming is another track that deals with Phil’s younger years, but it’s famous for it squealing whammy pedal sound that Dime elected to use for the track. Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills is a song the band has admitted started off as a joke, but when the riffs got better they took the song more serious. Phil has also admitted that the song was about a friend who he had hoped had no idea it was about them. 5 Minutes Alone is one of the most punishing tracks on the record and it has a very cool backstory. The song is about a father who was suing Phil after his son was trampled at a Megadeth/Pantera show. The father had called the manager and told him that it wasn’t about the money, but rather that he wanted 5 minutes alone with Phil to which the manager said yeah right and hung up the phone. The rest is history as they say. Strength Beyond Strength is such a brutal way to start off a record, it immediately hits you and it goes for the jugular as it never let’s go.

pantera-far-beyond-driven-5-cdSlaughtered is another bone crunching track that Anselmo says is about religion when he says, “I’ve always had a distorted view of organized religion and I was never more confused than when I was in my 20s and whatnot. And still I like to use a fusion, if you will, of religions and f— with them, so to speak. And then tear them down and piss all over them or build them up only to tip over.” Use My Third Arm is a track that Anselmo says that it’s an “aimless temper tantrum” to which he has no clue what it’s about anymore, but the song is a definite facemelter as it bashes your brains in at the same time. Shedding Skin is a methodical track that Anselmo has said is about relationships in his twenties and him telling girls to back off when it came to getting serious. I’m Broken is one of the greatest guitar riffs from Dimebag Darrell and it was also the first single released from the band in a song that was a sort of cry for help from Phil who claims he was suffering from debilitating back pain. Throes Of Rejection is song that starts off with a bad ass bass riff before Dime comes in with the weeping guitar as this was always one of my favorites on the record. Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks is another track where Dime is just wailing away on the guitar. This is one of the best Pantera records ever recorded come to think and that is what I am giving the record 5 stars out of five for a final grade.

venom and tearsI always felt that in 2007, the world was lacking a great groove metal band to follow in the footsteps of the genre’s most powerful legends in Pantera. In 2007, a hardcore punk/metalcore band from Orange County, California decided to step up to the plate and they were known as Throwdown. It seemed only natural for the band to do this since Metalcore was a genre that was derived from Groove Metal and so Dave Peters (Vocals), Mark Choiniere (Guitar), Matt Mentley (Bass), and Ben Dussault (Drums) unleashed the ferocious Venom & Tears album on Trustkill Records. The decision to move to Groove Metal was not an easy one for the band as original hardcore fans were having a hard time wanting to accept the slower paced, more polished groove metal riffs while metalheads were having a hard time with the straight edge lyrics even though Peters pleaded with both to coincide. The album featured 14 tracks with one of the tracks being a cover. Let’s check it out.

throwdown 3The album starts off with the lead single Holy Roller which is a absolute neck breaker as the band starts off the track with some pummeling riffs before they turn on the groove that reminds me of Far Beyond Driven era Pantera. Day Of The Dog is the next track on the record and it continues to show the band using the Pantera formula which is pummeling riffs with grooves and it even has the gang vocals. S.C.U.M. is a little different than the previous tracks because it’s the band playing at a high speed punk metal style with the metalcore breakdown riffs.  Americana follows with a sonic metal assault with an awesome groove metal chorus that will have you banging your head for sure. Weight Of The World explodes out of the box with a metal fury that is unmatched. The grooves on the song almost have a real swagger of its own which makes it fun to listen to. Cancer is the next track on the record and it starts with a very ominous and slow guitar riff that sounds like nothing but heartache is to follow. It’s only a two minute track as it leads to Hellbent (On War). Hellbent naturally picks up where the last track left off with a monstrous riff as they band chants out for blood over and over again. Peters is doing his best impression of Phil Anselmo and the way Phil would talk on tracks before screaming with a vengeance. No Love follows with a constant bass riff that is almost hard to hear, but before you know it the track starts building up for a explosive start. The title track is next and it’s heavy with the double bass drum fury to match and it’s one of the best tracks on the record because of the guitar riff in my opinion.

throwdown 4I’ll Never Die A Poisoned Death is the next track on the record and it rips your face off like a Pantera track would with it’s grooves and breakdowns. I, Suicide is the next track and it’s as fast as the speed of light as the band flexes their hardcore punk roots in this track. Godspeed is another track that has the music fade in slowly as it builds up to heavy metal fury that smashes like a sledgehammer. Leave A Message is the hidden track where Dave is connecting to his answering machine where people are insulting him. The last track on the record if you were lucky enough to get the Japanese, European, Australian, New Zealand or ITunes special editions featured the band doing a cover of Sepultura’s Propaganda which is pretty badass if you ask me. I know the band must have taken some criticism for sounding a lot like Pantera, but it shows you exactly how great Pantera and that sound was. I am going to give the album 4.1 stars out of five.

61LNFb0OpWLTo help celebrate the 25TH album of the week that I have done for this blog, I have decided to pick an album that had a great impact on my life. Pantera was a band that was coming off the success of their first official label release Cowboys From Hell and all the touring they had done for that album. Phil Anselmo (Vocals), Dimebag Darrell (Guitars), Rex Brown (Bass), and Vinny Paul (Drums) would go back into the studio to create one of the greatest metal albums of all time in my opinion called Vulgar Display of Power. The album has been called the defining album of the Groove Metal genre that Pantera would create and the album cover is iconic in it’s own right. Brad Guice, who had been the photographer that shot the cover for Cowboys… also shot the cover for this album. After rejecting an album cover the company had presented them, they used a cover in which a man was paid $10 for every punch he took to the face which according to Vinny Paul was about 30 times. Although, Brad Guice claims the man named Sean Cross was never actually hit. The album would be released on February 10, 1992 and as they say the rest is history.

CS386259-01B-BIGMouth For War is one of the most kick ass songs to open up an album with it’s intensity that never quits about using all the hate inside you and channeling it to do something productive. A New Level is the next track on the album and it’s a song that hits you like a sledgehammer or a heavy metal engine and you can see the cylinders slamming in place to get the machine moving. The lyrics to me represents the idea that you can take all the BS that has happened in your life and use it to further yourself by taking it to the next level. Walk is one of the most recognizable songs that Pantera has. It’s the equivalent of Crazy Train for Ozzy, you’ve heard it millions of times, but it makes the hairs on your arms rise when you hear it. The song is played at a time signature of 12/8 and is a simple riff to play, but one of the best. Zakk Wylde once said you don’t have to make the songs complicated with fancy riffs in order to make a great rock and roll song. F***ing Hostile is a track that is just blazing fast and aggressive as all hell when you hear it. This Love is a very melodic song that gets heavy during the chorus and is a track that Vinny Paul has claimed was about a relationship that Phil had that went south.

cd-pantera-vulgar-display-of-power-importado-usa-D_NQ_NP_528305-MLB20850715573_082016-FRise is another track on that album that leaves a blaze of fury in it’s path. I always felt the lyrics were about teaching us to think above what the man wants you to think. Think about it for a second. In a line in the song Phil says, “Taught when we’re young to hate one another, It’s time to have a new reign of power.” All I know is that it’s time to rise. No Good (Attack The Radical) is a very different type of song on the album where in the verses you almost feel as if Phil is rapping before he sings the chorus which may have just influenced the next generation of Metal (Nu-Metal). The song primarily deals with issues of racism and all of the things that are wrong with society. Live In A Hole has a real groovin, funky beat to it with Rex’s bass playing before Dime’s amazing abilities on the guitar take over the song. The track’s sound is a precursor to Far Beyond Driven in my opinion. Regular People (Conceit) starts with hammering drum riffs from Vinnie before Dime comes in and takes over proving why Dave Mustaine was justified in wanting him for Megadeth. My favorite line in the song is when Phil out of nowhere says, “You ain’t got the balls son, I crush your rush.” That is why I loved Pantera because they had attitude which was missing in metal in 1992.

File:Hollow Pantera.jpgIn By Demons Be Driven, Pantera uses that effect that Slayer was known for where the song would fade up like they were rising from the ashes. It’s one of the most badass songs on the record that hits you like a freight train from beginning to end. Hollow is the last song on the record and it was written in the same vein as Cemetary Gates where one person called it a ballad. There’s melody with harmonized guitars and Phil sings in a softer tone in the first half of the song until after dime’s solo where things get a little heavier. The song seems to be about a close friend that slipped in a comatose or vegetative state. This was an album that had saved metal because Metallica had certainly swerved into the mainstream with The Black Album and Nirvana was ruling the airwaves. So, for that we have to thank the mighty Pantera for everything they did. I am giving the album five stars out of five because it deserves it.