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Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill review


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Band: Pantera
Album: The Great Southern Trendkill
Release date: April 1996

01. The Great Southern Trendkill
02. War Nerve
03. Drag The Waters
04. 10's
05. 13 Steps To Nowhere
06. Suicide Note, Pt. I
07. Suicide Note, Pt. II
08. Living Through Me (Hell's Wrath)
09. Floods
10. The Underground In America
11. (Reprise) Sandblasted Skin
12. Walk [live] [Japanese bonus]

Since Phil Anselmo joined Pantera they had gone from strength to strength with sales increasing for each subsequent album and along with their worldwide reputation as a devastatingly violent and energetic live act; this album was highly anticipated in the barren metal years of the mid-nineties. The pressures of success had however, along with excessive alcohol consumption, exhausting touring duties and Phil's drug problems, caused a rift in the band and the recording of this album was anything but a smooth process. What this in-fighting, drug addiction and despair with success spewed forth was one of the most powerful pieces of pure hatred, attitude and anger filled music ever to come out of the American deep south.

The first ten seconds is an aural assault on the listener as the screams come at you with the full force of all Phil's pent-up frustrations. The guitar barbarity and drum battery will quickly have you starting a mosh pit with any unsuspecting and unfortunate individual to cross your path. Before long Dimebag Darrell's trademark Southern Hard Rock, groove layered guitar flair rears its head and the riffs are as enticingly sinister as they are absorbingly technical. The lyrics lecture us on a wide variety of topics from the evils of the media to the corruption of the justice system. There are momentary breaks from this franticly heavy barrage on tracks like the comparatively slower "10's" and most notably on "Suicide Note Pt. 1" an acoustic tale of depression. Using unusual sound effects this sombre episode looks at the man contemplating suicide and divulging his innermost emotions. "Suicide Note Pt. 2" is Pantera's attempt at creating their fastest and heaviest offering yet as they get deep down into the angers and frustrations of life and offers a warning not follow the same path. One of the major standout tracks on this album is "Floods", the guitar solo on this song is widely renowned by guitar aficionados as one of Dimebag Darrell's very best in his illustrious career and the song itself is again a rather morbid look at the state of mankind.

This album is anything but easy listening and can come across as quite disjointed on the first few listens, but given time you will soon find that this album is right up there with any Pantera album and the songwriting is at times truly astonishing. It may possibly be the heaviest album they ever did yet they never got too caught up on being heavy on this one. The slower tracks really add to its diversity and make the heavier tracks sound that much more heavy. You can see why this was the beginning of the end for this band, any group this angry and self righteous would find it simply impossible to stay together indefinitely and this album sums up everything Pantera were in one nice little package.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Stuart | 01.06.2008

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
This album, more than Vulgar Display Of Power, more than Cowboys From Hell, has always been the album that defined Pantera to me. The Great Southern Trendkill finds the band at its heaviest and most Texan, with an enveloping, album-wide sound that keeps sonic continuity from the first track to the last in a way not quite managed by previous albums.

published 27.07.2018 | Comments (4)


Comments: 7   Visited by: 152 users
02.06.2008 - 12:34
Rating: 9
Angel of Lust
A very good album, though not my favourite one (obviously Vulgar...); this was my first Pantera album and blew my away since the first listening...

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
02.06.2008 - 13:34

I've always had mixed feelings about this album... I think the slower songs (especially "Floods" as you pointed out, but also "10's" and "Suicide Note Pt 1") are truly amazing, some of the ebst material they ever wrote, but most of the aggressive tracks are fillers (with the exception of the title-track, "Drag The Waters" and "Sandblasted Skin") that just keep plodding on and on.

So I don't know, the great songs really have redeeming qualities, but I'm never entirely satisfied when I hear this album. Good review btw
05.06.2008 - 20:42

I'm not sure why, but the only album I can enjoy is Vulgar Display Of Power, I kept this one (Great Sothern Trendkill) for like 5 years in my collection, then I gave it to a friend because I think I only played it 6 or 7 times.
01.03.2009 - 16:03
Rating: 10

People,this is great album!!Find me one album from that time, or even today that have so extreme sound!!!!And so powerfull Lyrics.
Will the ones who live after our end
Worship the goddamn cross again?
22.10.2010 - 18:51
Judas The Priest

Fuckin great, this album always get me cought in a hairacane and air guitar.
19.04.2012 - 07:23
Rating: 10
Sonic MrSumo

Outstanding review...outstanding album!
All the bridges in the world won't save you, if there's no other side to cross to.
- Rock poetry from Silverchair.
16.10.2020 - 22:05
Rating: 9

I think this is another great release by Pantera, but not on the standard of "Cowboys From Hell" and "Vulgar Display of Power", but a really powerfull, heavy and consistent one, exploring a little bit more some slower and mid tempo songs aswell, but still mantaining the agressiveness of their sound. Songs like "War Nerve" "Drag the Waters" "Suicide Note PT I and II", "Floods" and "(Reprise) Sandblasted Skin" are definitely the highlights on this one.

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