I've seen other posts (this among others) about today being the fourth anniversary (ironic word to use) of Dimebag Darrel being murdered. Since I've yet to do a legitimate blog about this since then (used to have a Xanga) I'm gonna talk about it now as a reaction to the blogs talking about it in the past couple of days.
Living less than an hour from Columbus allowed me to go there a lot and see bands play at the different venues. I've been to all the big arenas and all the popular smaller ones. The Newport could hold a lot of people and it was loud as fuck inside, but it had a barrier to the nine foot stage. Bernie's was bar/restaurant that has bands play basically every day, sometimes multiple shows. I saw a bunch of Facedown bands play a matinee and then saw The AKA's (to make fun of Mike Ski(Pitboss is from Columbus:p)) and the Unseen. But it as also shady as fuck, poorly staffed and the bathrooms had more people pee into the sink than the urinal. The High Five had a cool vibe but frequently changed ownership and suffers a lot of in-fighting. Amongst others was the Alrosa. It's been one of the longest standing venues in the country and family-owned, so it has it'd credentials besides what shit talkers say. The bar is reasonably priced, every show is all-ages, there's usually no barrier unless the bands requests it, and they have a fuck ton of shows there. I've seen Fear Factory, Lamb of God, Sworn Enemy, Most Precious Blood, God Forbid, hatebreed, Sick of It All, With Honor, Judas Priest, Cephalic Carnage, Mortician and Internal Bleeding there at different times in my life. The outside area even has a fucking barbecue. What other venue does that? Having spent so much time in this area I couldn't believe what I saw. CNN was telling me Dimebag Darrel and Big Val were dead. Fucking A. And I'm still a little more than bummed about it today too. Pantera has always been in my steady rotation of music the past 8-10 years. I think only way I'll get closure is if Macabre write a song about the guy that killed Dimebag.
The songs below are some of my favourite Pantera songs, but I uploaded them out of the order I wanted and I'm too lazy to redo it all. Here's the way I wanted to do it (in chronological order):
Domination (Cowboys From Hell)
New Level (Vulgar Dispaly of Power)
I'm Broken (Far Beyond Driven)
(Reprise) Sandblasted Skin (The Great Southern Trendkill)
I Can't Hide (Official Live:101 Proof("prevoiusly unreleased"(B-side maybe?))
Hellbound (Reinventing the Steel)
As for my favourite Pantera record, it's pretty fucking hard to choose. Each one has a strong record title, each one unique and uber metal. But this is where Cowboys From Hell dies. There are only like three or four songs on it I really like. It's still a little too glam metal. The live record doesn't really count, and neither do any of the home videos, although all of them are fucking rad. Reinventing the Steel is obviously next to go. While not their worst albums, it's also not able to stand up against the earlier records. I think like most final albums from good bands that take long breaks it's a little forced. Phil had Down and I think even Superjoint going on at that time, and I think he was still on heroin at this point. While good for some bands (Ministry, John Coltrain) Pantera is totally a drunk/stoner band. Now the final three. Great Southern Trendkill while excessively (is there such a thing) violent, has this super thick ZZ Top influence over it making it so smooth and rich. Like a Guinness Stout. It's rock and roll and metal. While both independent, still very cohesive. They did it way better than those faggots Every Time I Die (who are from New York mind you). The contest between Vulgar and Far Beyond Driven is only decided by sheer brutality. Vulgar Display of Power was the perfect segue between Cowboys and Far Beyond Driven. The only elements left of their days in the 80's was the POWER METAL heritage of kicking ass which they fused with their primal metal instincts making something not quite thrash or power metal but a new breed of American Metal. It was the blend of Sabbath/Priest/Maiden/Motorhead with their contemporaries (Slayer, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies) into something new a furious. But this is where Far Beyond Driven wins because it's Vulgar to an unknown exponent. It's Pantera at their rawest, and most brutal. Without you having to, it eviscerates all nay-sayers.
PS: I posted I Can't Hide because it show off their hardcore roots, whether we want to believe it or not.
15 hours ago