"Cowboys From Hell" (WEA/Atlantic)
"Far Beyond Driven" (WEA/Atlantic)

"Great Southern Trendkill" (WEA/Elektra)

"Official Live" (WEA/Elektra)

"Reinventing the Steel" (WEA/Elektra)

"Vulgar Display of Power" (WEA/Atlantic)

Reviewed by Alicia Downs

Browsing through Rough Edge it suddenly occurred to me that there were no reviews of one of the most successful metal bands of modern day - Pantera. At first I thought of this as an opportunity being as that I have spun these bitches almost out of commission. So I sat right down and began composing my reviews- but somewhere in between "Cowboys from Hell" and "The Great Southern Trendkill" the reasoning behind the lack of Pantera reviews herein became obvious. Does anyone of you out there really need us to tell you how killer their albums are? I sure as hell hope not. I mean, let's get a show of hands ... how many of you can honestly say that you have never listened to any one of Pantera's albums? You probably own at least one if not all of them. Who can deny the intensity upon first hearing "Far Beyond Driven" that further erupted with "The Great Southern Trendkill"? Even more important than the masterpieces mentioned above, "Cowboys from Hell" is one of only a handful of albums from 1990 that: 
1. I will actually admit to owning;
2. Play throughout the streets of Philly windows down;
3. Have listened to for like eleven years now without getting sick of;

Considering that the artists who released what were considered breakthrough albums around 1990 were from MC Hammer, Paula Abdul, and Wilson-Phillips, not to mention the plethora of wanna be hair bands with enough Aquanet to rot their brains I would have to consider Pantera's Elektra debut a major feat to this day. 

Now don't go thinking I was planning on ignoring "Vulgar Display of Power." But, seriously folks, what can be said about it that isn't already implied in the title. That album gives me a musical hard on to this day.

In 1997, out came "Officially Live 101 Proof," which has two things miraculous about it. First, it works as a Greatest Hits album without having to being one of those cheesy Greatest-give-us-more-royalties-Hits albums and, second, it reinforces the fact that we all know: Pantera's live show borders on an equivocal orgasmic intensity. Every listen transplants me back to the days when they played that set list in the Starplex (which isn't called that anymore) down in Dallas circa 1995.

Then comes the new dog, "Reinventing the Steel." Some numbfucks have bashed this album hard in comparison to "The Great Southern Trendkill." So I can only conclude they are illiterate because the title seems enough of an indication that the sound is one that is evolved but still kicks ass. Most albums released today cannot even reach half of the talent found from the Texas quartet. Not to mention that if it was another "Trendkill," everyone would get their panties in a wad complaining about how they reached a plateau and became monotonous.

So anyway, now that I have finished ranting off over here about something we all already all know I recommend that you immediately turn to your Pantera collection and put whatever tempts you into the player and give it a spin, reveling the whole time in the fact that no one like me has to tell you that Pantera fucking rules.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 15:32:20 -0400 .