Sound — 9
When they were first promoting this album, the Abbott brothers Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell frequently described this album as diverse. After listening to this record, I'd say that description could not be more accurate. With their album "New Found Power," Damageplan did an excellent job of finding their own sound in the midst of Pantera's enormous shadow. The band experimented in many ways, from new effects and arrangements to Dime utilizing new tunings to go lower than he ever had before. The guitar tones are also nothing like the ones Dime used earlier in his career. During his time in Pantera, Dime was known for using heavily distorted, mid-scooped, and trebly tones. This album saw him moving in the opposite direction through his use of a bassy, minimalistic tone to compliment the detuned songs. The songs feature tight arrangements, solid musicianship, and a truly unique sound.
1. "Wake Up" - This song serves as the perfect intro to the album. Great riffs, incredible tribal-esque drumming, and powerful lyrics make this one of the best songs on the album. The only disappointment is the solo. It fits the song well, but is a let down considering that we know Dime was capable of so much more.
2. "Breathing New Life" - This song is pretty straightforward, but features a solid performance from drummer Vinnie Paul and excellent dynamics to keep the song interesting.
3. "New Found Power" - Simple, short, and heavy, the title track serves as an exciting listen. The highlights of the song are the bridge and main riff.
4. "Pride" - With its eccentric use of effects, this song steps into Tom Morrello territory. This flashiness is backed up by solid riffs and one of the best solos on the album. Singer Pat Lachman also demonstrates great versatility and range during this performance.
5. "F--k You" - Perhaps the heaviest track on the album, the title makes this song pretty self-explanatory: fast, brutal, and heavy, but simplistic and containing disappointingly childish lyrics. A guest starring by vocalist Corey Taylor adds some dimension to the vocal arrangement, but isn't enough to save the song.
6. "Reborn" - A strong vocal performance, heavy riffing, and great leads by Dime and guest musician Zakk Wylde make this track a solid addition to album, but lacks the magic to keep up with the more diverse and memorable songs on the album.
7. "Explode" - Same as above, but more repetitive and predictable.
8. "Save Me" - Heavy, melodic, and single worthy, this song is perhaps the catchiest on the album. This track sees Damageplan combining the very best of their melodic and heavy roots to deliver something worth remembering.
9. "Cold Blooded" - This continues the album's trend of diversity and combines it with an infectious groove. The song flows well and is able to make the most out of the main riff without feeling too repetitive.
10. "Crawl" - With this song, Damageplan has truly outdone themselves. The verses are dynamic and energetic, the choruses are unique and melodic, and the bridge brings the song to a climax that serves as one of the best of the album. This song holds up with every listen.
11. "Blink of an Eye" - This song is probably the most bizarre metal song I have ever heard. Sometimes it's heavy, sometimes the chorus sounds like pop, and sometimes it brings in a refreshing dose of disco. Unique, unpredictable, and incredible. This song is unlike any other.
12. "Blunt Force Trauma" - As to be expected, listening to this song is like getting hit by a 2x4. This track serves as the embodiment of the Abbott brothers' trademark Power Groove. This song does not disappoint, nor do its incredible vocals and solo.
13. "Moment of Truth" - Slow and brooding, this song takes a while to get its point across. But, when it finally does reach its "Moment of Truth," the climax is incredible. The solo of this song is one of the greatest of Dime's career, right up there with "Cemetery Gates" and "The Sleep."
14. "Soul Bleed" - This song serves as an opportunity for the band to demonstrate their range and experiment with an unplugged approach. Its peacefulness, combined with a nice solo and a memorable vocal performance augmented by guest vocalist Zakk Wylde make this song the perfect album finisher.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on this album leave a lot more to desire. There's really nothing about them that has not been done before. Songs like "F--k You" read like they were written by an angsty twelve year in his bedroom. To an extent, this is balanced out by more mature lyrical content, such as "Soul Bleed." The lyrics during the first verse demonstrate this quite well: "Now that I'm all alone// Painfully aware// I'm starting to fell the cold// Knowing you're not there."
While some songs such as "Pride," "Crawl," and "Blink of an Eye" are exceptions, the lyrical content of the album doesn't live up to its fullest potential.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this album is a solid listen. Although there were some weak moments and unnecessary filler, many of the songs are truly memorable. This record is required listening for any Pantera fan so that he or she can understand where the Abbott brothers were at musically before Dimebag Darrell's death. I would also recommend this album to any metal fan so that they can understand the entire catalog of one of the Abbott brothers, one of the most influential duos in metal. While it is not necessarily they're best material, it was nice to see the brothers forge their own identity with such a unique and diverse album.