Sound — 10
Of course, none of us here should be totally surprised by this album. It's basically just a compilation of all of Pantera's greatest hits. With that being said, it's perfect for a new Pantera fan, i.e. somebody who's just getting into them after Dimebag's death, rest his soul. But the sound is amazing, nonetheless. Dime's sound is just relentless. He gets such a warm, tube sound in his songs, but all from a solid-state amp. Now, tell me that doesn't make him a guitar god. Vinnie's drumming and Rex's bass work just add to the heaviness of this group. Toss in Phil's growly voice, and you've got yourself the best group to come out of Texas since SRV and ZZ Top. This album shows you how these guys went from being leftovers of the '80s glam/hair metal run, to becoming the standard for any band that dares to call themselves "metal." No doubt they will continue to inspire many a young musician for years to come.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics were very interesting. I mean, some were your basic heavy metal lyrics, such as fighting, drinking, Black Sabbath, you get the picture. But the ballads on the album, like "This Love" and "Cemetary Gates" were the stand-outs to me, moving from slow and melodic to bone-crushing and thrashy. "Revolution Is My Name" was another classic, sounding like they had just mishmashed several songs together to get one humongous riff-based song. And I was very pleased with the covers of Black Sabbath songs, "Planet Caravan" and "Hole In The Sky," since it all sounds very classy with just a bit of the new stuff. Phil, although I hate him with every fiber of my being, is definitely a very good singer, you could say. Although it is mostly screaming and growling, he does do a good job on the slower songs, bringing his voice down, if only for 4 minutes. He is a very honest songwriter, and I give him credit for that.
Overall Impression — 9
Definitely one of the best albums I've bought this year. From the Black Sabbath to Ted Nugent covers, to bringing in Kerry King to play on "Goddamn Electric," from the early days as Cowboys From Hell, to the time when they were Reinventing The Steel, Pantera has made their mark in the metal world. I cannot say that I hated any part of this album, except that they did leave off some relatively better song, but the bonus DVD makes up for that, with 12 music videos, featuring two live performances in Moscow of "Primal Concrete" and "Domination." I wouldn't say this is the definitive Pantera compilation, but it's a good gift for say a younger sibling/relative. I would, though, buy it again, if I lost it, seeing as it's a very good collection of songs and videos. So, if you're looking to start a Pantera collection, here's the place to start. If you're already a die-hard fan... You might as well just stick with your "Cowboys From Hell" and "Vulgar Display Of Power" albums, although this would be a nice addition to any music collection, if you're missing some songs, that is.