Sound — 10
IT's Pantera, which means loud, louder, and bleeding from your ears. There is so much energy and aggression in all their albums, you can't help but be carried away. Anselmo's screaming and Vinnie's break your neck drumming combined with Dimebag Darrell is pure gold. This is a sonic rush that sends shivers down your spine if you get into it. Darrell is one of my favorite guitarists, and one of the greatest of all time. His soloing is phenomenal as usual. The title track sings for about 2.5 mintues, and the rest of the song is Darrell combining 5 different solos and layering them one on top of the other. It is nothing short of amazing. Pantera decided to dabble in slow songs this time around. Suicide Part I is a great ballad that utilizes Anselmo's growling baritone that can sing as well as growl, it's just so great to hear. Floods is excellent, and while it alternates between punishing and transcendental, the last minute of the song is what makes it. Darrell totoally changes keys at the end and pulls off an amazingly understated delay/echo solo that blows your mind, and I loved it so much I learned how to play it and it is awesome. For anyone not used to the Pantera sound, you will have nightmares after listening of Phil screaming right in your face and Darrell pulling off a manic solo right by your ear. Gotta love it.
Lyrics — 8
Phil doesn't delve too deeply like he used to with political content, and some of his screaming is hard to understand, but drugs, abuse, and loathing of society and oneself run throughout the cd. But I have always been a fan of Phil and he's written better stuff in the past, but hey... better than most of the stuff out there.
Overall Impression — 10
Pantera established itself as the new torchbearers for mainstream hardcore rock with Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, and Far Beyond Driven. How can you follow those up? Most bands would just quit after three albums like that in a row. But not Pantera, and that's what makes them great. This band is tighter than tight. Dimebag Darrell is amazing as usual. It's not fair to compare Southern Trendkill, which would be money in any other band's repertoire. But the pummelling is still there, and if you're a true Pantera fan, you'll appreciate it. WARNING: Pantera is not for the weak of heart or ear. This album would scare the hell out of 90% of the population. I say ease into Pantera if you've never experienced them. Try DOWN, Phil Anselmo's excellent side project that fuses classic rock and straight metal. Southern Trendkill is an addictive album that wont leave you disappointed.