Pantera: Philip Anselmo (vocals); Dimebag Darrell (guitar, background vocals); Rex (bass, background vocals); Vinnie Paul (drums, background vocals).
Additional personnel: Big Ross (keyboards); Seth Putnam (background vocals).
Recorded at Chasin Jason Studios, Texas and Nothing Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana.
"Suicide Note Pt. I" was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
Pantera's fourth major-label album is as dementedly metallic as anything the band has done. Over the years, this band has built a massive following with its adroit combination of guitar virtuosity that rivals Metallica's and an attitude as dark as Nine Inch Nails'. Philip Anselmo's vocals for THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRENDKILL were recorded at Trent Reznor's Nothing Studios, and they are positively demonic. They perfectly complement Dimebag Darrell's thunderous and dexterous guitar work. Vinnie Paul's ferocious, double-kick drumming is the final garnish on Pantera's infernal sound. Pantera may be the definitive modern metal band.
Thankfully, Pantera has stopped attempting to outdo each successive album in terms of start-to-finish intensity, but that doesn't mean they don't try in spots. The Great Southern Trendkill is burdened with passages in which Phil Anselmo's vocals cross the line into histrionics, making the band's trademark intensity sound dull, forced, and theatrical rather than sincere. The lyrics, which reached their apex with Vulgar Display of Power's focus on personal politics and integrity, have degenerated into half-baked rants against drugs and pop-culture media. But Trendkill is partially redeemed by trading Pantera's usual pound-then-pound-harder approach to albums for a greater variety of tempos and moods. Dimebag Darrell, while mostly sticking to his familiar riffing style, does coax some intriguing, unexpected sounds from his instrument. Ultimately, though, the ballads and slower tracks ("10's," "Suicide Note, Pt. 1," and "Floods") provide the album's most chilling, memorable moments, and rank with their best material. Longtime Pantera fans will find plenty to enjoy here, and the band's expanding range bodes well, but overall, Trendkill is an inconsistent outing. ~ Steve Huey
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Pop
- Released: 07/24/2012