The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits! (Remastered) by Pantera on Apple Music

16 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1992, with hair metal hanging on and Seattle grunge coming into vogue, Pantera ignored all impending trends and released the aptly-titled Vulgar Display of Power, a work that signaled a return to metal’s core values: brutality, precision, and passion. While vocalist Phil Anselmo was the band’s fearsome figurehead, it was the rhythm section that really set Pantera apart. Drummer Vinnie Paul, bassist Rex Brown, and virtuoso guitarist Dimebag Darrell formed a telepathic triangle that served up pulverizing riff after pulverizing riff. Memorized by millions of aspiring guitarists, canonized classics like “I’m Broken,” “Walk,” “Cowboys From Hell,” and “5 Minutes Alone” are a Nineties answer to Sabbath’s “Supernaut” and “Under the Sun.” Even as tensions between Anselmo and the rest of Pantera marred the post-1996 albums, Dimebag continued to deliver unparalleled heavy riffs with “Drag the Waters” and “I’ll Cast A Shadow.” While it would be great to see “Yesterday Don’t Mean S**T” and “The Great Southern Trendkill” here, it’s impossible to nitpick a compilation that provides so much intensity. In “Goddamn Electric” lies Pantera’s eternal credo: “Be protected/ Your trust is in whiskey and weed and Slayer / It’s goddamn electric.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1992, with hair metal hanging on and Seattle grunge coming into vogue, Pantera ignored all impending trends and released the aptly-titled Vulgar Display of Power, a work that signaled a return to metal’s core values: brutality, precision, and passion. While vocalist Phil Anselmo was the band’s fearsome figurehead, it was the rhythm section that really set Pantera apart. Drummer Vinnie Paul, bassist Rex Brown, and virtuoso guitarist Dimebag Darrell formed a telepathic triangle that served up pulverizing riff after pulverizing riff. Memorized by millions of aspiring guitarists, canonized classics like “I’m Broken,” “Walk,” “Cowboys From Hell,” and “5 Minutes Alone” are a Nineties answer to Sabbath’s “Supernaut” and “Under the Sun.” Even as tensions between Anselmo and the rest of Pantera marred the post-1996 albums, Dimebag continued to deliver unparalleled heavy riffs with “Drag the Waters” and “I’ll Cast A Shadow.” While it would be great to see “Yesterday Don’t Mean S**T” and “The Great Southern Trendkill” here, it’s impossible to nitpick a compilation that provides so much intensity. In “Goddamn Electric” lies Pantera’s eternal credo: “Be protected/ Your trust is in whiskey and weed and Slayer / It’s goddamn electric.”

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About Pantera

The preeminent metal band of the early to mid-'90s, Pantera put to rest any and all remnants of the '80s metal scene, almost single-handedly demolishing any notion that hair metal, speed metal, power metal, et al., were anything but passé. Loathe to admit it, the Texas band had in fact been one of those '80s metal bands, releasing fairly unsuccessful (and later disowned) glam-inspired music throughout much of the decade. The about-face came with the addition of vocalist Phil Anselmo, and the key turning point was the band's major-label debut, Cowboys from Hell (1990). Pantera's mainstream breakthrough came next with Vulgar Display of Power (1992), their second major-label album, which thrust the band to the forefront of the metal scene, alongside such veteran bands as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, as well as fellow up-and-comers Sepultura and White Zombie. By the time Pantera unleashed Far Beyond Driven (1994), after two long years of touring, they were the most popular metal band in the land: the new album debuted atop the Billboard Top 200 as its lead single, "I'm Broken," was getting massive airplay.

At the height of their popularity and influence, Pantera began to self-destruct. Less than two months after the release of The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) -- an album ridden with allusions to drug abuse and personal destruction -- Anselmo overdosed on heroin after a homecoming concert in Texas, and as tensions rose between him and his fellow bandmembers, he began engaging with a growing list of side projects that kept him away from Pantera. A live album, Official Live: 101 Proof (1997), was compiled for release when it became evident that no new studio album was forthcoming any time soon. One final studio album did result, Reinventing the Steel (2000), but that was more or less it for the briefly reunited Pantera. The bandmembers once again went their sperate ways, forming such bands as Damageplan, Down, and Superjoint Ritual.

The end of Pantera then became official on December 8, 2004, when guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered on-stage by a deranged fan. This much-publicized murder shone the spotlight back on Pantera for an extended moment, and amid all of the emotional outpouring and tributes, a consensus arose: in retrospect, there was no greater metal band during the early to mid-'90s than Pantera, who inspired a legion of rabid fans and whose oft-termed "groove metal" style bucked all prevailing trends of the day -- from hair metal and grunge to nu-metal and rap-metal -- and remains singular to this day, as defined by the vocals of Anselmo as it is by the guitar of Dimebag. ~ Jason Birchmeier

  • ORIGIN
    Arlington, TX
  • FORMED
    1982

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