When it gets dark in Texas, it gets real fucking dark. With their eighth studio album, Pantera reached into the murky depths of their identity and pulled a wriggling, venomous creature out to show the world. On Trendkill, everything is taken to a furious degree -- Dime’s riffs are syrupier, Phil’s shrieks are more vampiric, Vinnie’s drums rattle harder, and Rex’s bass just ooozes. More than anything, though, it’s the unbridled rage on this album that makes it powerful -- at authority, at the media, at the fickle nature of the culture surroundings the band, and most of all at themselves. This spleen is felt all over Trendkill, especially on 13 Steps To Nowhere, Suicide Note, Pt. 1 & 2, the drowning twang of Floods, and the utterly disgusting indictment of privilege that is Drag The Waters.
While Pantera’s other albums sound written for any dude in cut-offs crushing a tall boy, The Great Southern Trendkill hails those infected with the Pantera mindset, a philosophy with its middle finger perpetually raised, that blows smoke in face of anyone who would tell it to cheer up. And that’s why it’s the best Pantera album -- because its hackles are up, because it’s not for everyone, because fuck you if you don’t like it. Let the war nerve break.
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