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Kickass 80's Metal - 70%

HangThePope, September 14th, 2006

..And so Pantera's rise in quality continues as the 80's progressed. This is an "80's metal album" by definition as over half of the album is furious metal with only a handful of laid back, silly glam rock. For me it's on par with Malice's "In The Beginning" and Laaz Rockit's "No Stranger To Danger" so if you dig those 2, jump to hear this.

There's nothing here as seizure inducingly awesome as the track, "Projects in the Jungle" but it's a more consistent album with more memorable songs than before and really only 3 that are worthless. "Hot and Heavy" as you can might guess is disgusting, "Come On Eyes" is more "she's hot" lame glam and D*G*T*T*M is guitar noodling with weird noises. I advise you strongly to skip that as the oddness will plant sheer terror in your subconscious.

The highlights for me would be the ultra catchy and heavy, "Right On The Edge", the manic speed metal of the title track and "Valhalla" which opens up into proto-Cowboys riffwork halfway through the song and whilst "Down Below" is indeed about oral sex, but like Priest's "Eat Me Alive" is great speed metal. They even nail the love ballad at the end, "Forever Tonight", which has a great atmosphere.

Terry Glaze is yet again the weakest link but even he showcases more range in his vocals here which half the time are more shrieky and a bit Halford esque than the pure glam style he had on "Metal Magic". Too little too late tho as he was replaced a year after this album with some guy called Phil Anselmo.

As with all 80's Pantera if you can't stand the 80's sound in your metal don't bother with this, but if you're in love with it (like me) you need to hear this. Some of their best music is here and it pisses on a lot of their 90's stuff.