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While most people i know argue which Pantera album is better, "Cowboys" or "Vulgar", i see The Great Southern as the best piece of music these guys ever record. The album is different from their earlier stuff by becoming more brutal, more known to the power of rock and roll and by giving more metal that's rooted with southern music. This album shows from where Dimebag and Vinnie really came from.
The album starts with a scream of Phil that continues to one of the most brutal song Pantera ever released, named as the title. After that come the heavy riffs songs "War Nerve" and "Drag the Water". "Let the war nerve break" says Phil at the second song and that's exactly what's happening in the chorus of "13 steps to nowhere" (who have some vary hard lyrics like "A backwards swastika/The black skin riddled in lead/A Nazi Gangster Jew/It beats a dog that's dead") and "Suicide Note pt.2" who combines with the acoustic pt.1 to a songs which talks about the 2 sides of suicide - suicide as the escape from life by drugs in part 1, and suicide the cowardly act in different way to die in part 2. These 2 tracks to me personally are the most 2 powerful songs Pantera ever record, delivering such a strong subject in 2 ways that are so different from each other.
After it comes the fast opening of "Living through Me (Hell's Wrath)", and after him the amazing rock and roll song "Floods" the shows one of Dimebag best solos. The album closes with the more slow heavy song "The Underground in America" and after him the speed metal song "Sandblasted Skin (Reprise)".
The present of the South America sound can be sensed in all of those songs, if it's Dimebag guitar, Phil voice or any other thing in it.
This album didn't have the respect he should have got. Through "Drag the Waters" is the only song in this album who released as a video, and the only one who was put in Pantera "Greatest Hits" record. This albums contains some of Pantera best work, with no pose, not trying to be trendy and just do what they do best - some KICK ASS METAL.
"The trend is over and gone forever" - Long Live The South.