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According to Pantera, this is where they really starting to get “good”. However, this album is far from good, more to less decent. Most of it is a bunch of mediocre slowed down groove metal fueled by the “tough guy” image. By this time, all they really cared about was being tough popular which is hypocritical, considering that they claim to be “trend killers”. However, the album does have it’s moments. Fucking Hostile and Rise are really the only two awesome songs on this album. The formal is an extremely fast and aggressive thrash song that has some pretty good riffs, and the later having some pretty good riffs and drumming as well.
Mouth For War starts off pretty good with a nice opening riff. It starts to slow down though, when Phil starts singing. His new style of vocals, though they may be appear to be cool, and badass are just shitty. They being said, that’s the only really shit factor in this song. Everything else is pretty good. The solo is pretty cool, and drums fit in perfectly. The song really gets good towards the end when everything speeds up. The riffs are heavy as fuck! It’s a pretty good song. 8/10
A New Level isn’t really anything special though. Phil still sounds like shit, but at least the riffs are decent. The song is pretty boring though. Dimebag’s solo saves this song a little, but it’s still just average at best. 7/10
Walk is about poseurs, and how much they suck. However, they have no right to whine about poseurs when they’re pretty much poseurs themselves. Changing their style of music to appeal to the masses. Not to mention them ripping off of Exhorder’s The Law demo which was already stated earlier. The song is also pretty boring with average riffs. Overall, it’s just mediocre at best. 5/10
However, the album redeems itself a bit with the next song, Fucking Hostile. This song is aggressive thrash with an attitude. It has heavy riffs which will leave you head banging for a while. The solo kicks ass as well. It shows that this band still has the ability to be a pretty good band, it’s just that their image is more important to them than they’re music. This song is fucking hostile! 10/10
This Love is the first of the two ballads. At least Pantera is still good at performing ballads as this and Hollow are pretty damn good. They have both emotion and aggression. About the only reason why I’m not too crazy about this song is that it’s a little too angst driven for my taste. Phil mutters out “I’d kill myself for you.” Oh, poor you! If Phil didn’t have to fuck this song up with that whiny little “aaaahhhhhhh!!!!!” scream than I would’ve given this an 8 out of 10. At least the solo is good. 7/10
Rise is the other fast and aggressive song on here. It’s not quite as thrashy as Fucking Hostile, but it’s still heavy as fuck! The riffs and drumming are very fast and loud with an awesome solo towards the half way point. Too bad Phil’s vocals butcher this song a little, otherwise, I’d give it a 10/10. It’s still awesome though! 9/10
No Good (Attack The Radical), Live In A Hole, Regular People (Conceit), and By Demons Be Driven are all pretty horrible songs with annoying vocals, mediocre guitar work, and solos that are average at best. The solos are probably the only good factors in these songs. I really can’t find anything else that is good about any of these songs. They’re boring and repetitive, and Phil’s whiny and annoying singing certainly help any. Live In A Hole has a pretty annoying noise during the beginning of the song. I’m not sure if that was suppose to help them look tough or not. Oh, and Phil’s whispers sure are annoying as well. When an album has four or more filler tracks in a row like this, you really can’t expect it to be all that good. This is one of the reasons why I’ve been knocking this album so much.
No Good: 5/10
Live In Hole: 4/10
Regular People: 5/10
By Demons Be Driven: 4/10
The album closes off with another ballad called Hollow. This song is also very emotional, but not in the “OMG I HATE MYSELF!!!” kind of way which despite popular belief, isn’t “emo” at all. Anyway, the guitar work is good, and Phil’s vocals are pretty good here. He uses clear voice singing here which at least sounds better than those god awful “tough guy” vocals he mostly used on this album. The song speeds up and gets more aggressive towards the middle of the song. Overral, this song is pretty good, and is one of the better tracks on this album. 8/10
Overall, this album doesn’t exactly suck, but it’s not good either has it has a bunch of filler tracks, and annoying vocals. The album does have it’s moments though. I’m not even going to bother to listen to their later albums as judging by their ratings, are probably suck even more than this album did. I would recommend this for someone who is just getting into metal, and probably used to listen to shitty bands like Slipknot and Disturbed. In fact, this was one of the first real metal albums that I bought, and at the time, I really liked it, but grew out of it over time. However, Cowboys From Hell, and even their earlier glam albums piss on this one, in my opinion.