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Sounds Rushed... - 74%

langstondrive, November 26th, 2003

There is one main problem with this album, and that is the lack of consistancy that it holds. It really drops off after "Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks" and doesn't redeem itself until "Throes of Rejection".

With that in mind, this album sounds like it was put together fast. In that I mean that the riffs are not the greatest, the lyrics are not the most original and the production is not up to par with "A Vulgar Display of Power". The guitar tone is annoying and sounds like it did on "Cowboys From Hell", but much heavier. The drum sound is rather tinny, but bearable (no Lar$ here). The production has so much fucking treble I can't even hear the bass at all, with the exception of maybe "Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks". Phil's vocals are good, they are pretty much the same as always, and are a HELL of a lot better than they are nowadays.

More evidence that the songs were rushed is the abrupt song changes. Take the first track "Strength Beyond Strength". It is a decent song, but the ending part is annoying. The song would have been much better if they had kept the fast thrash throughout. Speaking of thrash, much of that is gone by this time. Many of the songs are midpaced, such as "Becoming", which has a few good riffs and a catchy chorus, but again, nothing absolutly special going on here. "Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills" is great. Well, the actual song sucks, but the lyrics are funny as hell and Phil's vocal delivery is very convincing. Other notable songs include "5 Minutes Alone", the best song on here, great riffs, nice verse part, "I'm Broken", which is pretty good but drags at the end, "Thoes of Rejection" features a good buildup with a killer chorus consisting of basically one word, and finally "Planet Caravan", which is very well done and a faithful tribute to the Sabbath original. A soft, smooth ending to a heavy album.

With the good out of the way, here come the bad. "Slaughtered", "25 Years", "Shedding Skin" and "Use My Third Arm". All in a row too. Damn. None of these songs are memorable in the least, have any cool riffs or any decent hooks. Just stay away from these songs.

A good album, not great, but good. Check out Pantera's other stuff out first.