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I Tried REALLY Hard to Like This… - 45%

NecroWraith, February 9th, 2007

But I can’t. I really, really can’t. The first problem with this album is the shitty production. When you take into consideration that Pantera produced this album themselves, you gotta… well… UGH, NO. There is no excuse for this; the majority of the other Pantera albums had amazing production. What happened here!? A huge disappointment…

The lyrics on this release are shit. True, Pantera were never praised for their amazing songwriting… but they could’ve written something better than:

“When I die, I cast a shadow
And I'll fly, I cast a shadow

Everybody get fucking up!
I cast a shadow...
I... I cast a shadow
I cast a shadow...
I... I cast a shadow

When I die, I cast a shadow
And I'll rise, I cast a shadow”

One part of this CD that I had the highest hopes for before my first listen was the usual that’s to be expected from Pantera: kickass guitar from Dimebag Darrel. As much as I hate to admit it, I haven’t found that here either. No, don’t get me wrong, there is SOME good playing from him (such as on Hellbound, probably the only song on here that compares to anything off of “Cowboys From Hell”). But around 90% of the playing is boring, mediocre, weak, lame, shitty, unexciting, dull (need I think of more adjectives?) mallcore riffs. No, I’m being perfectly serious. No more of Pantera’s godly thrash solos. Mallcore riffs… gimme a break Darrel, what happened?

The songwriting in general (not talking about lyrics now, but music) is… well… sloppy. I can think of any other way to describe it. All the sounds seem to be forced together, and the vocals that are attempting to tie them all together failed miserably. Phil’s voice is steadily dying out, as it could be starting to be heard of Vulgar Display of Power… It has gotten so weak; it just doesn’t cut it anymore. Combined with the sloppy drumming, which is way off in a lot of parts, combined with Darrel’s disappointing weak riffs create a mixture that is almost sickening to listen to.

It’s quite a shame for Pantera to end their career this way, really. They started off with “Metal Magic” which was also terrible. Starting out with BAD glam/hair-metal, they evolved to one of my favorite power thrash bands of all time… and then once again turned to shit, this time in the form of mallcore that almost makes Trivium seem like a great band. Sad to see this happen to Pantera; they should’ve called it quits ten years ago.

-Marcin C.