Metal Hammer (UK) - - Pantera -

By Demons Be Driven

(Vul­gar Dis­play Of Power, 1992)

An­other grue­some ex­er­cise in grind­ing groove me­tal, Vul­gar Dis­play…’s dark­est track is a swamp-dwelling blues me­tal death threat that left us in no doubt about Phil Anselmo’s trou­bled spirit. ‘Boil­ing my corpse in the blood

of his chil­dren…’ in­deed.


(Vul­gar Dis­play Of Power, 1992)

Of­ten mashed into a mid-set med­ley with Dom­i­na­tion, Hol­low brought Vul­gar Dis­play… to a close with more of the grandiose au­dac­ity that had made Ceme­tery Gates such a stand­out song. Here, melodic sub­tleties are many but bru­tal­ity re­mains an unerring threat.

Strength Beyond Strength

(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

Me­tal’s hottest new band, Pantera be­came ever more ex­treme and un­com­pro­mis­ing on Far Beyond Driven. The Num­ber One al­bum kicked off with this re­morse­less bar­rage of high­ve­loc­ity thrash and lum­ber­ing sludge. ‘Stronger than all’? Yup.


(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

‘I’m born again with snake’s eyes/ Be­com­ing god­size…’ has to rate as one of Pantera’s great­est-ever cho­ruses. It also helps that Be­com­ing is pro­pelled along on a truly per­verse and dis­cor­dant riff that sounds like R2-D2 be­ing fed through a tree-shred­der.

5 Min­utes alone

(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

Ac­cused of caus­ing a fan to be beaten up after call­ing him out for flip­ping the band off at a show, Phil Anselmo turns the ta­bles with ven­omous glee on 5 Min­utes Alone, as

Dime serves up a lu­di­crously mus­cu­lar and in­sis­tent riff. As usual.

I’m Bro­ken

(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

Notably the Pantera song that Phil Anselmo per­formed live in Texas with Rex and Zakk Wylde in 2014, this sin­gle from Far Beyond Driven mar­ries an off-kil­ter time sig­na­ture with a dev­as­tat­ing cho­rus that, let’s face it, most of us can re­late to on some level.

Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks

(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

A cau­tion­ary tale about painkiller abuse that would later seem some­what ironic in light of Phil Anselmo’s drug prob­lems, this mon­strous, seven-minute howl of pain re­mains one of Pantera’s most emo­tion­ally gru­elling songs.


(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

Some­times, Pantera just went for the jugu­lar. Slaugh­tered is brutish and bereft of light; a swivel-eyed, in­censed dis­man­tling of or­gan­ised re­li­gion that drips with con­tempt and ma­li­cious in­tent. It’s also a kick­ass me­tal song, in­ci­den­tally.

25 Years

(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

The sav­age hon­esty of Phil’s lyrics has never been more ap­par­ent than on this gru­elling cry of vengeance against his abu­sive fa­ther. ‘I’m shov­ing my life right down your throat!’ he screams, as wickedly wrong-sound­ing riffs fes­ter and snarl. Bloody hell.

Shed­ding Skin

(Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

Writ­ten about the young Phil’s hor­ror at the no­tion of set­tling for a mun­dane life, Shed­ding Skin pulls no punches. ‘You were stick­ing to me like a scab!’ Philip screams over evil riffs. Not in­tended for ra­dio and all the bet­ter for it, it’s one of Pantera’s heav­i­est.

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