Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)Release ID: 2878

Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) Cover
Ben Ben / May 03, 2019 / Comments 0 / 1

A case of the band trying to be everything for everyone that results in them being not much for very few.

I pretty much gave up on Pantera after Far Beyond Driven. After totally lapping up both Cowboys from Hell and Vulgar Display of Power as a teenager, I think I became a bit perturbed by the amount of people at my school that were cranking Far Beyond Driven at their parties and scribbling Pantera across their pencil cases. After all, what was the point of being a rebellious metalhead if every Tom, Dick and Harry were part of the cause. My obvious response was to move on to things more extreme and to label Pantera as lightweight and sell-outs. In hindsight, this attitude was more than a touch immature, but after going back recently to check what I missed from these American rednecks, I have to say I left them behind at the most opportune time.

All the ingredients of prime Pantera are still in place for the majority of The Great Southern Trendkill. Phil is still a very angry man, growling his displeasure at the world with a heck of a lot of conviction. Dimebag Darrell (RIP)still has that completely unique guitar style that combines great shredding riffs with cool groovy ones. Vinnie still belts the hell out of his drumkit while never attempting anything remotely technical. Rex Brown still...well...plays bass. It's apparent at pretty much any stage of the album that it's Pantera you're listening to which I guess shows they haven't departed too far from their successful template. But despite all this familiarity, The Great Southern Trendkill just fails to get the blood pumping consistently.

Pantera still know how to shred. Just as on old favourites such as The Art of Shredding and Fucking Hostile, tracks like the title track and Suicide Note Part II make you want to jump around and smash things up. But there are just too many tracks here that just plod along with no real intensity. 13 Steps to Nowhere really does go nowhere which may very well have been the point, Suicide Note Part I is a crappy attempt at a tear-jerking ballad and the hugely overrated Floods (complete with incredibly tacky thunder sound effects) doesn't hit the mark either. The band were clearly trying to please everyone with The Great Southern Trendkill. It has some of their heaviest work (Phil is screaming his guts out throughout) and some of their lightest. Unfortunately, I think it ends up being an album that pleases very few. I won't be too harsh when rating it as it still has some very good Pantera moments, but it's not a patch on their earlier work.

MartinDavey87 MartinDavey87 / July 17, 2023 / Comments 0 / 0

How did one of the most influential metal bands of the 90’s (and of all time?) turn out to be so disappointing? I mean, like a lot of metalheads, I’ve always held Pantera in such high regard, but it wasn’t until I properly took the time to listen to their albums that I found myself not really enjoying a lot of it.

The groundbreaking ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ feature some of metals most beloved songs, but I find are also brimming with filler material. ‘Far Beyond Driven’ even made it to the number one spot in the Billboard charts! How??? That album, in my eyes, saw a huge decline from its predessors! And how did they follow that up? With an even more lacklustre mess of an album; ‘The Great Southern Trendkill’.

There’s no denying that the band had been getting progressively heavier with each release, and ‘Trendkill’ is by far their heaviest album to date, but it’s just so chaotic and cluttered that I truly struggle with it. Phil Anselmo’s once-impressive vocals, blending screaming, shouting, singing and all sorts, is just one incomprehensible death metal growly shout after another. And the guitars, once groove-laden and full of pumping, memorable riffs, now sound like generic, throwaway leftovers. Messy and uninspired, the band was at odds when making this album, with the music and vocals being recorded in completely separate locations, and it shows.

The production sounds rather dated as well. While the music’s sheer intensity and brutality make it heavy, the sound itself is rather weak and tinny, struggling to live up to the standards of the bands previous releases.

If I was forced to pick out any highlights, ‘Living Through Me (Hell’s Wrath)’ and ‘Suicide Note Pt. 1’ are probably the best two songs. The title track is alright too. But to be honest though, I’m just really not into this album, and struggling to really see what all the hype was about regarding Pantera.

SilentScream213 SilentScream213 / February 20, 2023 / Comments 0 / 0

The Great Southern Trendkill. What the heck does that even mean? Pantera had a penchant for album names that almost made sense, and this was the wackiest. Similarly, the music within is some of their most extreme and eclectic. It’s got easily their heaviest song ever in Suicide Note Pt. 2, whereas Pt. 1 is a calm, slow rocker. Floods is one of their longest songs, almost Progressive in nature and containing one of the greatest guitar solos of all time. The album is surprisingly consistent given the varying styles present here.

That being said, there is still a fair amount of “generic 90’s Groove Metal” here that doesn’t really stand out. Not exactly filler, but songs we’ve all heard many times that don’t offer much to people who aren’t die hard Pantera or Groove Metal fans.

The album has a dark, manic quality to it that probably mirrors the alleged turmoil within the band member’s lives at the time. It sounds like a death throe, and nothing against the underrated Reinventing the Steel, but it would have been a perfect swansong to end their career.


Release info

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Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 3


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 8 | Reviews: 2


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 7


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 5

The Great Southern Trendkill
The Pit
Groove Metal

Groove Metal (conventional)

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