Posts Tagged ‘Phil Anselmo’

PANTERA: VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER AT 20

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012


February 10th this year marked the twentieth anniversary of PANTERA’s landmark album Vulgar Display of Power. In celebration Rhino has released an expanded version of VDOP with a slew of bonus materials in an CD/DVD package. The music on this album helped the band cement their standing in the world of metal as an undeniable force to be reckoned with and gods. In many ways this album changed them as a band and set the course for the remainder of their storied career.

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Vulgar was the bands sixth album, but only their second to gain a wide release since the bands’ signing to a major label affiliate (ATCO) and the change in style from the glam/power metal influenced years of their youth. Cowboys From Hell was original, thrashy and killer with great songs and totally set them apart from what was going on in metal at the time. If you recall “Grunge” (which I loathe to even use the term) was becoming popular, glam metal was killed off for the most part, alternative became mainstream and hip-hop was becoming a lot of pop rap. Metal was still very strong in the early 1990s even if there were less bands flying the flag that high. Thrash metal had become more mainstream, or perhaps the bands went mainstream first with METALLICA leading the way. Vulgar came along and was the antidote to everything else that was happening for a generation of metal heads. On the back of the success of this release the band spear-headed a changing of the guard that would happen a few years later, at least in America.

 

Musically the album is perfect from top to bottom. The band stripped down the excess of their older work and streamlined their style. Attempts at VAN HALEN boogie rock were traded in for hardcore/ crossover influenced tempos and riffs. Taking one element of thrash metal and making an entire style around it (power-groove), the band raised the bar for writing and personality among all their peers of the day. Phillip Anselmo swapped his ROB HALFORD scream for a defiant roar, while still keeping it tuneful. Many people still think of “Walk” synonymously with the name of the band, every song is a masterpiece. “This Love” and “Mouth For War” got richly deserved attention for their awesomeness and videos, but it is in other songs that the backbone of the album was built. Tracks like “A New Level”, “Fucking Hostile”, “Rise” and “By Demons Be Driven” are nearly equal in writing and performance to anything the band ever did. DIMEBAG DARRELL’s riffs and leads were rarely more muscular or musical in his career. Even the production, the tightness of the drum sounds, fullness of the guitars and the heavy, but clear tone of bass was expertly rendered by the band and producer Terry Date.

 

The new release has the original album, the previously unreleased song “Piss“, some unreleased concert footage and music videos. With the 2004 murder of DIME, it’s possible that this album burns a little bit brighter for some who remember the bands humble beginnings. Either way, this is an essential record that still holds up today.

 

 


By Keith (Keefy) Chachkes

 

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ALBUM REVIEW: ANGELUS APATRIDA

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

ANGELUS APATRIDA
The Call (Century Media)

Spain’s ANGELUS APATRIDA return with The Call, it is their third album for Century Media. Although this thrash quartet has had their issues taking a stranglehold of their native Albacete, they have been slaying Spain, and audience member that stands in their way for years. This has lead them to open up for such groups as SLAYER, and MEGADETH, and their current jaunt with 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, GOATWHORE and HAVOK. They are the only band from Spain (in any genre) that can currently tour Europe, and I don’t mean a few dates in spread out here and there, check out the itinerary for the aforementioned tour that they’re currently a part of, and you’ll see that they’ll be all over the old continent during the next few months. There is a reason why the legendary David Ellefeson pulled the band aside, and encouraged them to take their talents stateside, as US audiences would without a doubt eat up what the band has to offer.

The Call is a natural progression for the band, it shows the band maturing, and evolving far beyond what they have done with their two previous outings Clockwork and Evil Unleashed. This by no means diminishes how good those albums are, it’s just that the band has taken great leap forward with The Call. The band has once again teamed back up with Clockwork producer Daniel. I had a chance to speak to lead singer Guillermo Izquierdo recently, and he mentioned that Daniel made it his mission to make The Call more than just another album. He took it upon himself to push the band, and make this not only the best album possible, but something very personal for him as well, something that is looked back as a defining moment for him as a producer.

The album starts off with the first single “You Are Next”, which coincides with a video game themed video that was released a few weeks ago. If you’ve followed the band at all, you’ll realize that Guillermo vocal style is completely different on this track, and throughout the album. On the band’s previous outings there is an undeniable resemblance to Dave Mustaine. With “You Are Next” he reminds me of Zetro, the former lead singer of EXODUS. You can still hear the Mustaine influence at times, but you can also hear a little Blitz from Overkill, a twinge of Phil Anselmo and shades of Rob Halford in a few spots. While speaking to me he admitted to Mustaine influence, and said “I didn’t want to keep doing Mustaine part 2, while writing the music, it was really calling me to go in a different direction with my vocals. So I naturally followed what seemed natural.” Couple that with Cardoso pushing, and constantly challenging the singer and you have the vocal performance that is displayed throughout the album.

But by listening to the album, you can see that Cardoso challenged the entire band to up their game. The other noticeable improvement is the precision of the rhythm section. Again, this isn’t knocking the band’s previous albums, but Victor Valera like a sharpshooter with his precision on the album. His playing is tighter than it has been on the previous albums; it is at a completely different level than it has been in the past. Bassist Jose J. Izquierdo locks everything down with and is up to the challenge to equal Valera’s playing. Again, the band’s influence can really be seen here with the two locking into place like the legendary combination of Menza and Ellefson. Realize that I’m saying like, not equal to or better than, I need to clarify that before anyone gets all upset over that previous statement.

I keep mentioning Guillermo’s singing, but his and Davish G. Alvarez guitar work has always set the band apart (in my mind) from other contemporary thrash bands. Their playing on this album not only contains their best work as a guitar tandem, but takes what they’ve done in the past and infuses it with other aspects of metal that you may not be accustomed to hearing from the band. This only enhances what they bring to the table with The Call.
Aside from the standard lead single, you’ll find “At The Gates of Hell”, which is like a locomotive building up steam before running you over. “Violent Dawn” which to me blends the cross-over greatness of D.R.I. with some riffing in the vein of SLAYER’s King and Hanneman. “It’s Rising” which offers which offers shades of Painkiller-esque JUDAS PRIEST and a solo outro reminiscent of the heyday of PANTERA. “Blood On The Snow” could have easily of been slotted in on Countdown To Extinction, while “Killer Instinct” is more in more influenced by Peace Sells. “The Hope Is Gone” has an aspect that previous albums did not contain, and that’s melody in band’s chorus. Ok, yes, they’ve had melody in the past, but not this well formed. The chorus of this track permeates your mind, and bounces around in it, in an infectious fashion. “Fresh Pleasure” is an ode to the connection between the crowd, the band, and a nice cold beer. “Still Corrupt” discusses topics that have been present since the origins of thrash, crooked politicians. “Reborn” is a track that really smacked me in the head when I first listened to it. This track to me is a real defining moment for the band, and when I heard it, I had to go back and give it a few more listens to almost believe the track was this good! This track closes the standard edition of the album up. It seems to be a statement by the band, as if to say, ok you’ve heard the album, now realize this is who we are, this is part of our evolution. This track is a full on metal song, with a catchy, infectious chorus that is perfect to hear a crowd at Download, Wacken, Uproar, etc. singing in unison with the band. The riffing is very matriculate, it isn’t full speed thrash, but it really grinds and pummels you from start to finish. As does the entire album, I mention these influences, but I do have to stress that it is all done in the bands own fashion, it isn’t a carbon copy of the band’s I’ve referenced, it is ANGELUS APATRIDA.

I’ve always been opposed to hearing bands cover well known songs. You have to A) have the sack to try and take on certain tracks B) do them well enough so that they aren’t laughable. ANGELUS APATRIDA has never shied away from covers, previously doing PANTERA’s “Domination” and IRON MAIDEN’s “Be Quick Or Be Dead”, and doing them well. This album is no different; they cover possibly my favorite JUDAS PRIEST song “Hell Patrol”, and man is it good! They do all of these covers in their own fashion, but in a way that still keeps the song connected faithfully to its original composition. This is truly a testament to the band’s musicianship, and their ability to pull the tracks off. The expanded edition wraps up with an updated take on a track that appeared on their 2007 album Give ‘Em War called “Free Your Soul”.

This album is recommended to anyone that remotely enjoys any of the bands I have mentioned in this review. On The Call ANGELUS APATRIDA brings old school thrash, and metal into the present, while applying their own ingredients, and making it all truly their own. See them on their current tour, or hopefully they’ll jump stateside shortly. The album is a digital only release in the states and comes out on May 8th.

GRADE: A

Victor M. Ruiz

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DOWN Set To Enter The Studio

Monday, October 10th, 2011


DOWN is finally ready to deliver a new effort to the masses. As you can see above, Kirk Windstein tweeted that they are going into the studio later this month and he recently gave an interview to Radio Metal explaining what kind of release the band is planning.

“We’re going to do four EPs, and they’ll all be different. We have many elements to our sound, so each one will have its own characteristics. Like, for example, this one we’re writing right now and are about to start recording will be really hard, with heavy DOWN stuff. Then we’ll have a mellow one, then a doom one — you know, slower and doomy stuff. A little bit of everything.”

I think this will be a cool package but, at the same time, I’m bummed that we won’t be receiving a full DOWN album experience any time soon.

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DOWN Announce Two Halloween Shows In New Orleans

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I’ve never been more jealous of Louisiana… First of all, they played home to WWE Hell In A Cell this past Sunday (and I’m still waiting anxiously for Survivor Series to hit NYC). Second of all, the state is home to the #1 team in college football, the LSU Tigers, and my best friend who attended the university. Now DOWN has announced two special shows at Halloween at Southport Hall. This is going to be a truly epic experience and I’m quite jealous that I won’t get to be there… Here’s hoping something changes and I make it to Louisiana to witness the madness!

Are you going?

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ALBUM REVIEW: ADRENALINE MOB

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Demo EP (Self -Released)

 

Unless you have been living under a rock or been in a coma like Captain America was for the last 70 years, one of the stories of 2011 has been the fallout from Mike Portnoy’s messy departure from DREAM THEATER. Still being played out in the media after splitting nearly a year ago, there has been no shortage of drama. We watched the very public dismay of Portnoy unfold as DREAM THEATER has opted to continue on without him, eventually settling on Mike Mangini as his replacement. As his former band prepares to release their next record soon, Mike has licked his wounds and released the first material from his new band ADRENALINE MOB in the form of a self released EP (Dear Tunecore, you totally suck ass!). The band is a super-group of name players who will have to live up to their legendary reputations even more in light of these circumstances. The potential for greatness is definitely there, but the band has a ways to go to get there.

The first song is a driving, blues based active rock/power-groove type of song named “Psychosane”. When I heard the main riff for the first time I immediately thought of PUYA, but the band is going for a BLACK LABEL SOCIETY/PANTERA/EXHORDER type of vibe. Lead singer Russell Allen of SYMPHONY X (who also produced) even channels Phil Anselmo and Kyle Thomas to an extent throughout most of the album and the results are mixed. Allen is a naturally great singer, but his attempts to butch it up here left me a little flat. The track itself is solid with a great guitar solo from the gifted Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP). As you’d expect from any Portnoy recording the drums are powerful and have his patented slick fills and rolls. The second song “Believe Me” is a little tighter. Another boogie rock stomper, Allen uses his more trademark dynamic vocalizing and power to great effect this time. Orlando just shreds his face off on another couple of harmonized solos in the vein of DIMEBAG DARRELL. Orlando is one of the premier axe-men in the game today and this band could be a launching pad to even bigger things for him. He has preposterous dexterity, sick lead skills and a lyrical style in the tradition of all the gods of guitar. In addition to some terrific Portnoy double-kick work, bassist Paul DiLeo drops in some fine walking bass lines and fills. There is no questioning the talent of this group which also includes guitarist Rich Ward (STUCK MOJO/FOZZY). Lyrically and melodically it is the strongest track here also. “Hit The Wall” is the most realized song and has rock and thrash overtones. The fast driving beat is prime territory for the legendary drummer to get his metal ya-yas out. Allen kills the vocals here with an excellent performance displaying the full extent of his talents. After raging on overdrive for ¾ of the track, the song breaks down into a DOWN style sludge jam and it sounds pretty impressive. “Down To The Floor” continues the kitchen sink riff approach. There are some interesting spacey sound effects going on during the verse that will hook your ear. The major-key change in the chorus is a classic rock staple that screams early 1980′s to be sure. Another short Orlando lead calls to mind EDDIE VAN HALEN at his youngest and best. As the band has done live, the album closes with a cover of “The Mob Rules” as a tribute to RONNIE JAMES DIO. Allen certainly does a heartwarming DIO impression and the cover is note for note perfect. I suspect most of the originals are even more killer sounding in a live setting. I hope more time spent with the whole band writing together will make the full length album in 2012 worth the wait.

 

ADRENALINE MOB. Photo by Joe LaRusso.

GRADE: B

Keith (Keefy) Chachkes

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GWAR, EVERY TIME I DIE Announce One Killer Tour!

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Sadly, it’s been awhile since our pal ODERUS URUNGUS has written for us — but, hey, he’s a busy guy! GWAR is still currently touring their asses off in support of ‘Bloody Pit of Horror’ and ODERUS is getting kicked off of political TV shows so we understand! One of the things we’re most excited about right now, however, is the fact that GWAR and EVERY TIME I DIE are teaming up for the ‘Return of the Maggot tour this October and it is going to be one of the grittiest, most awesome shows of the year. On the east coast leg, additional support will come from GHOUL and west coast fans will have a chance to see WARBEAST on their trek.

Speaking of ODERUS’ unceremonious drop from FOX NEWS’ ‘Red Eye’, here’s hoping that we get an “impaled” Greg Gutfeld prop this time around! Oh well, ODERUS, you know you’re always welcome back here on our site!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aKIpMl3Xh8

10/18 Charlotte, NC @ Amos Southend
10/19 Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
10/20 Washington DC @ 9:30 Club
10/21 Worcester, MA @ Palladium
10/22 Albany, NY @ Northern Lights
10/23 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
10/24 Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
10/25 Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Hall
10/26 Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
10/28 Milwaukee, WI @ Rave
10/29 Detroit, MI @ Harpos
10/30 Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
10/31 Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
11/1 Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
11/2 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
11/4 Edmonton, AB @ Events Center
11/5 Calgary, AB @ Macewan Ballroom
11/7 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
11/8 Seattle,WA @ Showbox
11/9 Portland, OR @ Roseland
11/11 San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Grand
11/12 Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues
11/13 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
11/14 TBA, AZ @ TBA
11/15 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
11/16 Denver, CO @ Summit Theater
11/18 Austin, TX @ East Side Drive In
11/19 Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
11/20 Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
11/21 New Orleans, LA @ The Hanger
11/22 Atlanta,GA @ Masquerade
11/23 Tampa, FL @ Green Iguana Stadium
11/25 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theater
11/26 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
11/27 New Haven, CT @ Toads Place

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MetalGeorge’s Gems: COC’s ‘Blind’

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Blind is the only Corrosion of Conformity album you really need.

Surprised? Yup, it’s not a popular opinion, but let me first quantify my statement by also saying that I don’t feel that North Carolina’s beloved C.O.C. has EVER made a crap album, with most every record in the band’s collective discography serving as a definitive statement for where C.O.C. was creatively at the time.

This being said, however, there’s a sparklingly bright spot of life present on 1991′s Blind which places it head and shoulder atop every Corrosion album which was released after it, not counting the band’s harsher, hardcore influenced early efforts, Animosity and Eye For An Eye.

Nope, Blind was the first C.O.C. effort to showcase the band’s burgeoning doom and southern rock influences, reveling that symbiotic, southern swampiness which would eventually become their trademark. This was also the only album to feature lead singer Karl Agell…which brings us to the exact reason WHY Blind kicks so much ass.

Simply stated, Agell rules, and its his excellent mix of classic rock soul and this almost mercurial frontman sheen-think David Coverdale, no joke-which places these Blind songs upon a musical pedestal which C.O.C. themselves have yet to equal. While many fans prefer the gravelly, black-throated growl of guitarist Pepper Keenan-who actually sings the excellent album single “Vote With A Bullet” here on Blind-its Agell who leads the charge here, providing an excellent foil to C.O.C.’s iconic riff assault.

It’s this unique dynamic which makes Blind such a super-charged effort, really. Whether it be blasting opener “Damned For All Time,” “Painted Smiling Face,” “Mine Are the Eyes of God,” “Buried” or killer closer “White Noise,” there isn’t an ounce of fat to be trimmed here on Blind: each cut is essential, and displays the C.O.C. machine firing on their strongest cylinders. The sick, bluesy licks of Keenan and guitarist Woody Weatherman have never sounded as smooth or soulful, either, echoing their childhood doom heroes Sabbath and Trouble, while providing the ultimate, memorable C.O.C. experience within this defining album.

The one song which really encapsulates this electricity, however, has to be the epic “Dance of the Dead,” for which the band made a defining video. Beyond being the BEST song C.O.C. has ever written, it became a defining anthem for the band, regardless of whether or not Keenan and company actually agreed.

You see, Blind-and Agell’s performance-was widely slagged by the band within the years after its release and Agell’s unceremonious ousting probably didn’t help this album’s matter any with Keenan, Weatherman, bassist Mike Dean and drummer Reed Mullin. Regardless of how the band feels about Blind, however, it remains a key cornerstone within C.O.C.’s creative evolution; a record without which Corrosion of Conformity might have never achieved the success they have over the years.

Like it or not, C.O.C. is stuck with Blind, so they might as well embrace it. Karl Agell certainly has, having recently formed Karl Agell’s Blind, a group which current makes the live rounds, reliving formerly C.O.C. glories. While both parties seem to be going about this album’s legacy in roundabout wrong ways, the bottom line regarding Corrosion of Conformity’s Blind is that it deserves re-evaluation…so why not start now?

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Jams and Bombs-Pantera

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Jams and Bombs returns to unearth some gems from the undeniable Texas institution known as Pantera, nixing the band’s earliest full length Power Metal from the running, in favor of a proper, review focus at a later date. Without further ado, gitcha pull on, and take a boot to the Kool with Jams and Bombs: The Pantera Edition.

FIVE UNDERESTIMATED PANTERA SONGS WHICH KICK ASS, MAN

5. “Revolution Is My Name” from 2000′s Reinventing the Steel

While most will best describe Pantera’s 2000 swansong as going out with a whimper rather than a bang, Reinventing the Steel did indeed feature a number of tracks which stood tall alongside the band’s burly back catalog, not the least of which is this cowbell-led jam; a standout on an album which otherwise depicted a tumultuous band in turmoil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qy0AZcKzCQ

4. “The Great Southern Trendkill” from 1996′s The Great Southern Trendkill

This was another album which doesn’t really receive the same acclaim as its two more infamous predecessors. While this ugly, knuckle-scraping album doesn’t exactly pack the same sort of iconic punch, this track is worth it simply for frontman Phil Anselmo’s psychotic, grindcore-frenzy vocals, perhaps a slight nod to his friend and collaborator, A.C.’s Seth Putnam, who also laid down backing screams on this one.

3. “Shedding Skin” from 1994′s Far Beyond Driven

Probably my next favorite Pantera record after Cowboys, FBD was a far grimmer and superior product to the over-hyped and jock-ish Vulgar Display of Power, and brought with it the proposition of Pantera truly becoming one of metal’s heaviest hitters on commercial radio and MTV. Along with Vulgar, it was THIS album which brought the band to their absolute career pinnacle. “Shedding Skin” is a cut deep from side two of my cassette tape…enjoy!

2. “Rise” from 1992′s Vulgar Display of Power

How can you really deny the opening thrash salvo of “Rise?” Though this album has always left a bad taste in my mouth overall, it’s tracks like “Rise” which make me spin it from time to time.

1. “The Art of Shredding” from 1990′s Cowboys From Hell

From the opening, thudding bass groove, to Dimebag Darrell’s vintage 80s thrash intro, “The Art of Shredding” exemplifies everything awesome about Cowboys From Hell: the delicate balance between the band’s traditional metal past and power-groove future.

FIVE BUNK PANTERA SONGS, BUCKO

5. “Good Friends and Bottle of Pills” from Far Beyond Driven

This musical and verbal masturbation seemed pretty cool when I was a teenager–with its tawdry tale of sexual deviancy pushing the creative envelope at the time–but these days it just smacks of noise and annoyance.

4. “You’ve Got to Belong to It” from Reinventing the Steel

Barring a cool, disharmonic intro from Dime, this track is an otherwise cold fish reminder of why most Pantera fans forget this album exists.

3. “I’ll Cast a Shadow” from Reinventing the Steel

Ditto the above, minus the cool intro.

2. “This Love” from Vulgar Display of Power

Sure, some may find emotional worth in this ham-fisted behemoth….but I just find it tired and pointless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MenZzy7XWVc

1. “Walk” from Vulgar Display of Power

This song is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Everything about it makes me want to cover my ears and run. One-eyed, lumbering metal for the lowest common denominator. Also: Worst. Riff. Ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qRVNyot34o

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Jams and Bombs Review: Pantera’s ‘Power Metal’

Monday, December 27th, 2010

It’s truly a shame more Pantera fans don’t recognize how awesome Power Metal was for its day.

Released only two years prior to the band’s breakout Cowboys From Hell LP, this full length was the first LP to display the first hints of the band’s ‘proper’ power-groove style, while also serving as the lead vocal debut for one Philip Hansen Anselmo.

What a debut it is, too. Anselmo sings his ass off on here, echoing with ease the shrill, commanding shrieks of his idol Rob Halford, while possessing more than enough of his own raw, streetwise charm to lend the goods to Power Metal as a whole. Meanwhile, guitarist Diamond Darrell–there was no ‘Dimebag’ yet, kids-was already shredding his ass off here, mixing in all of his classic metal and rock influences (Kiss, Sabbath AC/DC, Zeppelin) and moving forward; melding them into a heavier, post-thrash kind of world.

Indeed, while Power Metal features more than its fair share of the awesome 80s cliches found within Pantera’s earliest LPs–the Terrence Glaze-fronted Metal Magic, Projects in the Jungle and I Am the Night–there is also a bevy of fast, heavy songs to choose from; an excellent balance of styles, if there ever was one.

The album opens up with the proudly anthemic “Rock the World” before delving straight into speed metal territory with the title track. After that, we’re greeted by what remains to this day one of Pantera’s finest ballads, the epic “We’ll Meet Again.” Though the rest of the album admittedly never gets this good again, ace barnburners such as “Over and Out,” “Hard Ride,” “Death Trap,” and “Burrn” ensure the listener a high-octane heavy metal ride right to the end.

…that is, only if we’re barring the album’s dreadful closing track, “Pussy Tight,” a deliriously bad-yet car accident curious-cock-rock abortion which features none other than Dimebag…er, I mean Diamond Darrell himself on lead vocals!

Though the original of Power Metal is nearly impossible to find these days, bootlegs and downloads of this exquisite gem are relatively easy to come by, and trust me…you OWE it to yourself to hear this record, even if you don’t consider yourself a Pantera fan in the slightest. And if you ARE a Pantera fan and haven’t heard this? Well, shame on you! Track it down, and revisit some history!

It’s just good metal from a bygone era which deserves more recognition.

Written by MetalGeorge

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EARTHRIDE Jams with HANK III

Friday, November 12th, 2010

The best combination of metal and country since Century Media signed BOB WAYNE, check out this awesome video of EARTHRIDE playing with HANK WILLIAMS III (ASSJACK, SUPERJOINT RITUAL, ARSON ANTHEM) during a recent show in Lancaster, PA!

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