Pantera – The Complete Albums 1990-2000 (2016) [HighResAudio FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Pantera – The Complete Albums 1990-2000 (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 5:40:43 minutes | 4,13 GB | Genre: Rock, Metal
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: | Front cover | © Rhino Atlantic

With their 1990 album Cowboys From Hell, Pantera debuted their signature sound and invigorated the metal scene while enlisting legions of devoted fans around the world. For the next decade, the band continued to ascend to the top of the music world, earning four platinum albums and, with 1994’s Far Beyond Driven, a #1 debut on the Billboard album chart. To celebrate Pantera’s raucous legacy, Rhino will release both a new box set. THE COMPLETE STUDIO ALBUMS 1990-2000, compiled of Cowboys From Hell (1990), Vulgar Display Of Power (1992), Far Beyond Driven (1994), The Great Southern Trendkill (1996), and Reinventing The Steel (2000).

Pantera – Cowboys From Hell (1990/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 57:42 minutes | 701 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Pantera’s breakthrough album, Cowboys from Hell, is largely driven by the band’s powerful rhythm section and guitarist Diamond Darrell (as he was then known)’s unbelievably forceful riffing, which skittered around the downbeats to produce unexpected rhythmic phrases and accents, as well as his inventive soloing. Phil Anselmo displayed a vocal range that could switch from a growling shout to a high falsetto — listen to him match Darrell’s harmonic squeals at the end of “Cemetery Gates.” The album gradually becomes more same-sounding as it goes on, but the first half, featuring such brutal slices of thrash as “Psycho Holiday,” “Primal Concrete Sledge,” and the title track, pretty much carries its momentum all the way through.

01 – Cowboys From Hell
02 – Primal Concrete Sledge
03 – Psycho Holiday
04 – Heresy
05 – Cemetery Gates
06 – Domination
07 – Shattered
08 – Clash With Reality
09 – Medicine Man
10 – Message In Blood
11 – The Sleep
12 – The Art Of Shredding

Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power (1992/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 52:51 minutes | 643 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

One of the most influential heavy metal albums of the 1990s, Vulgar Display of Power is just what is says: a raw, pulverizing, insanely intense depiction of naked rage and hostility that drains its listeners and pounds them into submission. Even the “ballads,” “This Love” and “Hollow,” have thunderingly loud, aggressive chorus sections. Preaching power through strength and integrity, Phil Anselmo discards any further attempts at singing in favor of a militaristic bark and an unhinged roar, while the crystal-clear production sets Diamond Darrell’s pummeling riffs against a rhythmic backdrop so thunderously supportive that Darrell often solos without underlying rhythm guitar parts. The album again follows Cowboys from Hell’s strategy of stacking the best songs at the beginning and letting their momentum carry the listener through the rest, but the riffs and sonic textures are more consistently interesting this time around. Pantera’s thick-sounding, post-hardcore power metal and outraged, testosterone-drenched intensity would help pave the way for alternative metal acts like Korn and Tool; Vulgar Display of Power is the best distillation of those virtues.

01 – Mouth For War
02 – A New Level
03 – Walk
04 – Fucking Hostile
05 – This Love
06 – Rise
07 – No Good (Attack The Radical)
08 – Live In A Hole
09 – Regular People (Conceit)
10 – By Demons Be Driven
11 – Hollow

Pantera – Far Beyond Driven (1994/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 56:26 minutes | 712 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Far Beyond Driven may have been Pantera’s fastest selling album upon release, but it’s hardly their best. In fact, although it shot straight to the number one spot on the Billboard sales chart in its first week (arguably the most extreme album ever to do so), this incredible feat doesn’t so much reflect its own qualities as those of its predecessor, 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power. A true landmark by any definition, Vulgar Display had seen the Texan quartet quite literally reinventing the heavy metal wheel in ways not seen since Metallica’s rise to fame in the mid-’80s. But when the time came to follow it up, the members of Pantera seemed unsure about how they could possibly top it, so they decided to try and out-heavy themselves, resulting in a less cohesive record which often sacrificed songwriting for outright aggression. Guitarist Dimebag Darrell (recently re-baptized from the far more glam Diamond Darrell) took it upon himself to conjure the heaviest guitar tones imaginable, turning up the volume and dissonance to sometimes painful thresholds with his massive, grinding riffs. As a result, songs like “Becoming,” “Shedding Skin,” and the particularly vicious “Slaughtered” still stand head and shoulders above most of the heavy metal competition, but only die-hard fans may be able to withstand their systematic sensory bludgeoning long enough to get to the hooks hidden underneath. Indeed, except for wisely chosen first single “I’m Broken,” the rest of the material (and especially over-long tracks like “5 Minutes Alone” and “25 Years”) generally lacks the iron-fisted discipline and controlled power captured on the band’s previous triumphs. Worst of all is probably “Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills,” which wanders aimlessly in formless feedback and is topped with vocalist Phil Anselmo in gratuitous, stream-of-consciousness mode – a sketchy proposition at the best of times. In the end, it’s probably the band’s need to justifying their faithful cover version of Black Sabbath’s gentle “Planet Caravan” in the album’s liner notes that sheds the most light on their embattled frame of mind at the time. With or without this evidence, however, the bottom line is that Far Beyond Driven doesn’t match the hype – but it sure proved its weight in platinum at the bank.

01 – Strength Beyond Strength
02 – Becoming
03 – 5 Minutes Alone
04 – I’m Broken
05 – Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills
06 – Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks
07 – Slaughtered
08 – 25 Years
09 – Shedding Skin
10 – Use My Third Arm
11 – Throes Of Rejection
12 – Planet Caravan

Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill (1996/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 53:07 minutes | 643 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Thankfully, Pantera has stopped attempting to outdo each successive album in terms of start-to-finish intensity, but that doesn’t mean they don’t try in spots. The Great Southern Trendkill is burdened with passages in which Phil Anselmo’s vocals cross the line into histrionics, making the band’s trademark intensity sound dull, forced, and theatrical rather than sincere. The lyrics, which reached their apex with Vulgar Display of Power’s focus on personal politics and integrity, have degenerated into half-baked rants against drugs and pop-culture media. But Trendkill is partially redeemed by trading Pantera’s usual pound-then-pound-harder approach to albums for a greater variety of tempos and moods. Dimebag Darrell, while mostly sticking to his familiar riffing style, does coax some intriguing, unexpected sounds from his instrument. Ultimately, though, the ballads and slower tracks (“10’s,” “Suicide Note, Pt. 1,” and “Floods”) provide the album’s most chilling, memorable moments, and rank with their best material. Longtime Pantera fans will find plenty to enjoy here, and the band’s expanding range bodes well, but overall, Trendkill is an inconsistent outing.

01 – The Great Southern Trendkill
02 – War Nerve
03 – Drag the Waters
04 – 10’s
05 – 13 Steps to Nowhere
06 – Suicide Note, Pt. 1
07 – Suicide Note, Pt. 2
08 – Living Through Me (Hells’ Wrath)
09 – Floods
10 – The Underground in America
11 – (Reprise) Sandblasted Skin

Pantera – Offiicial Live: 101 Proof (1997/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 76:39 minutes | 967 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Official Live: 101 Proof hits most, but not quite all, of the high points of Pantera’s career (“Psycho Holiday” and “Mouth for War” are two notable omissions), drawing most heavily from Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven. There are also two new studio tracks tacked on to the end to entice the more casual fan who might find a live album redundant; however, Pantera’s devoted fans will pick it up anyway, and they won’t be disappointed. Pantera packs just as much of a wallop live as in the studio, even if the versions here aren’t substantially different (other than a medley of “Domination” and “Hollow”). One warning: Phil Anselmo’s amazing streams of nonstop vulgarities in between songs will appeal more to the adolescent fan who finds them a liberating way to vent frustration; others may find them predictable and approaching idiotic. But that shouldn’t detract from the music and performances, which are uniformly strong, as fans would expect.

01 – A New Level
02 – Walk
03 – Becoming
04 – 5 Minutes Alone
05 – Sandblasted Skin
06 – Suicide Note Pt. II
07 – War Nerve
08 – Strength Beyond Strength
09 – Dom, Hollow
10 – This Love
11 – I’m Broken
12 – Cowboys From Hell
13 – Cemetery Gates
14 – Hostile
15 – Where You Come From
16 – I Can’t Hide

Pantera – Reinventing The Steel (2000/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 43:58 minutes | 563 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover

Where The Great Southern Trendkill experimented with slower, moodier pieces, Reinventing the Steel finds Pantera sticking to the pulverizing basics of their sound, with the first down-tempo, nondistorted guitar part appearing on the next-to-last track, “It Makes Them Disappear,” and vanishing about 15 seconds into the song. In the tradition of the group’s best albums, Reinventing the Steel is a nonstop assault on the senses, offering no respite from the intensity until the album has stopped playing. Yet somehow, it comes off as a cut below their best albums; perhaps it’s that the band’s sound lacks the sense of freshness that sparked Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, and Far Beyond Driven, or perhaps it’s simply good in a very predictable way (contrary to its title). Yet even if Pantera is firmly entrenched in a signature sound, it’s a distinctive, highly effective signature sound that most of the band’s fans don’t want to hear changed; plus, Dimebag Darrell is still one of the most inventive guitar players in heavy metal. The bottom line is that the way you feel about Reinventing the Steel will likely depend on whether you object to more of the same; if not, then the lean focus of its attack – the most concise, actually, since Vulgar Display – will make it more than worthwhile.

01 – Hellbound
02 – Goddamn Electric
03 – Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit
04 – You’ve Got To Belong To It
05 – Revolution Is My Name
06 – Death Rattle
07 – We’ll Grind That Axe For A Long Time
08 – Uplift
09 – It Makes Them Disappear
10 – I’ll Cast A Shadow

Please Note: The official store offer this album in its native sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, 24-bit.
Any announced 96 kHz version was up-sampled and offers no audible value!



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