PANTERA

(UNITED STATES)

FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

(1994)
LABEL:

EASTWEST

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
Growl, Opera-Rock, Southern
"Raging and furious, "Far Beyond Driven" is one of those uncompromising achievements that haunts you long after you've listened to it, and puts Pantera firmly among the ranks of legendary metal bands."
VAL (31.08.2009)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Pantera's career in the '90s is often associated with "Vulgar Display Of Power", and with good reason: it remains by far the most influential album of their career. But it would be a shame to forget its successor, "Far Beyond Driven". It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, confirming the band's status despite a content far less accessible than that of "Vulgar Display Of Power", and despite a censored cover (originally, the tendril did not penetrate a skull, but another part of the anatomy). Probably one of the most barbaric albums to achieve such commercial success, "Far Beyond Driven" is a hymn to excess.

Where 'Mouth For War' launched "Vulgar Display Of Power" by taking the time to build a mood, 'Strength Beyond Strength' dispenses with an introduction and jumps down your throat like a rabid dog. The album as a whole has this brutal, sudden and arrogant quality, reflecting the confidence of a band who know they have nothing left to prove, and who therefore allow themselves to do as they please. The lyrics are snarling and truthful, sometimes bordering on autobiographical ('Becoming', '5 Minutes Alone', '25 Years'), and also reflect the profound mutation of this band, which escaped from 80s glam to become huge. Other tracks, however, are dark, gloomy fantasies ('Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills', 'Shedding Skin').

Musically, it's time for mid-tempo and a heaviness that was already palpable on the previous album. Minimalist and stripped-down, Pantera's sound is raw and unadorned, barely embellished by thick, sticky production. In this respect, there are more obvious Southern influences, mainly in Dimebag's playing, which paradoxically is both simpler and more elaborate ('Shedding Skin' and 'Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks' are examples of this ambivalence). He has the ability to move from slow, syncopated grooves to frenetic accelerations, supported as usual by Rex and Vinnie.

Anselmo, for his part, is probably at the peak of his powers here, and his vocals can only be described as bestial. We already sensed this evolution on the previous record, but on "Far Beyond Driven", it can no longer be ignored. This hardening of tone goes hand in hand with the new artistic direction and will continue on subsequent albums, the atmosphere becoming more extreme with each release.

"Far Beyond Driven" is an essential album, showing a mature band that the success of an iconic album ("Vulgar Display Of Power") has not destabilized. Disheveled, depraved, it's one of those uncompromising achievements that haunt you long after you've listened to it. From the rock energy of 'I'm Broken', a powerhouse hit, to the brutality of 'Slaughtered', Pantera pursues its path without looking back. A must-have for any metal fan!
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Strength Beyond Strength – 03:37
02. Becoming – 03:04
03. 5 Minutes Alone – 05:46
04. I'm Broken – 04:23
05. Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills – 02:52
06. Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks – 06:59
07. Slaughtered – 03:56
08. 25 Years – 06:04
09. Shedding Skin – 05:35
10. Use My Third Arm – 04:50
11. Throes Of Rejection – 05:00
12. Planet Caravan (black Sabbath Cover) – 04:02

LINEUP:
Dimebag Darrell: Guitares
Phil Anselmo: Chant
Rex Brown: Basse
Vinnie Paul: Batterie
   
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