Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Song of the Day: Pantera, "Suicide Note, Part 1 & 2"

On The Great Southern Trendkill, Pantera's Phil Anselmo and Dimebag Darrell were fighting too much to record in the same studio. Darrell was taking out his aggression with alcohol and cars, Anselmo was months away from a heroin overdose. Yet, like the great artists that they were, the band channeled that tension into their most extreme record to date, taking the "experimental fourth album" idea further than nearly any of their metal forefathers.

"Suicide Note, Part 1" starts with effects, over-dubbing and balladry--nothing that one normally associates with Pantera--and wordlessly references Zeppelin in away that reminds me of Neil Young's shout out to the Stones in "Borrowed Tune". But then the sequel abruptly kicks the first one out, as if to remind you that Darrell and Anselmo were not just holding on to life, they were throttling it. Heard together, "Suicide Note, Part 1 & 2" documents a band fighting itself off the edge. But they also depict a light that not enough people get to.

For Gradison, 1983-2012.

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