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June 22, 2024

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New Found Power (Elektra)

By: Mike SOS

Damageplan is the new band formed from the ashes of Pantera, as brothers Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrel have regrouped after the fallout of one of the world's premiere metal bands. So, the real question is, is it as good as Pantera? The answer? It's different. Very different, and very metal, but metal, like Judas Priest (both old and new) with hints of Pantera thrown in. Not as free-flowing as the days of cowboys from hell, thanks to the loss of Phil Anselmo's stream of unconsciousness lyrics and vocals, an instrument that is totally missed here. Instead, we get Pat Lachman, who is no slouch in his own right, as he screams, sings, and slays with pure metal frontman conviction, especially on the album's best tracks, the groove-laden "Save Me" and the riff-o-rama that is "Pride". But, alas, he's no Phil, as he falls victim to clich?s on tracks such as "Blink of an Eye". But, something else is missing, too. The bottom end of Rex Brown, the veritable backbone of the monster known as Pantera, and it's sorely missed, as four-stringer Bob Zilla's got a cool name and is adequate, but doesn't accentuate the power one-two punch of Dime's fretwork and Vinnie's percussive poundings. In short, if you're looking for Pantera 2, look elsewhere. But, if you're looking for a swift kick in the ass as only Dime can deliver, check out the sludgy goodness of "Reborn" or the southern fried metal of "Blunt Force Trauma". Damageplan is a damn good metal band, but, like Phil and Superjoint Ritual, the absence of greatness is quite apparent.
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