Power is one thing, but when it is not properly channeled and controlled, it degenerates into so much unfocused noise, diffused in all different directions and achieving little.
On Far Beyond Driven, Pantera's seventh studio album and the first since the breakthrough Vulgar Display Of Power, the band displays all the signs of a group already running out of ideas and squeezing out an album with relatively little good material.
The three memorable tracks, Strength Beyond Strength, Becoming, and I'm Broken, are tightly packed at the front end of the album, while the remaining nine songs, including a pointless cover of Black Sabbath's Planet Caravan, are just so much crushed glass, noisy and painful without serving any lasting purpose.
A lot of what is on Far Beyond Driven smacks of creating controversy for the sake of exaggerated publicity, from the original banned album cover (a drill impaling an anus) to the non-song that is Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills, and the many stretches of music that are nothing but repetitive drum pounding or incessant strumming. Pantera seem to be testing what they can get away with by pushing the limits of taste while being lazy about the music. As usually happens, they got away with it once, the afterglow of Vulgar Display Of Power translating to the undeserved commercial success of Far Beyond Driven, but it was pretty much all downhill from there.
Philip Anselmo - Vocals
Dimebag Darrell - Guitar
Vinnie Paul - Drums
Rex - Bass
Songlist (ratings out of 10):
1. Strength Beyond Strength - 9
2. Becoming - 8
3. 5 Minutes Alone - 7
4. I'm Broken - 8
5. Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills - 4
6. Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks - 7
7. Slaughtered - 6
8. 25 Years - 5
9. Shedding Skin - 7
10. Use My Third Arm - 7
11. Throes Of Rejection - 7
12. Planet Caravan - 7
Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Terry Date and Vinnie Paul.
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