Pantera, 'Far Beyond Driven' (1994)
The Rev introduced me to this record. He was a huge Pantera fan. At the time I heard Far Beyond Driven, I was listening more to punk-rock stuff like Bad Religion and NOFXs of the world. When I heard the speed of "Strength Beyond Strength" and then the grooves of "Becoming" and "Five Minutes Alone" and all that stuff, and Dime [Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell], Vinnie's recording, Phil's voice, and way he was not just screaming but hitting notes and making melodies out of this pure aggression, I never looked back.
And I always enjoyed that record more than the previous ones, even though there's brilliant songs on Cowboys and Vulgar. For me, Far Beyond Driven just had an oomph that kicked it over the edge and just pure aggression. And I always appreciated that. And I always thought it was pretty balls-out, and it's always been my favorite Pantera record.
The front half of the record has got some huge grooves on it and the back half has some interesting things. I always enjoyed "Slaughtered" best. There's no melody in that song; it's just pure aggression. I always loved that song and then "[Hard Lines,] Sunken Cheeks," I think that solo is probably the greatest solo that Dimebag ever did. That middle solo where it's in the bridge and it just sounds like he's underwater and he's using the feedback the whole time, but he's hitting all these brilliant notes. But put me down for "Slaughtered" for favorite song.