May 7, 1996

May7On this day in 1996, Pantera released their eighth studio album, The Great Southern Trendkill. Written and recorded during a time when Pantera was having problems (singer Phil Anselmo’s drug use and lack of communication being the main stumbling blocks), they were still able to put together one of their finest records.

With the tension in the group, Anselmo wrote and recorded his vocal parts on his own at Trent Reznor’s Nothing Studios in New Orleans. Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown would write and record their tracks at Chasin Jason Studios in Dallas, Texas.

The album includes heart-racing, extremely stunning pieces of music and lyrics throughout. Opening with the album’s titled track (and singer Anselmo’s scream), The Great Southern Trendkill followed punch after punch with ‘War Nerve’, ‘Drag The Waters’, and songs such as ’13 Steps to Nowhere’, which contained remarkable drum tracks, bass, and guitar.

The tracks, ‘Suicide Note Pt. I’ and ‘Suicide Note Pt. II’, are outstanding in metal music history, using some of the fastest tempos mixed with the bulk of tuned-down guitars, acoustic guitars, and both vocal and guitar over-dubs.

The most notable song on the record is the heart-breaking ‘Floods’. At seven minutes long, ‘Floods’ is the record’s longest song and is considered to be one of Dimebag Darrell’s most exceptionally outstanding pieces. His guitar solo is marked as the 15th greatest guitar solo of all time by Guitar World Magazine.

Recently, Dimebag Darrell’s widow, Rita Haney, released a statement via Instagram about that precious guitar solo. Here is what she said:

This album contains a personal favourite piece. In 1986, Darrell made me a 90-minunte cassette tape, which I still have to sleep to. It contains a piano piece that he wrote and converted into guitar. He dubbed it forward and backwards, the whole tape, and titled it Rita’s Sleep Tape. Many years later, he reached back into that endless box of riffs and a piece surfaced at the end of ‘Floods’. The harmonics still bring a tear to my eye. . . of happiness.

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