Pantera “The Great Southern Trendkill”

Pantera The Great Southern Trendkill

Platinum Anniversary Albums

7 May 1996, Rhino/Elektra

It’s really difficult to pick just one but if I had to I’d call The Great Southern Trendkill my favorite Pantera album. It wasn’t the first I ever heard and it doesn’t have a lot of big hits on it, but it does have the coolest cover of all their albums. I’ll take that rattlesnake over the guy getting punched in the face on Vulgar Display of Power any day.

Honestly, I think it works better as a whole. All of their other albums lose me during the second half. Sure Vulgar has the great track “Hollow” as a closer and Far Beyond Driven ends with their cover of “Planet Caravan,” but I couldn’t pick out most of the other songs on the latter part of those albums. And I’m not even sure I’ve ever listened to the second half of Reinventing the Steel.

But Trendkill is solid from top to bottom. Right from the opening of the title track you know what you’re in for. BLLLLAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! screamed over the chugged guitars and pounding drums. That may be the greatest opening to any album ever. “Fuck it,” they seem to say. “We’re going all in.”

“War Nerve” won me over as a teenager with the line “Fuck the world for all it’s worth, every inch of planet Earth.” Honestly sometimes after a tough day at work I still find myself humming that.

I remember  thinking the guitar solo in “Drag the Waters” felt forced when I was younger. It seemed like it was jammed in there because Dimebag Darrell was a guitar hero and every Pantera song needed a solo. I’ve since changed my mind on that and love the song structures all through this album. Not only are the songs filled with the riffs and leads that they need but nothing is overplayed. Ironically, this sounds like a rather simple guitar album for a shredder as accomplished as Darrell. The riffs are simple, but goddamn are they heavy.

And it’s hard to ignore how talented the rest of the group was on this album. This is definitely one of Phil Anselmo’s greatest vocal and lyrical performances. From the poignant, heartfelt, somber melodies on “Suicide Note Pt. 1” to the throat searing screeches on “Suicide Note Pt. 2” the man runs from opposite ends of the spectrum seamlessly over the course of two songs.

And how could anyone forget “Floods”? It may not be the greatest song ever, but that is one of the greatest guitar solos ever. When I think of this song I don’t ever get the melodies from the verse or chorus in my head. It’s that solo all the way.


I’m not sure if this is a concept album, but some of the themes are repeated. I hear the words “Fuck the World” several times through it. And the desire to kill all trends is reinforced during the closing track “Sandblasted Skin.”

I’m not sure if Pantera just ignored what was going on around them musically, made a conscious decision to go against what they were hearing or just went into the studio and jammed out a great album. I know this was the beginning of the end for them as Anselmo was struggling with heroin addiction and working on his own away from the group. But whatever their goal or statement was, I think it’s safe to say they created a masterpiece.



The Best Guitarists

guitarist-on-stageI really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog. This one is rather difficult to pull off though. I mean, how do you compare Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison? They’re both great guitarists, but it’s like comparing your favorite burger to your favorite doughnut.

I’m going to try anyway.

I do realize I could just call this “My Personal Favorite Guitar Players,” but I worry that would take away all the controversy and I really enjoy when people comment about how I forget someone. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.


Johnny Ramone (The Ramones) – He may not have been the most skilled palyer, but not many musicians have had the impact he did. Before Johnny no one played guitar solely with fast down picking. After him, an entire genre of music that did nothing else was born.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Solo) – He’s definitely not a traditional soloist, but he stands out in a crowd.

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains, Solo) – I’m sure being the primary songwriter for his band forces him to look at the guitar in a different manner than someone who composes as part of a group. His solos always feel like they belong in the song and were written to make it just a little better.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) – One of the best guitar solos of all time starts at 3:50


Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) – A Randy Rhoads solo disc would have been awesome wouldn’t it? He was amazing at writing these great instrumental songs – but within the songs that he was playing with Ozzy.

Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (Megadeth 1990-99) I’m not sure who was doing what in the band at the time. I’m not that interested really, but I know they made one helluva team.

John 5 (Solo, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Two) – So far there’s only been one guitarist able to maintain my interest throughout an album and/or live show by just playing his guitar. I should probably check out Vai or Satriani sometime to see how they compare, but I’m pretty sure Mr. 5 will always be my favorite shredder.

George Harrison (The Beatles, Solo) – He’s definitely not the flashiest or speediest musician on this list, but he always seemed to know the right notes to play. Come on, could you imagine Mick Mars doing a solo on “Helter Skelter”? Or Steve Vai doing “Hey Bulldog”? Or Type O Negative doing a Beatles melody. (You don’t have to here)

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Jimi Hendrix (Solo, Band of Gypsys) – It really doesn’t seem right to include Hendrix on this list. He doesn’t come off as a guitar player to me. He really just sang through the instrument and like it was a part of his body. His voice and gyrating hips were his instrument, the guitar was just an extension of his body.

Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd, Solo) – “Dave Gilmore can do more with one note than most guitar players can do with the entire fret board” (That’s a quote I read from Dave Mustaine in an old issue of guitar world. Never have truer words been spoken.



For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

Phil Anselmo to Perform Halftime show of Super Bowl LI

philipanselmowhitepower_638New York – After the deafening uproar from the white population in the wake of Beyonce’s homage to the Black Panthers during Super Bowl L, the NFL has done an about face and booked noted white supremacist Phil Anselmo for next years’ show.

The NFL released a statement saying:

“We really didn’t think Queen Bey would have been able to cause this much of a ruckus. I mean, it is Black History month and the Black Panther Party is part of Black History. The act seemed timely as it coincided with the  50th anniversary of the Parties founding and also in the wake of police officers constantly killing unarmed black men (and children).  Also we had Coldplay as the main performer and they are quite literally the whitest band we were able to find. I guess we didn’t realize that after a millennium of oppressing other races white people developed such thin skin. We’re deeply sorry for all the butthurt you feel and are willing to go to great lengths to make it up to you, our white trash audience.”

“I’m pumped up about this,” said Anselmo. Anselmo, the former singer of Pantera and current vocalist of Superjoint Ritual, Down and the Illegals came under fire last month for performing a Nazi salute and saying white power. “We’re going to have a bunch of Klansman dressed up in colored robes and we’ll have them dance around to create a big confederate flag. That shouldn’t be offensive right? I mean if blacks can support their culture with the Black Panther Party we should be able to celebrate ours with the KKK right? Their pretty much the same thing right?”

My comment that the main difference between the two was that the Black Panther party was committed to ending segregation and racism while the KKK promoted it was shouted down with phrases like “Uncle Tom” and “Niggerlover.”

“We’re going to get David Allen Coe to come down and we’ll sing ‘Nigger Hatin’ Me’ together,” said Anselmo with a glint in his eye. “We’re also looking at getting John Mayer, Paris Hilton, Moby and even Kreayshawn for the rap lovers.”

The announcement received a surprising amount of support from the black community as Jay Z and Soulja Boy expressed interest in singing the national anthem in exchange for five minutes alone with Anselmo.

No word yet on why racists just don’t watch hockey.

Both Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith plan to boycott the halftime show.


I love a great list post. They’re easy to do and usually get a respectable number of views. So when I read about the Top 15 for September 2015 over at 1001albumsin10years I was ready to go. I immediately began compiling the list of my favorite albums of all time (at this particular moment). This was a massive undertaking that took me about the same amount of time as any other post.

And don’t try to argue with me about the order and/or inclusion/exclusion of any particular album. I used the highly scientific method of my own personal preferences so you can’t argue with me! The only condition I set was that I wouldn’t include two albums by the same band. Looking back, I wish I’d set a limit on years (It’s almost exclusively 1994 and 1996).

But enough preface – Let’s Go!


the offspring smash cover15 The Offspring Smash (1994) The crown jewel in the early 90’s punk revival.

14 Acid Bath Paegan Terrorism Tactics (1996) The crown jewel in southern-sludge-doom metal.

13 Pink Floyd The Wall  (1979) This was one of my favorite albums in high school. Does everyone go through a time in their lives when this album describes everything you feel about the world? It sure seems to touch on some pretty universal themes.

12 Queens of the Stone Age Songs For The Deaf (2002) Oddly enough, I’ve never been able to get into any QOTSA albums aside from this one. It’s just so great that all of their other work pales in comparison. It’s definitely one of those ‘lightning in a bottle’ albums.

11 Pantera The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) You know the big 4 of 80’s thrash metal? Fuck ’em. Pantera could chew them all up and spit them out. Trendkill makes this list because I find it to be the most cohesive of their albums and it contains Dimebag’s best solo, “Floods.”


10 Soundgarden Superunknown (1994)

9 Pearl Jam Ten (1991) – I can still remember the first time I heard this album. I’d already heard a lot of hullabaloo about Pearl Jam and after listening I just though ‘So that’s what all the fuss is about.’

8 Weezer S/T (The Blue Album) (1994)

Electric Larryland7 The Butthole Surfers Electric Larryland (1996) This album is the greatest mixture of noise rock and pop punk ever recorded. I did have Nirvana in this slot, but I think I like the Butthole Surfers better.

6 The Beatles S/T (The White Album) (1968) The Beatles should appear on every best of list. The trouble is that it’s extremely difficult to pick just one Beatles album to put on a best of list. I cheated by choosing the double album.

5 Elton John Tumbleweed Connection (1970) I find it extremely difficult to choose between this, Madman Across the Water and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I could have easily put them all on this list, but I didn’t want it to just be a list of my favorite Elton John albums. This one wins because there are no songs on it that I don’t love. I don’t love “Indian Sunset” or “Gray Seal.”

4 Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral (1994) I was a really depressed teenager. This album helped me to make it through those dark years by letting me know I wasn’t alone in feeling the way I did.

Ramones_-_Ramones_cover3 The Ramones S/T (1976) The prototype for the greatest American rock and roll band… and for the thousands who would imitate them.

2 Alice in Chains Jar of Flies (1994) This album makes it onto this list for the same reason as The Downward Spiral, but appealed to a different part of depression.


1 Temple of the Dog S/T (1991) May not be the #1 album ever, but it’s definitely the best album from the 90’s. And probably the 80’s too.


So there’s my list. What do you think? I love this event and I’d be down to doing it every few years. Mainly just to see how these lists change. And the best part is that now I have a pretty cool list of albums to review in the near future.

Make sure you stop by Lebrain’s site as he did the heavy lifting and linked to all the sites of people participating in this event.


Are You Lost 11

1910001_10202366648590091_7589657265662642234_nI like to think it’s because I’m such a great writer that people are coming to read my thoughts on music. Of course, what’s really happening is that people are typing crazy shit into Google and somehow ending up here. After reading Lebrain’s posts about what search terms lead to his site I thought it would be fun to share what leads people to The Audible Stew.

i hate jocks with my religion – You should probably switch to Judaism.

riff solo hd wallpapers

joey jordison nude

Jerry Cantrell Dimebag Darrell picjerry cantrell’s family photos

dimebag darrell ghost seen

lead singer of in this moment nude – I knew it was only a matter of time before this one showed up.

maria brink sexy – No. Sexy’s her middle name.

bands related to in this moment – I believe their sister is in One Direction and they have a distant cousin who plays in Little Big Town.

go fuck yourself febuary

assyrian beard

pics of marilyn manson sucking his own penis – Why the hell would you want to see this?

penny dreadful lyrics the said so

Tits seen at the gathering

Tits seen at the gathering

tits i saw at the gathering

penis in musci – What is a musci? And why would you put a penis in it?

i’m the motherfucker that named you sue

pornbelow15 – I usually like my porn hot like a sauna. Or at least room temperature.

The Last Show for Dimebag

It’s been 10 years since this happened, but it seems like a lifetime.

The Audible Stew

Every now and again someone mentions Pantera and Dimebag Darrell. And every time that happens the conversation turns to his murder at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, OH.

I don’t mention that I was there every time. Sometimes people talk so fast and so much that I have trouble getting a word in edgewise. And anyway… even if they asked what it was like I couldn’t explain it as well as I did in this story I wrote for a college class a few years ago.

It was originally published on Buzzbin Magazine’s Website, but it was brought to my attention that this link is no longer working so I’ve posted the text below.

I took this shot on a digital camera a few seconds before the end of the show. I took this shot on a digital camera a few seconds before the end of the show.

Flyer for the last Damgeplan show Flyer for the last Damgeplan show

I was expecting to see the best concert of my life…

View original post 1,533 more words

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ‘The Crow’

Platinum Anniversary Album Series

Here’s my latest entry in a series on albums that still rock me 20 years after their release.

The biggest influence on my musical preference after ‘Black Hole Sun’ came from a mix up with a BMG order.

BMG AdYou see children, back in the 90’s magazines would occasionally come with advertisements for music clubs like BMG or Columbia House. The way these clubs worked was that they would send you a bunch of CD’s for a penny (plus Shipping and Handling) in exchange for a commitment from you to buy a few more CD’s at the regular club price over the next few years. I always liked the deal. Plus they would always throw in bonus deals like ‘buy this months featured selection and get 2 more free.’ The only trouble was the way they would automatically send the featured selection and you would have to send it back if you didn’t want it.

Anyway… I digress.

After receiving Mom’s permission I ordered a batch and joined the BMG music club. Because I was such a good boy I ordered mainly ‘Mother Approved’ discs. Stuff that wouldn’t ruffle too many feathers in our mobile home with paper thin walls. I remember ordering The Tractors CD for my brother (He loved their hit “Baby Likes To Rock It Like A Boogie Woogie Choo-Choo Train“) and the self titled Blues Traveler album. Somehow, whether from my sloppy handwriting or a mistake at the shipping department, I received two albums I didn’t order: Megadeth’s Youthanasia and the soundtrack to The Crow. I was going to send them back with a letter asking for the ones I originally ordered, but no one wanted to give me a ride to the post office and Vic Rattlehead clothes pinning those babes up just looked so damn cool.

The-Crow-SoundtrackOriginal Motion Picture Soundtrack The Crow (29 March 1994)

Much like the film and graphic novel it’s based upon, the soundtrack to The Crow is really fucking dark. It begins, appropriately enough, with the sounds of birds (I believe they’re seagulls) In The Cure’s “Burn.” They provide a stellar opening with their echoey guitars and single note leads.

I’ve never heard Machines of Loving Grace anywhere but on this album, but “Golgotha Temple Blues” is one of my favorites. The slinky, sliding bass line propels this song down some strange back alleys better left untrod. But I feel like a better person for exploring them.

Stone Temple Pilot’s “Big Empty” seems a bit out of place here. It’s the only song that was a hit and the only one to have appeared on another album. As such, I think it would be more appropriate to review this track along with the album Purple. which I’m not going to do here.

The cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” by Nine Inch Nails is another favorite. This album really created my interest in industrial music, but it created a skewed view of the genre by giving me songs with great bass lines and screeching guitar riffs instead of computer blips and bloops.

Rage Against the Machine provide their trademarked rap-metal with some great riffs, socially conscious lyrics and… a traditional solo from Tom Morello? It’s weird to think of it, but that dude can really shred.

“Color Me Once” is by far my favorite song on this album. From the quiet single note intro to the wah drenched outro I love every second. My favorite part is the lyrics, which make absolutely no sense to me, and the way they’re sung.

From there the album goes on a downhill slide of B-sides. The only the remaining standout tracks are the dance rock “Slip Slide Melting” by For Love Not Lisa and the alterna-pop “Time Baby III” by Medicine. Other than that the songs are pretty much stock tunes that didn’t fit onto the other bands’ albums.

I’m not even really a big fan of Jane Siberry’s “It Can’t Rain All The Time” which was incorporated into the film as a song Eric Draven’s band plays. Still, the first half is so great that even if side two slouches a bit it’s still a killer album.

the-crow-soundtrack-backFor more Platinum Anniversary Albums:

Part 6: Korn-Korn

Part 5: Marilyn Manson- Portrait of an American Family

Part 4: The Summer Nationals Tour 2014 

Part 3: Hole – Live Through This

Part 2: Soundgarden – Superunknown

Part 1: Weezer – The Blue Album



The Last Show for Dimebag

Every now and again someone mentions Pantera and Dimebag Darrell. And every time that happens the conversation turns to his murder at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, OH.

I don’t mention that I was there every time. Sometimes people talk so fast and so much that I have trouble getting a word in edgewise. And anyway… even if they asked what it was like I couldn’t explain it as well as I did in this story I wrote for a college class a few years ago.

It was originally published on Buzzbin Magazine’s Website, but it was brought to my attention that this link is no longer working so I’ve posted the text below.

I took this shot on a digital camera a few seconds before the end of the show.

I took this shot on a digital camera a few seconds before the end of the show.



Flyer for the last Damgeplan show

Flyer for the last Damgeplan show

I was expecting to see the best concert of my life. What I got instead was one of the worst heavy metal shows of all time.

I nearly shit myself when I first saw it advertised. Damageplan was playing at the Alrosa Villa for $8. To see a band like this in a 640 capacity venue was a once in a lifetime opportunity. They were not a big band. They only had one album under their belts and hadn’t even been on the radar for more than a year, but the guitarist and drummer were living legends. Dimebag Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul had formed the band Pantera in the eighties and became one of the biggest metal bands of the nineties. When singer Phil Anselmo took time off to play in other bands and get addicted to heroin, they decided to start afresh with a new project.

I never got the chance to see Pantera live, so I figured Damageplan was the next best thing. They didn’t have the history or set list that Pantera had, but I was sure it was going to be a great time. A lot of my friends weren’t really into Damageplan, but I bought two tickets because I was sure there was no way any of them would let me go alone.

On Dec. 8, the day of the show, my rock trivia calendar asked me, “On this day, where was John Lennon murdered?” After a normal day at work I arrived home to a message. My friend whom I had planned on making the hour and a half trip to Columbus with was sick; he wouldn’t be joining me. I was disappointed and pissed off at his last minute bail-out, but I remained optimistic. After calling everyone I had a number for my optimism faded. It wasn’t just that I didn’t want to make a long car trip by myself; it was also that I had one headlight, no radio and not a penny for gas. But nothing was going to keep me away from the Alrosa Villa that night, even if I had to make the voyage solo. I handed my disposable camera to my stepdad and he snapped a picture of me giving the finger to all my friends who were too busy to come with me. Then I hit the road.

I stopped in Coshocton and held my breath as I swiped my debit card in the gas pump. There were a few dollars in my account, but I would be over drafting. I bought 11.617 gallons at $1.80/gallon for a total of $21.02 at the Second Street Shell. The only positive light I could find was that Ohio Route 16 is a scenic stretch of road. I strapped my seatbelt on and headed west, out of the Appalachian foothills and into the plains. When I passed the Longaberger basket I knew I was getting close. I made it to the Alrosa with time to spare for the 6:30 start.


There was nothing great to be said about any of the opening bands: 12 Gauge, Position 6, and Volume Dealer. I remember Volume Dealer doing a cover of “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J and giving a shout out to Vinnie Paul, who watched their set from the side of the stage. Other than that, they’ve faded to the ether of my mind along with the hundreds of other local acts I’ve seen at the dozens of shows I’ve been to.

I really wanted a beer. I had only one dollar to spend. It was already in the form of four quarters, which I traded for two cups of water throughout the night. When Position 6 was finishing up their set, I knew it was time to make my way to the front of the crowd. When Damageplan began there would be no moving through the crowd.

It’s always late by the time the headliners take the stage. My impatience was compounded by three mediocre openers, no money for beer or soda and loneliness. Then the show was held up because some asshole had parked in the wrong space and needed to move his vehicle. My heart pounded with excitement. I was sure this was going to be the greatest event of my life. I knew I would tell my grandchildren about it.

I can’t tell you the exact minute they walked onstage. One moment I was standing comfortably in the middle of a crowd smoking a cigarette (this was still allowed) and the next minute I was crushed between a dozen other fans jostling for a position in front of the stage. I didn’t have the greatest spot in the house, which belonged to the guy in front of me. I was in the second row. That didn’t stop my neighbor from trying to shove me out of the way; of course, I had an advantage over him. I had both of my legs and he was rocking a prosthetic.

But I didn’t care that there were people smashing into me and I had to fight just to be able to stand in the same place. I was in heaven. Dimebag Darrell, arguably the greatest metal guitar player alive, was 10 feet in front of me. The band was rocking out to “Breathing New Life.” I was snapping pictures and banging my head.

I didn’t think anything of it when I saw the tall guy in the orange jacket on the stage. I figured he was a crowd surfer. I’d been on that stage before and had jumped off myself. Crowd surfers were a pain in the ass and you’re sure to get kicked in the head when they’re around, but I didn’t mind. Nothing could ruin this show.

Except that he didn’t jump into the crowd.

He crossed the stage to right in front of me and behind Dimebag, pulled a silver handgun out of his pocket and shot him in the head.

The thing that bothers me the most about this whole experience is that I may have cheered. I thought it was a stunt. Marilyn Manson had been known to do this at his shows. I had seen all of the Pantera home movies and couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to take the life of someone who appeared so caring, genuine and generous as Dimebag Darrell.

Even having seen the mist of blood explode from his face when the bullets hit the back of his skull, I didn’t believe it.

After firing numerous shots (the papers said one number, a book about the event said another and I only heard two) and killing three more people, the gunman took a hostage and disappeared behind a wall of speakers. My eyes tricked me into believing that Dime was still breathing. Of course he wasn’t.

Seconds…Then Minutes ticked by. I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there. The lights came back on, but that could have been part of the joke. When I finally did turn around, the building was nearly empty. And there were police officers rushing in with guns. Not the pistols that they carry in neat leather holster on their hips, but shotguns. When I saw the brown pumps on the dark gunmetal I knew that this was no joke.

I don’t remember hearing the shot that took the assassin’s life. I was too concerned for my hero lying there on the stage. When a group of fans took hold of his arms and began dragging him away from the danger, I joined in. The flesh of his forearm was as cold as if he’d just spent an hour covered in ice. It was hard to believe that a few minutes ago he’d been slamming power chords out of his guitar. Someone started CPR. I just stood there. I could see that it was him. The face, tattoos, and razorblade necklace that I had seen in so many videos, posters and magazines was lying at my feet, but gone.

Realizing there was nothing I could do to help I walked out of a side door. I had stayed inside thinking that maybe I could have been of use to someone, I am trained in CPR and first aid, but there were plenty of police officers and management wanted us out anyway.

I didn’t leave right away. I stood outside the door taking in the scene. I’ve never seen so many grown men openly weeping. I asked the next person out if that had really just happened. He said, yeah, it had. Then he agreed to smoke a bowl with me. My God did I need it.

The tragedy left scars on me. I wasn’t hurt physically and I don’t suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but you can’t see a life taken right in front of your eyes not feel something. You wouldn’t be human if you could. For years afterward I wouldn’t listen to that song, because I could still hear the shots right before the bridge. I’ve been back to the Alrosa a few times but it’s not the same for me. Security is tighter and I can’t look at a certain spot on the floor without seeing his ghost.