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Pantera and Slayer influences


Spiderlix

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Obviously both Pantera and Slayer were influential bands, but you're going to end up chasing your own tail trying to make the case for an equivalence of that measure. It's important to remember that Pantera also had some very distinct phases where the genre hopping in an effort to gain commercial appeal is almost comically obvious. As much as the remaining members might disavow their glam material the fact is that it's part of the Pantera catalogue (and in my opinion what little remainder of that 'glam' melodicism there was as they moved further toward Dime's more natural blues rock style is probably the reason Cowboys From Hell is the only Pantera album I still enjoy). Slayer, for their part, were pretty much always Slayer. Yes, as a soloist Kerry King is overrated, but that was never really the springboard for Slayer's sound, and their influence on death metal was accompanied by legions of other bands who were leaning in the direction of extreme metal anyway. The comparison is just too generalized to function effectively in my opinion. You might have a different perspective though, so I'd be interested to hear your argument in that direction. We here at the Scholastic Institute for Teleological Studies in Extreme Metal are always down for a good round of properly conceited shit flinging.ūüėĀ

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3 hours ago, Nasty_Cabbage said:

Obviously both Pantera and Slayer were influential bands, but you're going to end up chasing your own tail trying to make the case for an equivalence of that measure. It's important to remember that Pantera also had some very distinct phases where the genre hopping in an effort to gain commercial appeal is almost comically obvious. As much as the remaining members might disavow their glam material the fact is that it's part of the Pantera catalogue (and in my opinion what little remainder of that 'glam' melodicism there was as they moved further toward Dime's more natural blues rock style is probably the reason Cowboys From Hell is the only Pantera album I still enjoy). 

 

Not sure how Pantera's earliest days is pertinent to the discussion.  

Pantera certainly didn't genre hop for appeal - noting they were playing the most trendiest kind of music in 1980s (glam). They started shifting to a heavier approach throughout the 1980s but note both the Abbott brothers had an interest in thrash metal - Dimebag was offered a slot in Megadeth in 1989 and both the Abbott brothers were friends with Metallica in the 1980s.

Phil Anselmo never was glam - he joined Pantera at age 19 and his first album Power Metal was a far heavier album than the previous 3 glam ones.

Pantera just got heavier despite collapse of heavy metal as commercial music.  Cowboys From Hell was heavier than Power Metal, Vulgar heavier than Cowboys, Far Beyond heavier than Vulgar and Great Southern Trendkill had some truly extreme moments.

Note by the time Trendkill is out, metal is commercially dead.   Pantera could have trend hopped to write a nu-metal influenced album (like Sepultura).  Instead they did it their own way and wrote probably their most extreme record despite the commercial scene.

Reinventing the Steel was more similar  to Vulgar in terms of heaviness but again there was no trend hopping to nu-metal or emerging melodic metalcore scene.

 

7 hours ago, Spiderlix said:

Can we say Pantera influences on early metalcore it's like Slayer to death metal?

Pantera certainly is a massive influence on metalcore - bands like Earthcrisis, VOD, Integity and then later KSE etc.  Many of these bands have never denied this.  

Pantera also had an influence on extreme metal including thrash and death metal - that more muscular approach and chunky sound that is common now comes from Pantera.  In death metal you can see the impact of Pantera on albums like Domination by Morbid Angel or Diatribes by Napalm Death or Wolverine Blues by Entombed.

(Yes I know Exhorder is a thing.  So are Sacred Reich, Forced Entry, etc... but I doubt Exodus or Testament were channelling those guys in 1990s).

Melodic metalcore was basically Swedish melodic death metal crossed Pantera with some emo vocals thrown in.  Pantera was one of the first bands to really do breakdowns eg This Love.

 

As for Slayer and influence on death metal - definitely yes.  But I think it was more Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits that directly influenced death metal than Reign in Blood.  Core death metal visionaries like Possessed as well as Chuck Schuldiner were already down that pathway by the time that Reign In Blood came out.

 

You can actually here that progression if you listen to Hell Awaits -> Seven Churches -> Scream Bloody Gore. 

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1 hour ago, Dead1 said:

 

Not sure how Pantera's earliest days is pertinent to the discussion.  

Pantera certainly didn't genre hop for appeal - noting they were playing the most trendiest kind of music in 1980s (glam). They started shifting to a heavier approach throughout the 1980s but note both the Abbott brothers had an interest in thrash metal - Dimebag was offered a slot in Megadeth in 1989 and both the Abbott brothers were friends with Metallica in the 1980s.

I agree with your entire post accept for this. I don't buy for a second that Pantera's absolute draining of their sound of all but the faintest hints of melodicism in favor of a heavier downtuned percussive approach wasn't the result of them trying to get in front of the commercial curve. Just because they got heavier instead of lighter doesn't mean they weren't chasing fame and fortune. A ton of bands tried to evolve with the changing sensibilities of younger audiences as they aged including some metal royalty, and at the end of the day it's not all that heinous of a betrayal to want commercial success in doing what you love. So I don't want to sound like I just want to bash Pantera or that I don't respect their place in metal history. It's that their jump over to a thumpier more "aggro" style that could accommodate high production values and simplistic rhythmic tuneless repetition is a particularly egregious example. I could give a little on this for your assessment of The Great Southern Trendkill, since if any album in their catalogue is underrated, it's that one, but I always saw some of the stronger elements of that album as being attributable to the fact that they had already garnered commercial success and Dime was starting to give way to his much more natural fit as the bluesy lead guitarist he seemed like he always wanted to be with the real heaviness coming from the razor sharp rhythm section.

Their influence on metalcore though... I think it's a case of them being just as strong of an influence there as they were on nearly every other genre to come up around that specific time frame. It's too ubiquitous to tack onto metalcore in particular, and, as you pointed out, a stronger point of reference by far would be Gothenburg styled melodeath plus breakdowns.

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1 hour ago, Nasty_Cabbage said:

Just because they got heavier instead of lighter doesn't mean they weren't chasing fame and fortune

 

Pantera started off as a glam band.  Of course they were chasing wealth and fame.

In fact by 1987-88 so was nearly every single thrash band.  So was Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath.  By 1992-93 so were most death metal bands!  Metal was becoming big business with lots of opportunities for rock stardom.

Pantera were never Celtic Frost or Metallica or Kreator - there was no extreme metal edge or hardcore punk values in Pantera between 1981-90.

As such they could never really sell out in 1980s as the initial premise was commercial success playing the most mainstream form of metal.

And their transition to heavier stuff wasn't just adopting thrash metal 101 which would have been the obvious way to do it (ie sound like Metallica or Slayer).

They actually had their own sound.  Closest was actually Sacred Reich's American Way (released in May 1990 by the time which Pantera's CFH was also already recorded).  Exhorder was still far heavier and more extreme than Pantera.

 

And note Pantera got heavier whereas nearly every other band with any level of success just got less extreme in that same time period.  Eg look at Metallica, Death Angel, Carcass, Megadeth, Anthrax, Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Prong, Entombed, Death etc etc.  Oout of thrash bands only Slayer and Testament got more extreme in early 1990s - literally keeping up with the times and Pantera.

Far Beyond Driven went number 1 in the US and at the same time nearly every thrash and death metal band was effectively selling out in a bid to stay relevant.

You'd think a more "heavier downtuned percussive approach" would actually have done them wonders like it did Pantera.

But Pantera offered something reasonably unique.  They also fit the zeitgeist of the 1990s  - technological innovation, Rodney King riots,  mainstream acknowledgment of gang violence, realisation of American dream not functioning as promised etc.

 

 

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high production values 

 

Given Pantera's origins as a glam band, they probably would have wanted to have a crystal clear mainstream sound from the start (think Mutt Lange on Def Leppard's Hysteria or Bob Rock on Motley Crue's Dr Feelgood)!

The better production was the result of being signed to a major label.  All metal bands did it as more cash became available - I mean listen to Carcass' Symphonies of Sickness or Morbid Angel's Covenant etc and compare to their earlier sound.

And credit where credit's due, 1990s top end metal production is the peak of metal production in my opinion.  It's not plastic and sterile sounding unlike today.  Terry Date's work on Pantera is some of the best in the biz in my opinion.

 

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Their influence on metalcore though... I think it's a case of them being just as strong of an influence there as they were on nearly every other genre to come up around that specific time frame. It's too ubiquitous to tack onto metalcore in particular, and, as you pointed out, a stronger point of reference by far would be Gothenburg styled melodeath plus breakdowns.

The original 1990s metalcore (Vision of Disorder, Integrity, Earth Crisis, Overcast, Merauder, Hatebreed etc) had nothing to do with melodic death metal.  It was influenced by groove, death, thrash and sludge metal.

The Gothenburg inspired "melodic metalcore" scene is a late 1990s innovation which incorporated elements of the original metalcore scene with melodic death metal and emo vocals.

 

Eg

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Dead1 said:

The original 1990s metalcore (Vision of Disorder, Integrity, Earth Crisis, Overcast, Merauder, Hatebreed etc) had nothing to do with melodic death metal.  It was influenced by groove, death, thrash and sludge metal.

The Gothenburg inspired "melodic metalcore" scene is a late 1990s innovation which incorporated elements of the original metalcore scene with melodic death metal and emo vocals.

 

Eg

 

 

 

Of those early metalcore acts you mentioned I had only fleeting awareness of Hatebreed and Earth Crisis, and never heard either of them mentioned as being 'metalcore' as it were. Things might have been a little different in the areas of the nation that I was in at the time, but even the oldiest and moldiest metalheads I knew would give Hatebreed and even DRI along with the entire hardcore scene a passing scoffing remark at best, and a lot worse if they'd even been mentioned as being in the same galaxy as metal proper. I might've been a bit too young, I suppose, but I just never really learned to think of those early metalcore acts as  prototypical 'metalcore', and typically associate the term with the weird burst of At The Gates + breakdowns acts that were suddenly for no apparent reason bloody everywhere post 2010-ish.

 

By the way, props for mentioning Prong earlier in your post. I had completely forgotten that band existed and remembering them brought me a nostalgic chuckle.

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I remember reading about genre clashes in the US in the late 80's and 90's. We only got whatever mags like Metal Hammer or the like reported on and the odd story bouncing around BBS's but I thought it was funny. We had nothing like that in our scene. We had multiple genres playing gigs all over the place, Hardcore and thrash, hair metal and death metal, pub rock and thrash. No one here gave a shit, people just wanted gigs and we wanted to fill the venues with as many people as we could.

 

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Pantera will hold a prominent place in my listening agenda for the rest of my life. I have zero time or interest in anything influenced by Pantera. Like I would rather listen to Transylvanian Hunger 10,000 times than listen to a new low fi black metal album. 

 

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55 minutes ago, Dead1 said:

    Scene's a lot more accepting and it's been acknowledged metalcore and crossover were legitimate metal/hardcore fusions (but also thrash, death, speed and black metal are also punk/metal fusions!).

 

Did you get into the scene in 2010s?

 

I only ask cause melodic metalcore really broke out in early 2000s - Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall (who started out as melodic DM), Darkest Hour, Trivium, As I Lay Dying, All That Remains (also started out melodic DM) and Unearth. 

KSE's Live or Just Breathing was the first biggish success and that was released in 2002.

By 2005 melodic metalcore was a fucking plague - it was everywhere.  Even older Swedish DM bands like In Flames and Soilwork became more metalcore.

I fucking hated it at the time though I did like Shadows Fall and Lamb of God.  LOG were associated with the scene but their music didn't really fit the mold and was closer to Pantera.    

I was into "metal" as I saw it well before 2010, but I guess that particular section of the scene didn't really enter my orbit until probably around '05 or so. Kind of tough to pin a specific year on it. The scene has definitely become more accepting since, though. You're correct on that score. I do know I was more than well aware of Killswitch Engage and Trivium right from the start of their careers, though. I just really didn't have anything nice to say about them and mostly still don't. Absolutely rejected their sound in particular. My way into accepting a lot of that generation of metal bands was more through the side door of the more technical end. Specifically Dillinger Escape Plan if we're talking about introducing foreign genre elements onto my sonic palette. It was a case of my taste and the music moving in opposite directions. I know there are and have always been people who find the mathy stuff to be insufferable wankery, but I always found their concept-forward, ideas first approach infinitely more enjoyable than Trivium and their ilk who I always saw as kind of adopting as little of the notorious unapproachability of metal as possible and calling themselves a hybrid. Sort of like calling Nickelback hard rock because the singer uses a little bit of a rasp. I was seeking something harder to grasp. Something that would send most other people running the other way. Something that took time to find the pleasure in, and the caustic insanity of technical death and DEP along with the more consciously ugly and obscure elements of a lot of European death and black metal gave me that. Killswitch and Trivium did not.

But like I said, I eventually softened a little bit on some of that stuff. Mainly just from knowing a lot of people and the many many different routes they've taken through metal in general. I still won't voluntarily listen to Killswitch, but you might convince me to give the Hacksaw to the Throats and Black Dhalia Murders of the world another go if I'm in a good mood. 

Good call on naming Shadows Fall and Lamb of God as the sort of exceptions to the rule. I do remember enjoying Of One Blood (Mainly because it's ATG worship) and As The Palaces Burn which is easily the most heavily Pantera centered band of the whole lot, although apparently Mr. Blythe is a big fan of Rust in Peace apparently. Wouldn't have pegged him for that, but eh.

And I had nurtured an affection for in Flames since at the very least Clayman, probably earlier, so Reroute to Remain and the whole Soilwork thing really didn't fly with me either.

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3 hours ago, Nasty_Cabbage said:

Of those early metalcore acts you mentioned I had only fleeting awareness of Hatebreed and Earth Crisis, and never heard either of them mentioned as being 'metalcore' as it were.

 

Much like groove metal term, metalcore wasn't really used in 1990s.  I did hear metallic hardcore though and metalcore is just a shortened version of that.

 

Quote

Things might have been a little different in the areas of the nation that I was in at the time, but even the oldiest and moldiest metalheads I knew would give Hatebreed and even DRI along with the entire hardcore scene a passing scoffing remark at best, and a lot worse if they'd even been mentioned as being in the same galaxy as metal proper.

Depending on who you talked to back then, a lot of metal wasn't metal.   I've met black metallers who denied Iron Maiden was metal.    

Scene's a lot more accepting and it's been acknowledged metalcore and crossover were legitimate metal/hardcore fusions (but also thrash, death, speed and black metal are also punk/metal fusions!).

 

Quote

I might've been a bit too young, I suppose, but I just never really learned to think of those early metalcore acts as  prototypical 'metalcore', and typically associate the term with the weird burst of At The Gates + breakdowns acts that were suddenly for no apparent reason bloody everywhere post 2010-ish.

Did you get into the scene in 2010s?

 

I only ask cause melodic metalcore really broke out in early 2000s - Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall (who started out as melodic DM), Darkest Hour, Trivium, As I Lay Dying, All That Remains (also started out melodic DM) and Unearth. 

KSE's Live or Just Breathing was the first biggish success and that was released in 2002.

By 2005 melodic metalcore was a fucking plague - it was everywhere.  Even older Swedish DM bands like In Flames and Soilwork became more metalcore.

I fucking hated it at the time though I did like Shadows Fall and Lamb of God.  LOG were associated with the scene but their music didn't really fit the mold and was closer to Pantera.    And Shadows Fall started off as OK melodic DM and kind of went down a mainstream thrash pathway (think Death Angel's 1990s output).

35 minutes ago, Sardonicist said:

Pantera will hold a prominent place in my listening agenda for the rest of my life. I have zero time or interest in anything influenced by Pantera. Like I would rather listen to Transylvanian Hunger 10,000 times than listen to a new low fi black metal album. 

 

I find some of the stuff influenced by Pantera really does appeal to me - Lamb of God, first two Machine Head, some Prong, Skinlab, Vision of Disorder, White Zombie and even occasional Devil Driver and even Hellyeah.  Also a fan of some of the groove metal-ified thrash ala modern Onslaught and Testament (who still write good albums today for the most part).

Note most of those are from 1990s.  I find a lot of the modern stuff lacking in song writing, riffs and intensity that Pantera or first two Machine Head albums had.  

Plastic production doesn't help with modern stuff but then that's the whole goddamn mainstream and sub-mainstream metal scenes today.

Probably only modern metal music I enjoy is blackened speed/thrash metal with odd death metal album thrown in for good measure (though nothing beats the late 1980s/early 1990s for DM).

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