“The Great Southern Trendkill” was released in 1996 to some critical acclaim. Not only Pantera‘s eighth studio album, but widely considered their most aggressive to date and the first to feature Drop G downtuned guitar work. By this point in their career there were growing tensions in the Pantera camp (allegedly due to the Abbot brothers taste for Whiskey and Anselmo’s hunger for Heroin) which had lead to frontman Philip H. Anselmo recording his vocal parts alone at Nine Inch Nails Mastermind Trent Reznor’s Nothing Studios in New Oleans while the rest of the band recorded the music in Dallas, Texas. “13 Steps to Nowhere” is a fine example of Pantera’s later work, using double tracked vocals to create a sort of demonic element to the sound. Anselmo’s singing voice is underpinned by high pitched screaming from Massachusetts Grindcore crew Anal Cunt frontman Seth Putnam.
Just over 20 years later and the brand new Soulfly album “Ritual” appears via Nuclear Blast. As we said in our review, it’s a mighty fine album that harks back to the quality and consistency of 2005’s “Dark Ages” without being plagued by any of the experiments that may or may not have worked on their newer material. “Blood on the Street” is one of the albums stronger cuts but that intro is immediately recognisable, despite the song ploughing into heavier areas afterwards. There is no doubting the influence of Pantera on guitarist Marc Rizzo and drummer Zyon Cavalera, they would both be of the right age to get their lethal injection of the band. Max Cavalera on the other hand? He’d have been touring with Pantera at various points on festival runs with Sepultura so the influence is of no doubt.