The Webernets


  • Axl Rosenberg

Pantera performing the title track from Power Metal with Kerry King on May 20, 1989

So is this regular “Justify Your Shitty Taste” column on The Deciblog turning out to be the greatest thing ever or what? Up ’til now, they’ve had some Decibel‘s best writers defending craptastic releases ranging from Metallica’s St. Anger to Cryptopsy’s The Unspoken King to Helmet’s Size Matters to Ministry’s Filth Pig. But now they have their (I believe) first guest columnist declaring his love for the unlovable — namely, Wolvhammer’s  Heath Rave, giving a shout-out to Pantera’s Power Metal.

Now, I’m of two minds about Rave’s argument. The dude is pretty funny (discussing the first time he saw the video for Pantera’s “Psycho Holiday,” he writes, “Didn’t know what to think of the fat drummer—still sort of don’t”), but he also calls Far Beyond Driven “boring,” which kinda makes me wanna completely disregard anything else he has to say.

Except that Rave ain’t wrong — I don’t think Power Metal is a great album by any stretch of the imagination, but there are records that are far, far more indefensible. I’ve never been offended by Pantera’s glam era ’cause i) they were always good songwriters and musicians, ii) evolution is a natural process and we all have skeletons in our closet, iii) they eventually became one of the biggest bands in metal while consistently getting heavier and heavier, iv) I have a soft spot for hair metal anyway, and v) at least it’s not Hellyeah. Or, as Rave puts it with considerably more finesse:

“…these dudes are screaming for vengeance as hard as they can right into the title track, just painkiling it in the hardest Judas Priest style they can muster… This is the kind of shit my sister showed me when she introduced me to metal. It was thrashy, technical, and had just enough glam sleaze on it to make way more dangerous than that tough-guy posturing bullshit of the last decade. This shit was for drinking, drugs and driving your car fast. Not for beating up gay dudes ’cause you’re afraid you’re gay yourself…”

And, uh, point taken, y’know?

Read the rest of Rave’s case for Power Metal here — for Dime…


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