Sunday, September 21, 2014

COMMENT: Why Pantera should acknowledge and reissue its first four albums

Pantera in the 1990s in its no-image/ tough-guy era. However, a no-image is actually an image and a very boring and dull one at that. What was wrong with spandex anyway? Iron Maiden wore spandex!
I have been reading on existentialist philosophy and it says that to deny one's own past is an inauthentic act. This is interesting as Pantera always claimed, through its image, lyrics, and ideology, to be "sincere" and not fake in any way. Most bands feel a tension inside in that fans often revere and respect the band's first few albums and this can make those early songs and albums almost stand and exist separately from their creators. Metallica and Megadeth suffered from this dilemma as many people say they can never produce new work which can match their classic works. Bonded by Blood by Exodus is regarded as an untouchable classic and Exodus upset many metal fans by re-recording the album as Let there be Blood featuring the current line-up. Fans felt that that a historic masterpiece should stand untouched forever and just like the "Mona Lisa" painting should never be reworked. I can understand both perspectives here. I'm sure Exodus felt trapped by the success of their past so that the past successes stood as some untouchable "God" looking down at them and casting judgement on them and laughing at them. This is the Marxist concept of "reification" at work. Bonded by Blood had become reified (separate from its creators). The re-recording was Exodus' attempt to attack or even just to touch a sacred cow. The band was tired of being separated from its own past creation.

Pantera's situation is different in that the band disowned and tried to halt discussion about its first four albums just at that moment in time (1990) when metal was turning darker, blunter, and more "realistic"; glam bands were becoming despised, and grunge was on the rise. Pantera's attempt to disown its past was brilliant marketing at the perfect moment in time. They persuaded the metal community not to judge the band by its glam-rock past. The first four albums have not been reissued in recent years and it is hard to get original copies. No recent band merchandise based on those albums exists. Pantera should remember that the times have changed again. We are not in the 1990s. 1980s rock, power-metal, and glam rock are all acceptable and popular again. The hatred of the 1980s existing in the 1990s has disappeared. In the interests of honesty Pantera (which legally now means Vinnie Paul) should acknowledge, reissue with bonus tracks, and promote its first four albums. Power Metal has the best rating of all the Pantera studio albums on and people there are beginning to rate lower the 1990s hardcore, tough-guy albums Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven. The old songs from the first four albums should also be brought back into the live set if Pantera ever reforms. A reformation with Terry Glaze playing the 1980s songs would be a fantastic idea. Congratulations to a certain ebay seller from Poland who has made excellent Power Metal bootleg back-patches based on the album cover [by Jack Frost, 22 September 2014].

The glam-rock Pantera of 1988 (the Power Metal era). Vinnie Paul does not want you to see this picture. There was nothing wrong with this look even in the 1990s. Nowadays it is cool again with Motley Crue playing to healthy crowds on the worldwide concert circuit and new Finnish bands Reckless Love and Santa Cruz proudly playing and looking like Sunset Strip warriors from the early-1980s. HammerFall made power-metal acceptable again. We don't all need to look like we just got out of bed in the morning. The no-image is an image and a very boring and dull one too. The 1990s were painfully dull.
The great Power Metal album from 1988. This album definitely needs a reissue with remastering and bonus tracks.

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