Pantera: Re-Firing The Forge Page 3
by Martin Popoff

I asked him for sagely advice on where Pantera really lets rip on CD 2000. "Well, I think the guitar solo in "Death Rattle" is f**king over the top. If you turn it up loud, it will blow speakers up around the world. Drum wise, I would have to say that all of them are f**kin pretty out there. "You've Got To Belong To It" is probably one of my favourite drum tracks, as is "I'll Cast A Shadow". A lot of footwork in there, a lot of thought, a lot of arrangement, so to speak, on the drums. The drums are very instrumental. I've never been a kick-snare drummer, or any sort of simplified player. Part of Panteras' sound has always been that the drums are almost considered a musical instrument instead of just drums. Because there is quite a bit going on there."

Indeed, this part of the sound is the Pantera signature. And this steel-on-steel screech has not been forgotten, dismissed or dissed on Reinventing The Steel. Vinnie lets on how this crucial piece of the Pantera puzzle completes the bands sound. "Well, its always been very attack-oriented, a lot of attack, a lot of punch. I've never had a real ambient, John Bonham soft sound. Its always been just right there, the presence is right there in your ears, as is the guitar. The drum sound basically hasn't changed. You mic it from the inside. There are different techniques you can use, theres a lot of 10K added in there, which is not the sports drink thats out (laughs), its 10,000 hertz. Thats just something that is uncommon for a lot of engineers and a lot of drummers. A lot of heavy metal people are on to it today, but when I first started doing it, there were very few people that were aware of that. Its not really changed a lot over the years, but thats the basis. As much low end as it has, it also has top end. It hits the definition of all the notes that are being played. So it captures that top frequency. There is more in there then that, but what I tell people is, just grab that 10K knob and cranked the shit out of it, and it will have that slap."

Look for a few extra dimensions from throat legend Phil Anselmo on this also. "You know, to me, I would say "Revolution Is My Name" is a pretty important Phil performance, only because it is something he hasnt done over the last two studio records. On Far Beyond Driven and Great Southern Trendkill, there was just so much total anger and aggression, that he didn't want to sing a lot, not a lot of melody. It was all about being powerful and ballsy. And on this record he does plenty of that, but he does a lot more in the melody department. When I say a melody, it doesnt mean mellow, it means as far as the notes and the pitch go with the rhythmic pattern. So I just think hes been a lot more creative on this record than the past record or two. Its still definitely aggressive, 100% him, but he hasn't done these kinds of vocal performances in two records. I think it is definitely a step forward for him."

Pantera: Re-Firing The Forge Page 4