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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail! King! The new.... king! STRONGER THAN ALL!!
Yeah, as everyone knows, Dimebag Darrell's life was taken abruptly last night by some crazy fan that blamed him for breaking up Pantera (or so I've read). Damageplan were just warming up when this gunman leaped up on stage and took Darrell's life (and the lives of several other fans). Right now, I am at a loss of words for what I've just heard this morning...
Published on December 9, 2004 by gamer

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good songs
Now, I'm not really a Pantera fan, I bought this record from some advice from a friend. I do really like metal though, and I like this record too. Upon first listen, the record started off great with the first track "Strength beyond Strength." The song was great to say the least. I basically was really into the first half of a record, then after track 6...
Published on March 19, 2003 by S. Morales


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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail! King! The new.... king! STRONGER THAN ALL!!, December 9, 2004
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
Yeah, as everyone knows, Dimebag Darrell's life was taken abruptly last night by some crazy fan that blamed him for breaking up Pantera (or so I've read). Damageplan were just warming up when this gunman leaped up on stage and took Darrell's life (and the lives of several other fans). Right now, I am at a loss of words for what I've just heard this morning.

"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was truly one of the greatest guitarists the metal world has ever seen and heard. He pulled off riffs like no other guitarist I've heard. And it was this album that truly made me a metal fan.

Sure, Slipknot got me into "nu" metal, but it was Pantera's "Far Beyond Driven" that opened my eyes to a better view of heavy metal. I still remember when I first listened to this album. I heard it back in my freshman years of high school. And, yeah, Slipknot were my favorite... but not until a friend loaned me a copy of this album. I put it in my CD player... and I was just in complete awe. "Strength Beyond Strength" was the harshest song I've heard (at the time). The music was loud and the band played at a fast pace. The lyric "F*** you and your college dream! Fact is we're stronger than all!" really stuck into my head. Phil sings angrily about certain economical issues like drugs. And Dimebag comes in with an eerie guitar sound. "Hail! King! The new... king! Stronger than all!" Phil immediately growls when Dimebag finishes his haunting solo. Yes... hail Pantera. Hearing that line immediately made me a newcoming fan of Pantera.

Just hearing that first track catipulted me into the real heavy metal world. No nu-metal like Slipknot. The absolute harshness and darkness that heavy metal is. This album is downright brutal only to still be bested by "Vulgar Display of Power." It sure packs a hell lot of great and kickass heavy metal music. Phil growls unlike anything before with lyrics that give a glimpse of the American Southwest and being born again with snake's eyes. Rex on the bass is still kick ass, sounding like a reincarnated Cliff Burton. And Vinnie Paul (Darrell's brother) on the drums is equally as good as John Bonham (former Led Zeppelin drummer that passed on). Pantera truly were a great heavy metal band, and I always considered them to be the best.

And Dimebag played the guitar like no other that I've heard... at the time. He played fast and relentlessly. His guitar screeched to the point where you feel as if you're going to go deaf or make your ears bleed. And his solos are simply amazing as each song progressed. He is no Hendrix, Page, or Kirk Hammett... no he isn't any of them. He's better than all of them. That's what I think. That's what I've always thought ever since first I heard this album and discovered Pantera.

Dimebag Darrell will truly be missed by this fan, as well as his millions of other headbanging fanatics. From Pantera to Damageplan, Dimebag Darrell still kicked ass on the guitar. It's so sad that he left this world so soon. But nevertheless, his music will continue to live on for the years to come. His legacy will never be forgotten.

Because my friend, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott will always be stronger than all.

May he rest in peace and my condolences go out to the familes of the victims who's lives were taken abruptly last night.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Down, Stronger than ALL, August 2, 2006
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
After all the acclaim and respect Pantera received from its sophomore effort, Vulgar Display of Power, it was going to be very difficult for the band to follow up with an album of similar magnitude. No problem. Its excellent production (Terry Date) and its punishing song lineup gave Far Beyond Driven a sound all its own.

It packs a furious punch right from its starting track, "Strength Beyond Strength". The record rumbles on, through "Becoming", "Five Minutes Alone", and "I'm Broken"; heavy anthems which all would later be considered some of Pantera's greatest hits. The only real break from the relentlessness is on "Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills", a mysterious and haunting interlude that has Phil and a piercing shrill chorus echoing a drug-induced theme. The next four tracks pick the intensity right back up. "Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks" contains one of the more enticing guitar solos (not that any others aren't), "Slaughtered" is just downright heavy, "25 years" contains a scorching ending (Phil screams "we're F------ you back" in a ruthless way). "Shedding Skin" has a choppy, catchy main riff and powerful chorus, while "Use my Third Arm" may be the fastest moving song on the entire CD. "Throes of Rejection" once again pounds the listener from the onslaught, through Phil's powerful intro "This is feeding what I am!!!" Planet Caravan winds out the CD in perfect fashion. Phil's clean vocals are something the listener hasn't heard much of through the course of the album, and they sound excellent. Dimebag matches the original Tommy Iommi solo almost exactly in the outro (he adds several different parts which in turn make it sound different, he also uses more of a blues sound than in the original).

Truly a CD that any genuine Pantera fan will own, Far Beyond Driven should not be taken lightly. It serves as just another explanation for Pantera's early 90's metal dominance.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dimebag and Co. dominate on "Driven", May 14, 2005
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
For an album to stand the test of time, two critical things are needed: good production and great musicianship. It's safe to say that (Pantera's third album) "Far Beyond Driven" has both of these things, because, over a decade after its release, it's as great as it ever was.

First, the production: I've never had a problem with the production on any of Pantera's albums (except for maybe their 1980's hair metal albums), and "Far Beyond Driven" is no exception. Production can be a bit tricky sometimes; some good metal albums have suffered from a bad production. For instance, take Megadeth's "So Far, So Good..." album: Megadeth did a great job, musically, (and the album sounded fine in the `80's) but, over the years, it has become more and more stale sounding. Terry Date, Pantera's typical lead producer, does a strong, robust job, here. The result is a batch of songs that are extra crunchy and have a harder edge on them.

Next, the musicianship is, as always, top notch. More pummeling drums, puke stained vocals, and propulsive bass lines. But it's the guitars that, once again, dominate the maelstrom. When you hear the sludgy guitars on "Far Beyond Driven" bob, crunch, grind, start, stop, beep, pound, shriek, thump, groove, ascend, descend, downshift, cascade, soar, run, surge, shake, rattle, and steam roll (and about everything in between), you know it's just another day at the office for Dimebag Darrell.

"Strength Beyond Strength" has rushing iron riffs, a thumping beat, and good drumming (especially in the beginning). The mid-section is slower, but after that, things pick up where they left off. The middle of this song also has a riff that goes up and down, like it's running over hills. Did I mention this song also has Phil's constant howling? Plus, there's a slow breakdown about halfway through.
"Becoming" has off-kilter guitars, a mini-solo, and fast double bass drumming (which become especially apparent at the end.)
"5 Minutes Alone" is a fan favorite that would have been well suited to be on of the album's first singles. It's grinding guitars, staccato vocals, and great chorus make it a fan favorite. And the slow bobbing guitars at the end are tailor made for headbanging.
"I'm Broken," a single, has a groovy guitars and another pounding beat. Dimebag lays down a great, snowballing solo here, as well.
"Good Friends..." finds Phil making all kinds of weird noises. One moment he's calmly growling, one moment it sounds like he's, um...taking a dump, and the next moment he's whispering, and, finally, it sometimes sounds like he's coughing! The guitars on this one are usually supple and restrained, but this song is a highlight because of Phil's abnormal vocals and downright perverted lyrics.
I enjoy how the beat of "Hard Lines" shifts gears. It slows down, then speeds up, then slows, down, then speeds up.
"Slaughtered" has a machine gun intro, more low, gruff singing, and chugging guitars (which chug fast, pause briefly, then chug again).
"25 Years" has a skipping beat, similar to "We'll Grind that Axe for a Long Time" (from 2000's "Reinventing the Steel") and "Shedding Skin" not only has an appetizing title, but also three guitar solos! The first one is, of course, very good, the second (my personal favorite) has two parts to it, and guitar solo number three ascends like a steep mountain.
Finally, "Planet Caravan," originally done by Black Sabbath, is a good cover but also a good song in its own right (and a great closer!) Its soft percussion (what sounds like-I'm not saying they are, they just sound like-tribal drums) and dreary, spacey vocals give this song a dreamy feel. Pantera give this song their own sound while also remaining true to the original. Pantera several covers ("Hole in the Sky," "Cat Scratch Fever," "Electric Funeral," and this) and did `em well. I predict that if Pantera had remained a band, they would have turned out a covers album in a couple of years.

So, "Far Beyond Driven" is close to but falls just short of its predecessor, "Vulgar Display of Power" in terms of greatness. This album may not be the standard setting landmark that "Vulgar" was (it's not as innovative as that album), but the bone crunching riffs and energy that bounces off the walls make almost every song on this album a hit.

Plus, you know it's got to be great. What other album is as heavy as this and debuted at number one on the charts?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-time listener loves this powerful band, August 27, 2004
By 
John W. Evans (La Grande, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
This was my introduction to Pantera. I have difficulty describing their sound, but it has elements of speed-metal/death metal, and is even punk at times. Whatever you want to call it, one thing is for sure: this album is very hardcore.

The vocals tend toward throaty, husky screams, but the singer demonstrates great versatility... just give "Planet Caravan" a listen after hearing all the songs that precede it on the CD!

The extremely distorted guitar riffs are complex, and they are creatively done. The drumming is powerful and intricate, and the guitar solos are amazing pieces of sonic art. These guys play guitar the way I would like to be able to play... they are powerful, and very primal in their approach.

This band wears its anger on its collective sleeve. They hide nothing, and there is no pretense. If you like genuine emotional release in savage, powerful music, then DON'T pass this up!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is METAL!, April 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this album when I was 12 years old in 1994 when it came out. It kicked my a$$ all over my bedroom, then down the hall, up the stairs, down the stairs, out into the yard...you get the point. The guitar work is blisteringly fast while intricate at the same time and just when it gets to maximum overdrive, boom a melodic metal song or guitar line. These guys were a bit ahead of their time as far as actual heavy metal. They lead the way for the genre in a time when Metallica was getting a more soft and not a lot of metal music was "mainstream". This album debuted on the Billboard chart at #1 and was by all accounts Pantera's masterpiece. You have anthems like "I'm Broken" on here and then a laid back mellow cover of "Planet Caravan" as well. It's good music and if you are an aspiring metal fan this would be a good breakthrough album. Also, Phil Anselmo is metal singer king. This specific release has a live bootleg disc of their Monsters of Rock show from 1994 which is a great 9 song set where they sound just as good live as they do on a disc. The main album has also been remastered and I have to say that it does sound better. The low end exists in a heavier form and overall album has more depth, dynamic range, and has been sweetened a bit. Heavy Metal Music to my ears. Talent, brute force, musicianship...METAL!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the reveiw for the 20th anniversery edition, March 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is common knowledge that Pantera ruled the metal world in 1992. This was the release that put them at the forefront of music scene period! Sorry had to put that out there, now the review. With the first track you notice that it seems a little cleaner and the bass is heard a lot better in this mix. The solos seem tighter and the vocals are sounding a lot more energized. The guitar is so alive in the mix you can almost see Dime smiling from above in approval as the music comes through the speakers. The drums always sounded great on the album now they are also brought the mix up so every little slight tap is heard, very nicely. It was far beyond (pun intended) and above a superior album in terms of sound and style when it came out. With the new remaster, it gives this release a whole new life and a reason for a younger metal head to rejoice! The second disc is a recording of the Donnington Mosters of Rock performance. Initially looking at the packaging you see no difference. that is until you take out the booklet and see that it features the Banned artwork that was only released on the international version of the CD! As a music lover and big fan of all things Pantera I say this is a must buy! P.S. This CD is the first music my kids moshed to when they were little!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far beyond other bands, November 4, 2005
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
This is the album that singularly changed my opinion on Pantera. Up to this point I was not really a fan of the band. I bought Cowboys From Hell and I thought `ehhhhh'.

I bought Vulgar Display of Power and was immediately impressed that Pantera was heavier than on CFH. But something didn't quite click for me. Even still - I like Vulgar but I skip through songs and I don't hold it up to this masterpiece.

Far Beyond Driven is freaking tremendous. Dimebag reaches new heights on his riffery - and it's hard to comprehend how good some of these songs are. Phil becomes the man - a screaming, growling entity that lays his mind bare with some of the most intense self-examining lyrics around. Phil stops trying to sing and in doing so, he scream himselfs into one of the best vocalists in metal.

The first time I heard `Shedding Skin' my brain exploded. To this day, that song breeds something primal in me and makes me want to destroy. That's the beauty of Pantera - you cannot deny their power and their energy.

The band simply gels as one complete pulse of metal - and they make it seem easy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why?, December 11, 2004
By 
Dee (Bowels Of Hell Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
Why Dimebag? (Or any of the other victims for that matter) Why didnt Nathan Gale just blow his freakin useless brains out instead? Right now I sit here in my Pantera shirt staring at my Pantera lunchbox and Im listening to this very album as I type this review. It was this disc that really introduced me to the metal world when I was 13 years old. (Im now 23). You will never find another unique sound as them. From Phil's growls to Dimebag's screeching guitar..this disc has it all. *RIP* Dimebag..my heart goes out to you, your family, and all the fans out there.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterstroke, July 16, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
It's fairly sad to see so many ignorant and docile people slating this band to eat up their free time. Whether Pantera were a bunch of 'posers' or 'wannabes' or other such frat-boy insults is irrelevant; take it for what it is. Music. Not to mention that anyone who says Darrell Abbott (RIP) was a hack and overrated clearly has no knowledge of music theory. From reading these reviews, whose authors cite bands such as Megadeth as 'real' and 'honest' metal, it's not hard to discount their opinions. I would much rather listen to music that relates to life rather than contribute my hard-earned money to the likes of greedy, arrogant egomaniacs such as Mustaine who are out to financially bleed their fanbase.

I'm not a fan of doing tracklist reviews, so i'll try and give a brief overview. This is a much harder, rawer album than it's predecessors and focuses much more on the first-person in terms of lyrical themes. It is certainly an album that fans of both metal and 80's/early 90's hardcore can appreciate. The only real 'soft' moment of the album appears at the very end in a cover of Sabbath's trippy 'Planet Caravan' to which they do the song enough justice. It is an album that has not only received critical acclaim in areas of the mainstream, but also in NOLA circles and throughout the southern metal genre itself (albeit with this album still being thrash at it's core.)

If Pantera is not your taste then fair enough; life would be s**t if we were all the same. Polluting these pages with mindless tripe about the band's music and their fans however, simply shows how pathetic and narrow-minded you are. This album has 'it', and Pantera fans know what i mean by 'it'. Well worth the money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS of the 90'S, November 22, 2004
By 
B. Nips (South Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Far Beyond Driven (Audio CD)
Metal albums just don't get any better than this!! FAR BEYOND DRIVEN tapped into a rhythm that really had never been displayed in the industry. Dimebag's guitar cuts are unique,sharp and complimented well by Vinnie's SICK A$$ DRUM ROLLS!! For PANTERA NEW-COMERS you need to pick up this album. THEIR BEST...HANDS DOWN!
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Far Beyond Driven
Far Beyond Driven by Pantera (Audio CD - 1994)
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