April 17, 2006

Music DVD Review: Pantera - 3 Vulgar Videos from Hell

I am not sure that metal will ever see a band quite like Pantera again, and that's a good thing. The energy they put into their music, the absolute aggression, the soul of what is rock. This DVD bears witness to the raw essence that was Pantera.

This is an upgraded reissue of a disk that was released back in 1999. This new set features chapter breaks, of which the original release did not have, as well as new menus, a new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix, and the option to just watch the music videos and live performances and skipping the rest of the footage, plus a few live cuts from the Moscow Monsters of Rock show. All good reasons for those who have the original release to upgrade, and a perfect time for you who don't have it to get it.

You don't see all that many bands release videos like this anymore. Most of what I see fall under concerts, video collections, documentary, or some combination thereof. This trio of releases is a bit more unconventional, being made up of a lot of home video style footage of the guys goofing around while on tour.

The first entry of the set is Cowboys from Hell - The Videos. This runs about 40 minutes and features 3 videos and 2 live performances. The rest of the running time features footage of the guys screwing around with their crew, on promo shoots, and whatever other bits they happen to have had. The videos are for "Cowboys from Hell," "Cemetery Gates," and "Psucho Holiday," and the live cuts are "Art of Shredding," and "Heresy."

Next up is the 70 minute Vulgar Video. This is similar to the initial release, in that it is a mix of videos and backstage antics. A lot of the backstage footage, however, was actually shot by the band while on tour, including the great montage of Dimebag saying "This is me in (fill in city)" into the camera whereever he happens to be that day. The videos included are "Walk," "This Love," and "Mouth for War."

Moving on to disk two, the main feature here is 3 Waitch it Go. This final video that Pantera released runs just about 2 hours, and includes lots of footage from the road. Watch them screw around with tourmates such as Skid Row and Marilyn Manson. The videos included are "I'm Broken," "5 Minutes Alone," " Drag the Waters," and "Planet Caravan."

Lastly is the bonus material, which consists solely of 3 live performances from the Monsters of Rock in Moscow. Those 3 songs being "Cowboys from Hell," "Primal Concrete Sledge," and "Psycho Holiday."

This 2-DVD set is a must for any Pantera fan. It doesn't really delve into any album making or equipment information, but it is a 4 hour blast of fun. Watch the band as they churn out some of the heaviest music to ever penetrate your earholes, and have a blast doing it. The antics are things of legend, the boozing, the smoking, the backstage destruction, it's all here. You will see such crazy nuggets like Dimebag facing off with religious zealots, Tommy Lee getting his head shaved, and Phil getting knocked off stage by a fat guy dressed as an angel hanging over the stage.

We are not likely to see anything like Pantera again. The music they created will stand the test of time. While, we will never see a reunion, this DVD set will stand as testament to their insane genius.

The only thing I can say I was disappointed by, was the lack of any sort of tribute to the late Dimebag Darrel. Darrel was shot while onstage in December 2005 while performing with the band that he had formed with his brother, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. I think it would have been nice to have some sort of featurette dedicated to him. Even without it, this is a great set.

What are you waiting for? Go get it! Now, if we could get a full concert DVD....

Highly Recommended.
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