Metal for Friday: Pantera “I Am The Night” [audio].

Now here’s a metal song you don’t hear every day. I remember back in the 90s, when Pantera was still active and very popular, newer metalheads who were just getting into the genre reacted like they’d found the treasure of the ages when they discovered Pantera’s glam-era albums, before Cowboys From Hell. Some even went so far as to suggest they’d unearthed some sort of scandalous material that “they” (Pantera) didn’t want you to know about or were embarrassed about. (Many of these people often repeated the tiresome claim that “Pantera ripped off Exhorder” when they found their new 1990s sound). Hauling out photos of glam-era Pantera was great fun because there was such a contrast with the tattoos-and-flannel look of the band in the 1990s, especially after Phil Anselmo shaved his head.

The fact is there’s nothing scandalous, nothing embarrassing and nothing hidden about 1980s Pantera. This is the title track from the band’s 1985 album I Am The Night, which was the last album with vocalist Terry Glaze before he was replaced by Phil Anselmo. All the other members of the “classic” (1990s) line-up were in place for this album, and you can hear Dimebag’s chunky guitar sound and Rex’s heavy bass, albeit this material obviously has a much different vibe from anything post-Cowboys From Hell. As ’80s metal goes it’s pretty solid, though not exactly exceptional. This clearly isn’t the all-time best of Pantera, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Hope this little musical throwback puts you in a good mood for the weekend. Have a great one, and Shabbat Shalom! \m/

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