DamagePlan - New Found Power
2) Breathing New Life
3) New Found Power
5) Fuck You
8) Save Me
9) Cold Blooded
11) Blink of an Eye
12) Blunt Force Trauma
13) Moment of Truth
14) Soul Bleed
First off, just to get the obligatory question outta the damn way…”Does it sound like Pantera?” In some parts it does, but I’d say a majority of this disc doesn’t. The Brothers Abbot (aka: Darrel and Vinnie Paul) are back creating more music without the addition of Phil Anselmo’s fucking junkie ass. This debut release is a mixed bag (dimebag??) of material. For all off the very listenable and headbanging tunes here, there are also some of the watered down, radio friendly, nu-metal variety. I suppose one could spin it and say that the band covers a broad range of styles and that makes them talented. One could also say that they definitely have the ability to kick ass, so stop playing little pussy songs and get on with the business of kicking us in the teeth like a bull with his balls in a blender.
How’s the music? The good outweighs the bad. Dimebag’s guitar style and sound is here, and Vinnie’s cool drumming is prevalent. Bassist Bob “Zilla” Kakaha does whatever bass players do. In terms of vocals, for whatever reason, comparisons between vocalist Pat Lachman (former Halford guitarist) and heroin-boy Phil Anselmo seem to permeate the internet. Maybe in a few spots, but Lachman has better range. He can pull off the gruff and grunty, power groans, and can sing quite skillfully when that need arises. Personally, I wish that need DIDN’T have to arise, but I just call ‘em as I see ‘em.
The styles are all over the place. Opening up with the tribal Sepultura/Soulfly sounding “Wake Up”, it blends into the track they did their first video for, “Breathing New Life”. That’s probably the most Pantera sounding song on the disc. A couple songs later we have “Pride” when sent shivers down my heavy metal spine. It opens with some warbled guitar picking and kicks in with the clean vocal, only to be outdone by sounding like Alice In Chains. The only thing that saves this song is the cool mosh riff during the solo. Not a favorite. Elsewhere on the disc, is some dirty southern style shit-kicking grindage with songs like”Reborn” featuring Zakk Wylde, and “Moment of Truth”. “Pride”, “Save Me”, and “Cold Blooded” are the low moments of this disc. If you don’t care for Alice In Chains acoustic songs, then count the closing tune, “Soul Bleed”, in with that bunch.
Songwriting and hooks are well above average. After a couple listens, you’ll definitely remember the choruses. Yeah, “Save Me” is the mandatory melodic song here, but tell me the chorus doesn’t stick in your head. Same thing with “Fuck You”, it’s catchy. Almost makes me feel like tapping my toes and whistling along.
This probably isn’t something I’ll listen to on a regular basis, but it is good material to down a few beers to. Considering the post-Pantera projects, this is more tolerable than Crown of Inverted Super Down Ritual Joints or whatever Phil is doing nowadays.
MP3 Sound Clips (MP3 Disclaimer)