Damageplan - New Found Power
Elektra Entertainment Group Inc.
Modern Aggro Metal
14 songs (61.41)
Release year: 2004
Damageplan, Elektra
Reviewed by Aleksie
Major event

This one was not easy for me. Pantera was and is one of my favourite bands of all time. But at least for now, Pantera is on the docks. After a couple of years of waiting, the power-duo behind the band, the Abbott brothers Vinnie and Dimebag decided to wait no longer. They devised a new plan, Damageplan. With former Halford-guitarist Patrick Lachman on the microphone and Bob Zilla pounding the bass, they released New Found Power, their debut album. It has garnered a LOT of expectations in the metal community. I for one, am one of those who thought this album would be the all-enslaving messiah of a metal album, that would crush every single, puny maggot that stalls in its way. Is this album all that? No, it is not. Is this a very good album? Yes it is. This one just goes to prove that building up expectations, no matter how mandatory it in some cases is (Guess who is drooling for the new Nightwish record?), should be avoided at all costs. Sometimes it just makes a great album sound inferior, because of the reputation of the players involved. But enough of this, lets mosh!

Wake Up is an ominous mid-tempo rocker that sets the pace for much of the album. The dark, in-your-face attitude that urges everyone to never give in, and fight with everything one has to achieve what ever it is one wishes to accomplish, is flowing through these songs right from the start. Breathing New Life and New Found Power are the most Pantera-ish tracks with nice grooves and powerful choruses. Pride and Reborn present the slightly more “modern” sound on the album, but don take this as a bad thing, they still bang very well. Fuck You is great musically, but the clicheish chorus-work makes the song feel like Fucking Hostile Pt. 2, and not a better version at that. Blink Of An Eye and Crawl are amidst the best tracks of the album, displaying more of the dark, more breathing-free feeling of the album. If someone needs a direct compare between this and Pantera, the space of the songs is the key. Where Panteras songs where often brutally intense and airtight, Damageplans material is allowed to breathe more and have more variation. In some cases, it works and in some it doesn´t. The biggest problem on this album though is the length. Weaker tracks like Explode and Moment Of Truth could have been easily dropped from the record and it would have only benefited the record. I almost got tired by the end of the album because of too much at once, but luckily the closing song salvaged a lot. Soul Bleed is an acoustic based ballad, and what a ballad at that. One of the best and most emotional slow songs this year, and definitely in this current millennium. The Allmighty Bearded, Brewed & Bloodied One, Zakk Wylde guests on the song with some tasty solos and background vocals. Soul Bleed raises this album´s points with a very high margin. The best song of the album.

The performances of the band and production are both top notch. Lachman is the biggest surprise and “impressor” of the album. He can throw out a pretty large range of vocals, and a nasty growl to boot. Even though his charisma is nowhere near that of Anselmo, his vocal abilities are very pleasing. Dimebag and Vinnie are what they always have been on the guitar and drums. On many tracks, Dime proves to all the yellowbellies out there that the art of the ripping solo is far from dead. Vinnie has not lost one inch of his style and power. His bass-drum work still strikes me like unlike anyone elses. Awesome, I need not say anything else. If some un-enlightened fool needs to hear more, go read my review of Cowboys From Hell. Zilla throws in nice bass work, especially in the intro groove of Crawl which absolutely rips. There is not much on this album that is not great. Some of the songwriting just lacks memorability and that certain feel that makes one raise the fist as high as physical boundaries allow. I trust that after the “debut pressures” have been shaken away from these hard-boiled veterans and they have gelled together on the road, they will devastate even more convincingly on the next one. Oh, and of course I must address the one piece of genius on this album. The sleeve cover is simply excellent. The best album cover of this millenium.

The legacy of Pantera is not an easy spot on which to start to build a completely new main band. This is a good start.

Killing Songs :
Breathing New Life, New Found Power, Reborn, Crawl, Blink Of An Eye and Soul Bleed
Aleksie quoted 80 / 100
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