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#1
Old 04-17-2008, 12:16 PM
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Music: Pantera’s “Walk” – an analysis of this song’s utter rockingness

I just loaded Pantera’s Greatest Hits into my car CD player so have been giving this song a workout. Pure metal goodness – but it’s great, period, regardless of genre…

Yet, listening to it, I had to ask myself: How can I love a song whose whole is comprised of some pretty bad-sounding parts?

The guitar – a big, farty tone that sounds incoherent – as a gear geek, I just sigh; it sure ain't a Les Paul through a Marshall...
The drums – they sound mostly digital – the kick and snare have no resonance, only a flat thonk – and they are so damn thin
The bass – you mean there’s bass in this song?

But…but – the song totally rocks – so, why? Here’s what I got:

The drums and guitars are kinda reversed – Dimebag’s guitar is recorded so BIG and the riff is so thud-wonderful that it takes up the space that a Bonham-big drummer would fill. Vinnie Paul’s drums on the other hand, ride on top of the guitar, not underneath. His drums provide the central guide line and the guitar kinda riffs around them, if that makes sense.

The drums bring the boogie – Pantera found a great line between true metal and hard rock. Everything about them is metal – well, except the drums in Walk. Where most metal drums hinge on the double bass, Vinnie plays straight up single bass near as I can tell (or at least doesn’t invoke the mighty machine gun that often). And while most metal is straight-on time (i.e., most Metallica, except for Sad but True), Walk is off time – Vinnie plays behind the beat and his fills are punctuated with syncopated (off time) hits. There’s a Texas boogie beat (they’re from Texas) buried in the drum work, and Vinnie’s funky stick work is what drives the song along and makes the riff jump. Even if he is doing it with a drum set that sounds like it was made out of hockey pucks.

The Vocals – Phil Anselmo basically carved the line between old-school, operatic Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Rob Halford (Judas Priest) vocals and guttural growls – the guy can sing like nobody’s business. He only gets gruff enough to sound tough (sorry; that rhymes way too much for my liking) – he doesn’t invoke the Cookie Monster, unlike many who followed him. And he totally nails the white-trash-who’s-GOT-to-show-everyone-who's-boss version of raw teenage anger. Walk on home, boy.

I will attach a link here – but to truly appreciate the “how bad tones add up to a great song” aspect of this, you need to play it where you can play it really, really, really loud. It is truly a Vulgar Display of Power...

Thoughts?

Last edited by WordMan; 04-17-2008 at 12:18 PM.
#2
Old 04-17-2008, 12:23 PM
Just Lovely and Delicious
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fixed link
#3
Old 04-17-2008, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ

Thanks! Don't know what I did wrong
#4
Old 04-17-2008, 12:28 PM
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Not my favourite Pantera song but it is pretty rockin'. I'm playing it right now, after reading your post and I agree with everything you say. A big part of it is the attitude. Most (a lot anyway) metal bands are faking the attitude and it comes across through their "cookie monster" vocals (I like that). With Pantera they seem more sincere on this album. When Damageplan played here they came across as a just-better-than-average band until they played a few Pantera songs, including Walk at the end; they freakin' rocked the place then.

Side note, check out Superjoint Ritual Phil Anselmo still rocks.

Last edited by HongKongFooey; 04-17-2008 at 12:29 PM.
#5
Old 04-17-2008, 12:39 PM
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"Whattaya saaaaaaYYY yy?"
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"It's such a fine line between stupid and clever." - David St. Hubbins
#6
Old 04-17-2008, 12:43 PM
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Incidentally, I saw them a few years back at Ozzfest and it was pretty clear that most of the crowd was there to see Pantera. I've been to a lot of shows and its always impressive when a band just destroys - and Pantera destroyed that night. I don't know that anyone, besides Ozzy, could have followed them. They were that good.
#7
Old 04-17-2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol'Gaffer
"Whattaya saaaaaaYYY yy?"
Walk on home, Boy!
#8
Old 04-17-2008, 12:45 PM
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Fucking Hostile rules as well. It RULES!!
#9
Old 04-17-2008, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by control-z
Fucking Hostile rules as well. It RULES!!
That would be my choice from that album, but hell it's all good.
#10
Old 04-17-2008, 04:52 PM
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What I really appreciate about this song (and Pantera's work in general) is how Dimebag really is soloing, not just playing over the rhythm guitar. How many other bands do that? The boogie beat adds a lot to their work as well--they're not sacrificing musicality for anything.

(Also, for all you Pantera fans, you need to see if you can track down Carnival in Coal's lounge cover of "Fucking Hostile". It has to be heard to be believed.)
#11
Old 04-17-2008, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrafilter
(Also, for all you Pantera fans, you need to see if you can track down Carnival in Coal's lounge cover of "Fucking Hostile". It has to be heard to be believed.)
Here.
#12
Old 04-17-2008, 06:29 PM
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Pantera rocked. Dimebag had one of those tones that totally works for him and the band but a lot of other players would sound like crap with the same setup.

I had Panteras first album way back when and they were quite different. Wish I still had a copy of that.

On a total side note, I found a YouTube video of Dream Theater doing a cover of Cemetery Gates with a special guest. Dave Mustane also makes an appearance. Pretty damned neat*.

Slee

*Not often that LaBrie wails like that.
#13
Old 04-17-2008, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ultrafilter
Interesting I guess.

How about bluegrass style?
#14
Old 04-17-2008, 07:59 PM
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I'm musically incompetant (I can't hear the bass in ANY of their songs, for instance), so I'll just tell a funny story that this thread made me think of.

Back when Pantera was my favorite band ('93-'96ish), I asked one of my older brother's friends - who also liked them - what his favorite songs of theirs was, and he just looked at my kind of funny and said, what do you think, man?

I kind of just stared and waited for him to elaborate.

Walk!, as if it was some sort of foregone conclusion. That still cracks me up for some reason.

I saw them in '97 and they definitely knew how to entertain a crowd. Rest in Peace, Dime.
#15
Old 04-17-2008, 08:12 PM
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Is there no standard anymore?
What it takes
Who I am
Where I've been
Belong!

Yep, my favorite Pantera song. I love that guitar sound - plenty crunchy and ballsy. I saw them at Universal in 2000 and some random stranger in the ladies' room gave me her and her husband's two backstage passes (this was only my second big concert ever - I almost fainted in disbelief). No, I didn't get to stay long enough to meet Dimebag, unfortunately. I did meet Rob Zombie though. Found out Phil took a separate bus from everyone else by that point.
#16
Old 04-17-2008, 08:33 PM
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I first heard the song by having a friend sort of hum/beatbox/scat the rhythm as we were walking from one school building to another. Since it was just the rhythm and beat, I didn't hear the lyrics or anything. Never heard the actual song till I bought it like a decade later....

So as we're walking and he's humming, I say, "Damn this is like a total badasses walking down the street song."

So he tells me, "It's called Walk."

"Oh...well they nailed it!"

Try walking to it and you'll see. It's like the scene in Immortal Beloved where they describe the bogged down carriage and how the music is perfectly emulating the scene.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 04-17-2008 at 08:34 PM.
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