Post-Pantera, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul have hooked up with bassist Bob Zilla (aka Bob Kakaha) and vocalist Pat Lachman (Diesel Machine, Halford) for Damageplan, a shaped charge packed with the shrapnel of 21st century metal. Using Dime and Vinnie's infamously gluttonous groove as an adhesive, New Found Power plows through a mostly ...
Post-Pantera, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul have hooked up with bassist Bob Zilla (aka Bob Kakaha) and vocalist Pat Lachman (Diesel Machine, Halford) for Damageplan, a shaped charge packed with the shrapnel of 21st century metal. Using Dime and Vinnie's infamously gluttonous groove as an adhesive, New Found Power plows through a mostly entertaining aggro-metal slag heap of berserk thrash workouts and melodic post-grunge, the style pile topped with the rusted-out hunks of death and trad-metal. (Underscoring the latter, Zakk Wylde's wind-whipping gonzo solos appear on two tracks). Previously known only as a guitarist, Lachman turns out to be a pretty strong frontman. He matches wits ably with Dimebag's spiky guitar woops during the opening jab and hook of "Wake Up" and "Breathing New Life," and really hits his stride with the galloping double bass and ripping, Deftones-style screed of the title track. "New Found Power" seems to be the new configuration's mantra, as Lachman bellows "It's time to rip the chain from your neck/Let go the past as you purge" with scary conviction. Damageplan seems especially determined to loosen the irons that bind them to the Pantera anvil, as New Found Power continually plays its more pummeling side of tracks that reference the tried and true plod of grunge, or that movement's post-millennial residue. The introspective "Pride" and half-time shred of "Moment of Truth" reach all the way back to early-'90s Seattle, while "Save Me" and "Blink of an Eye" represent that sound as it exists in the present, marrying tortured soul searching to slight touches of electronic programming and hard-hitting, but ultimately simplistic riffs. Damageplan's seething intensity never falters, from New Found Power's explosive cover art to the album's punishing production. But the smash 'n' grab stylistics of cuts like "Blunt Force Trauma," and the aforementioned "Pride" push them pretty close to the increasingly homogenous post-grunge pack. Fortunately, New Found Power never slips over that precipice. There's too much solid material here, from the bone-snapping metalcore of "Fuck You" (with Slipknot's Corey Taylor helping out), to "Explode," which features some of Dimebag and Vinnie's strongest collaborative work. Damageplan has a bit of jelling to do, but that should come with touring. In the meantime, New Found Power is a blazing new beginning. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi