The Heaviest Album Ever Reached No. 1

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In 1994, heavy metal was declared nearly dead following the explosion of grunge…but one band carried the metal’s torch. Pantera essentially invented the sound of groove metal at a time when heavy metal was no longer “cool”, and when it came time to make a new album – the band’s first since this new popular music revival – at the instead of flattering, Pantera went the other way.

On the eve of their seventh album, and third for a major label, Pantera were bigger than ever. 1992 Vulgar display of power brought the band its first taste of fame and fortune, raising expectations for what was to come. Some of their label members felt it was a good time for the band to streamline the extremely heavy sound they had been honing their skills on. Vulgarlike Metallica did on their 1991 hit black scrapbook.

“[Metallica] had reached this peak; now they were winding down and writing more commercial stuff, as we realized that our forte, once again, was to stick with heavy metal and make it as heavy as our style would allow,” Philip Anselmo said. at Loudwire in 2014. “So with ‘Becoming’, that’s what it says. We were becoming. Honestly, we had arrived.

“Becoming” sums up everything that made Pantera great in the first place, and can sum it all up. Way beyond driving album. There’s Phil’s gritty yet technically excellent vocals, in addition to his understated lyrics. Rex Brown maintains the bass, playing in perfect correlation with the guitar to create a heavy sound. And of course, led by arguably the greatest heavy metal guitarist of all time, Dimebag Darrell rips his signature thrash blues guitar. His brother, Vinnie Paul, bolsters their groove sound with crazy yet simple beats and flawless chemistry with Dime.

Without significant listening on the radio or on MTV, Way beyond driving somehow debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts – sandwiched between weeks that featured Ace of Base and Bonnie Raitt in the No. 1 spot – making it arguably the heaviest and most relentless to this day.

When asked by interviewers how they did, Dimebag Darrell simply replied, “Because it sucks, otherwise how would he be No. 1?”

The Heaviest Album Ever Reached No. 1

Discover the full Pantera story Way beyond driving in the video above.

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