Last night, Pantera announced that they would be releasing the “First-ever authorised visual history of Pantera!” on the 13th of September. My immediate reaction was “Huh?”, and reading further did not exactly clear things up either: “A breathtaking, behind-the-scenes, comprehensive look at one of the world’s most legendary metal bands!”.
Really? Is this the same Pantera that already has multiple tour DVDs? This is going to somehow be more comprehensive than the 245 minutes of previously released behind-the-scenes backstage video footage from the band? Sounds like the great southern cash-in. Now before you get all shitty with me here, know this – I am an unabashed fan of the band. Having burnt enough rope to supply the Texas rodeo for a year while watching the 3 Vulgar Videos From Hell during my youth, not to mention that my penchant for blacktooth grins alone could put a Catholic dentist’s 9 kids through college (well, not really but you get the point), I think it’s safe to say I have an affinity for the band. So I asked myself, what the fuck could be found in this seemingly superfluous DVD that isn’t already common knowledge in 2016?
Turns out, it’s not video footage; A Vulgar Display of Pantera is a book. Yes, I can hear the band’s detractors already champing at the bit to drop a quip about Pantera fans not typically being considered the academic type. Fret not, apparently it’s a “coffee table book” (Read: Picture book for adults). So there goes the slim prospect of being offered some lurid tale of dimebauchery. They’re implying that a collection of mere photos of the band who’ve released more home video footage than Candid Camera will take our collective breath away? Sorry, but this whole thing seems more redundant than Rex Brown (who incidentally wrote the foreword). Any photo contained in this book that is not already easily accessible on Google images will surely be uploaded in high-resolution within 5 minutes of publication. Having already handed the band money for that 20th anniversary 3-disc Cowboys From Hell reissue that had been compressed to half the dynamic range of the 1991 original, any notion that this will be anything other than yet another blatant cash-grab would be naively optimistic. Thing is, you can guarantee this will sell enough copies to fuel the relentless market for more gratuitous merchandising opportunities. Will the profits go into funding that new series of sandwich presses modelled on Vinnie Paul’s panini beard? Or will the proceeds go to the Ansemlo estate to help pay the seasonal grape pickers for the 2016 crop of Maison de Horreur sauvignon blanc? Either way, this is one pull I won’t be getting.
What do you think? Am I just being cynical? Maybe I’m a hypocrite, after all, I did defend the recently released Death Scream Bloody Gore bobble-heads. I dunno, drop some cash-related Pantera references in the comments or something.