It’s well documented how PANTERA gave birth to a new Metal branch with striking riffs, Southern grooves and full of attitude vocals and how many young bands tried to follow their lead the years that followed.
But a lot of water did run under the bridge and nowadays I think this wave of bands has weakened as the interest has moved towards the Metalcore genres. ‘Weakened’ does not mean vanished and so KRIADIAZ are one of those acts still loyal to that sound and this is their debut and self-titled release.
There is nothing complicated here and after the nice Southern Blues clean guitar licks everything becomes clear through the groovy guitar riffage, the compact drumming and the in-your-face-early Anselmo vocals. Indeed, PANTERA’s name is written with bold letters in the band’s influences from the slower tempo breaks to the Dimebag guitar solo and the solid as granite rhythm section. The vibrato action in “Long Time Gone” is awesome as Mike Ruz sings “Long time gooooone” following Anselmo’s articulation, “Feed The Rats” smells South from miles away with killer bass lines and “Never Down” gets faster and I think brings some MACHINE HEAD finishing touches to make things even more explosive. One of my favorites is the two-minutes long and riff driven “Lepers & Liars” that provides some quality headbanging time, so the listener has to leave his beer before getting into the mosh-pit action. After all, this type of Metal goes hand-in-hand with beer consumption, right? I really enjoyed the bass-based “Wake Us” and had some Southern/Stoner fun with the slow yet ton heavy “Stoner Funeral”. Really, could you expect something different with a song title like this? This instrumental track reveals KRIADIAZ’s relation with the current Stoner scene and, based on their heavier direction, I am sure things will get even better in the next album.
As I said this is not a hard-to-understand album and hence does not require additional spins to reveal its potential. Everything starts hitting you in the face from the first song and keep banging until the peace of mind that comes with the album closing instrumental. To put it in fewer words; if you like PANTERA, get this one! 7/10