It has become almost comical that sites who have bashed Vinnie Paul on a frequent basis for his work in Hellyeah, have all of a sudden been tripping over themselves to praise the late drummer.  Death has a funny way of elevating someone’s legacy, and I get it, his work in Pantera was groundbreaking on many levels, and had an emotional connection with a lot of people.  As a result, he could have done almost anything after Pantera, and people would have unfairly criticized his work for not being Pantera, comparing everything to albums like Vulgar Display Of Power and Cowboys From Hell.   Which is totally unfair in my opinion.  It is ok to enjoy something, without it having to top your favorite album or track by the band.  And yes, just because he was Vinnie Paul, you didn’t have to love absolutely everything.  But I personally look at his body of work after the band, and I don’t think he’s really put out anything that was absolute crap, and I can’t say the same for other former members of the band.

Damageplan was one of two full length albums that he worked on with his brother Dime, and again regardless of how strong this album is, it would never eclipse people’s connection to Pantera.  But set that all aside, and you truly have a pretty good album.  A lot of people refer to them as the metal Van Halen brothers, and I think it is really apparent on this album where it was kind of all over the place tip toeing between hard rock and metal.  Put the “this isn’t Pantera” non-sense aside, and give this one another listen.

Rebel Meets Rebel was the Abbott brothers’ project with country star David Allen Coe, and also featured Pantera bassist Rex Brown. This was a meeting of two worlds, a metal and country crossover, which looking back could be considered the first of its kind. The Abbotts were known for liking all types of music, and going to see as many shows in the Dallas area, regardless of what music genre. Here you have a project where they didn’t care if it was metal or not, they wanted to work with D.A.C., and didn’t care about other people’s opinions. This album has some strong tracks on it as well, and it makes you wonder how much better the album could have been had Dime of lived, or where the project could have gone given the rumors there were more tracks they had worked on.

Hellyeah was the band that finally got Vinnie back into the studio to make original music and tour. But it also garnered the most amount of flak aimed at the drummer, because once again “this isn’t Pantera”.  How many people will now give this band a shot due to the fact that Vinnie passed away? Whether you enjoyed the band or not, they were still part of high profile festivals, and tours. In the internet age, people unfortunately mistake opinion for fact. Instead of having to look over your shoulder before saying something is cool or not, give the band a shot and determine for yourself if you think the band is worth it or not. They had more of a modern hard rock feel, doing things Vinnie wasn’t known for previously, and showing that he could do what was necessary to make any song he was on better.

Then there were a series of covers he did with Dime on guitar and vocals, and similar to Rebel Meets Rebel with Rex.

Here’s a cover of Ace Frehley’s “Snowblind” off of Return Of The Comet.

Tres Diablos is what Vinnie, Dime and Rex went under when covering ZZ Top’s Tres Diablos, it appeared on the ECW Extreme Music compilation.

Article by Victor M. Ruiz of earpeelerMars Attacks Radio & Podcast, and Galaxy Of Geeks Podcast.  Connect with him on Twitter:  @vmr907

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