Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power
ATCO Records
Aggressive Groove Metal
11 songs (52.53)
Release year: 1992
Reviewed by Aleksie

Do you think youve got intensity in your record collection? Do you think you’ve got heavy groove in your record collection? If you asked this from me, you could own the most brutal grindcore from the darkest jungles of Brazil and the coldest black metal from the darkest fjords of Norway, but if you don’t have Panteras Vulgar Display Of Power, you aint got shit!

Well, you would probably, but youd be missing on one hell of an album. You have probably seen dozens of magazines that have listed “The Top something Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time” within their pages. So have I, and I have not seen one list yet, that wouldn’t have this record in the top 10. Let me tell you why the magazines know it, and I know it.

After the pretty traditional-sounding mix of thrash, speed metal and melodic solos of Cowboys From Hell, Pantera went on to carve their own unique sound. Everything was wound tighter and more aggressive. The awesome, killing production, the riffs, Anselmos vocals, everything. Intense, heavy, in-your-face but with great melodies and damn catchy choruses. The band modernized their sound and laid the ground works for the sounds of metal of the new decade – for better and for worse.

Mouth For War kicks things off with an army boot to the gut. Dimebags (although at the time still named “Diamond”) razor-like, sharp guitar sound shreds the ears to pieces while Vinnie paul hammers the drum set like only he can. I praised him enough in the CFH review, go read that if ya need more. Anselmos vocals got more convicting and shouty and all this was gained in attitude and credibility. Dime solos like theres no tomorrow but with taste. And he does that throughout the album. The ending of the song where the song speeds up to pit-destroying tempos is a must-hear. A New Level and Walk are more mid-tempo induced groovers that take the neck on a spinride of destruction. Fucking Hostile clearly gets my vote for the best song including “fuck” in the title. Very few bands could use the magic four letter remark so that it doesn’t sound pathetic and is actually convincing “COUGHbizkitCOUGH*. Pantera was one that could. A speedy song with a great chorus to relieve some aggression or bash the head and nuts of any asshole against a brick wall covered with barb wire. This Love is an excellent “ballad” that shows Pantera s skill to mix slow and clear moments with the beheading beatings. Rise is one of the biggest stand outs on the record. A song that on its faster parts could give anything by Slayer or Cannibal Corpse a run for their money, and with the slower, moshpit-raising parts has a groove that wont quit. The groove continues to crush skulls through No Good (Attack The Radical) and Live In A Hole while Regular People (Conceit) picks up the speed again with Phil barking out anger blow by blow. By Demons Be Driven features furious pinch harmonic riffing by Dimebag and leads to the closing “ballad” Hollow. Once again a text book demonstration of an excellent “gentle” song.

If there is an album that defines modern metal, it is Vulgar Display Of Power. Of course many of you probably aren’t impressed by that. Many of you might say that this is just a starting point of the plague known as the cursed nu metal. While that is completely wrong in many stages, I will say this to you: Undoubtedly this album inspired lots of metal bands in the 90s and beyond. But with the exception of Machine Heads Burn My Eyes, no newer band came even close to topping this off. A true classic is noticed by the fact that it defines an era of metal. It is up to each one of us what we think of a certain era in metal. But no one can deny the fact that this inspired one hell of a bunch of bands in its time, and after 12 years, it still does.

Oh, and two more things. The cover art and title on the album are perfect. Never have I seen both represent the music within so well as with this album. A straight up, brutal blow to the face – and then some. A Vulgar Display of what this band was capable of at its best. Ill end with a bold statement that I think some, but not many of you will agree with me, but when have I given a damn? Exactly. They are my tastes, have a cool one and chill if you don’t like them.

Vulgar Display Of Power is the most intense album ever made. Buy it and mosh till ya bleed! Nuff said.

Killing Songs :
The Whole Fucking Hostile Bunch!
Aleksie quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Pantera that we have reviewed:
Pantera - Official Live 101 Proof reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 87 / 100
Pantera - Far Beyond Driven reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 77 / 100
Pantera - Cowboys From Hell reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 99 / 100
Pantera - Reinventing The Steel reviewed by Kris and quoted 75 / 100
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