Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power
Elektra Records - 1992
By Philip Whitehouse

If you haven't heard of Pantera, then I really must ask what you have been doing with yourself over the past decade or so. The finest exponents of caustic metal savagery to come from Texas, Phil Anselmo and his band of cowboys from hell set out their stall right from the opening seconds of this album.

Opening track 'Mouth For War' starts immediately with a stripped-down, buzzsaw guitar riff from Dimebag Darrell striking out over a solid double-bass and snare drum percussive grounding, before vocalist Phil Anselmo lends his raspy voice to proceedings. Tracks like the sinister 'Walk' and the subtle-as-it-sounds 'Fucking Hostile' maintain this pace throughout. This is straightforward, intense, aggressive metal from start to finish.

Well, almost. Pantera throw a nice surpise into the mix with mid-album track 'This Love'. Starting with a slow, melodic, clean guitar piece and Anselmo showing he can use his voice to touch softer emotions than pure anger, the song soon explodes back into Pantera-style aggression, before lapsing back into the slow, melodic, peaceful segment. This is probably one of Pantera's finest moments, as it shows a confidence with their songwriting abilities and a willingness to experiment (something which has been sadly lacking from later albums).

If you're a fan of the boys from Pantera, this album should be an essential one in your collection. If you haven't heard much of them, it will serve as the perfect introduction. Buy it now.