Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power 12 inch
Pantera released their classic album, "Vulgar Display Of Power" in 1992. It was the album that gave Pantera their signature sound and to this day, it remains as Pantera's definitive album. While Pantera had made some glam albums in the 80s, following the trends, most Pantera fans regard the band's "Cowboys From Hell" album as their official debut album. While the 80s material still contains most of the band members, they were very much a different band at that time.
"Vulgar Display Of Power" is easily one of the most influential metal albums of the 90s. Pantera created their own sound with this album. Pantera's later releases never really matched "Vulgar Display". The trademark Pantera sound is all here. Phil Anselmo rejects singing on this album and takes up a sort of roar or bark. By doing this, however, he sounds frighteningly like James Hetfield (Metallica). The album is full of hostility all the way through.
Musically, this album is genius and does everything Metallica does better. Dimebag's speed riffing is all the way through the album, along with brutal and extremely tight heavu drumming. The bass thuds it's way along with the guitar all of the way through. Phil's vocals fit in well with all of the music. The album has some excellent rhythm and while this record is pretty heavy metal, the listener may find themselves bopping along to a lot of the music. Pantera have something that a lot of similar bands don't: groove. Most of the songs on this album get the groove exactly right, making the rhythms awesome to listen to. Dimebag's solos are of course, extremely good and fast. On the last track of the album, Phil actuallly sings properly and does quite a good job of it.
Although the album has excellent groove, the lyrics are rather dodgy. While Pantera are more based around rhythms than lyrical content, the lyrics are still substandard are boring. Many songs just throw big and stupid "f" words all over the place. The album's two ballads ("This Love" and "Hollow") also have quite boring lyrics and are not really worth looking into. Bottom line; if all you want is good lyrics, stay as far away from this album as humanly possible.
The album's track order is sometimes quite irritating. All of the best songs are at the start of the album and most of the album's greatness dies in the last few tracks. There is just about no diversity on the album either. Nearly all of the tracks are heavy guitars, drums and bass playing fast riffs. The band use the same dynamic techniques on most of their songs and they get old quickly. The album's two ballads, some of the only places that clean guitars are heard even have heavy, screamy, hard hitting choruses. However, the album is great fun, nearly all the way through.