Band: Pantera Album: Vulgar Display of Power Genre: Groove Metal Released: February 1992 by Atco Records 1. "Mouth for War" 3:56 2. "A New Level" 3:57 3. "Walk" 5:15 4. "****ing Hostile" 2:49 5. "This Love" 6:32 6. "Rise" 4:36 7. "No Good (Attack the Radical)" 4:50 8. "Live in a Hole" 4:59 9. "Regular People (Conceit)" 5:27 10. "By Demons Be Driven" 4:39 11. "Hollow" 5:45 Personnel: • Philip Anselmo - lead vocals • Dimebag Darrell – guitar, backing vocals • Rex Brown – bass, backing vocals • Vinnie Paul - drums The Album There are 3 words to describe “Vulgar Display of Power”; Hostile, intense, and powerful. This album became an innovative moment for Pantera, and made Pantera the godfather of groove metal. Vulgar Display of Power is the 6th studio album by the band and what I would consider their best effort to date. Pantera had shed their glam metal image and now were treading in new waters, mixing hostile and extremely loud sounds with heavy and dark guitar riffs and taking anger to a new level. Just listening to this album made my insides quake and shudder and my teeth clench! The band’s precision on this album is unfaltering. Vinnie, with his insane double bass, which is not always the fastest but always delivered with precision. Dimebag, delivers a deep crunch of excellent guitar riffs one after the other that are filled in nicely with the groovy basslines of Rex. The vocals of Anselmo fit the music nicely, from a deep gnarly shout and growl (which I do not care for) to a beautiful choir boy voice. Vulgar Display of Power shocked the world with its #1 debut on the charts, making this the 'heaviest' metal album to ever hit that high on the music charts upon release. You won’t find any songs to pat your foot to, or candy coated pop songs, but instead will discover that every song on this album is a brutally perfect display of power. This album came out in a time of musical despair for something new, and it delivered the goods. The Music ”Mouth For War” ~ This song has become one of Pantera’s biggest hits. The song is about channeling all your negative energy into something positive………….what I found positive isn’t the vocals (I am not a fan of shouts and growls) but the riffs and solos and the thunderous drum assault. Great stuff! ”A New Level” ~ A new level of confidence and power…….or so the lyrics belt at you but the song doesn’t convince me this is true. The song has some tight riffs and pounding double thumpers, but the vocals and lyrics fail to capture my attention. Oh well, the intro was good, and that is what counts. ”Walk” ~ This song has a great groove and a distinctive “gallop” to the riff. The vocals are a bit cleaner on this song, which is an improvement. I like the line “Be yourself, by yourself, get away from me”………The song has a fantastic mid-song solo and for this I give the song a high rating. ”****ing Hostile” ~ The thumping double bass is very prominent in this song and Dimebag delivers some pretty awesome speed. This is the shortest song on the album, and the angriest……..It left me clenching my teeth. The scream at the end was “****ing Awesome” ”This Love” ~ It is a good thing this is the next song on the album, I had to recover from the anger of the previous song. Or did I? This song is about love gone bad, but happens to be one of 3 songs that I really like by Pantera. On the opening, the song seems like it is going to be out of place on the album, but soon you discover the meaning of the song……………yep anger is still noted, but the intro/outro and solos are absolutely amazing! ”Rise” ~ You are treated to an excellent opening drum assault. “What’s wrong with your life…….. it’s time to Rise”……….”forgive, Forget”. OK…..If Pantera says so, I submit! ”No Good (Attack the Radical)” ~ A good stab at racism, but I was not impressed with the vocal delivery of the lyrics. (I hate snarls and growls) This song is fueled by anger, and you get a full-force blast from Dimebag and Vinnie. ”Live in a Hole” ~ The guitar riffs are excellent, and this makes up for the lack of any decent lyrical content. I find this song in no way an inspiration for teenagers and their problems………………but the guitar work is too good to ignore. This song has an amazing groove! ”Regular People (Conceit)” ~ A very clean and brisk opening. Again not a very strong song lyrically speaking, but I get what the song is trying to convey…….that we are all just regular people. The solo is intense, and of course the rhythm section fills the song up perfectly. ”By Demons be Driven” ~ A very heavy and dark song with a religious tone…………..possibly speaking out on how religion gets force fed to us. Anyway, the riff rattles your insides it is that powerful. ”Hollow” ~ This is the song that Anselmo shows he really does have a beautiful singing voice. This is my favorite song by Pantera, a great ballad about a best friend who goes comatose. Electric guitar juxtaposed over acoustic is an awesome effect. The blistering solo should have been a bit softer, but I am not complaining, the song is still the best song Pantera ever recorded, besides Cemetery Gates. Overall, I have to give this album a high rating just because the music is very polished and delivered with such precision. I do, however, reduce that rating because I feel the vocals and lack of solid lyrical content took something away from the album. Hardcore fans will disagree with me, but I feel that the barks , growls, snarls, and screams could have been toned down a bit. Were the vocals effective? I feel they were, the vocals fit in nicely with the intense fury of the music but the lack of decent lyrical content was the albums big downfall. My rating for listening pleasure 3.5/5.