TITLE: Vulgar Display of Power
YEAR RELEASED: 1992
CHART ACTION: #44 US, #64 UK
SINGLES: Mouth for War (#73 UK), This Love, Hollow, Walk (#35 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: On radio, no. Metalheads know this album by heart.
LINEUP: Phil Anselmo, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, Rex Brown, Vinnie Paul
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Pantera releases their ultimate record and possibly the best metal album of the 90’s. It’s heavy, hard, and…catchy?
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The leap between Cowboys from Hell and this album wasn’t as big as the leap between hair metal and Cowboys, but it’s still a leap. Pantera’s settled into their new persona, and recorded a devastating record full of riffs and power.
The production is much better, with a more natural drum sound and a better vocal mix. Abbott’s guitar riffs are classic, and the solos are intense without straying too much for the song or showing off for showing off’s sake.
There are even a couple of slower songs, but unlike hair metal power ballads, they retain the intensity and power of the more riff driven songs – and that’s quite a feat. The last song, Hollow, is definitely a ballad, but its placement on the album as the final song is just right. It also shows that Anselmo can really sing instead of yell.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: During the recording of the album, Abbott moved away from “Diamond Darrell” or “Dimebag”. Rex Brown also stopped being Rexx Rocker. That last name belonged in a band like Britney Fox or something.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with an extra song (that’s not needed really) and a DVD.
GRADE: A : It’s almost the perfect metal album.