Artist : Pantera
Album : Vulgar Display Of Power
Released : February 25, 1992
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Holy Grails Of Heavy Metal Music)
The story of Pantera is a long and complicated one. From starting out in the 1980s as a “Glam Metal” band with original lead singer Terry Glazer that opened for groups like Dokken, and Stryper, to the first four albums they made that they wish could be erased from music History (which have been out of print for years). So it’s not surprising that many fans thought that their excellent 1990 record “Cowboys From Hell” was a debut album from a new band, when in reality in was their fifth. In hindsight, it doesn’t even really matter now, because with Diamond Darrell changing his name to Dimebag Darrell, and most important, bringing in new singer Phil Anselmo, along with changing to a much heavier sound the band that we now know and love as the real Pantera had arrived. And the timing could not have been better.
By 1992 the music scene was beginning to change. Bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were beginning to sell a bunch of albums, and the Grunge scene from Seattle had arrived. Hair bands, and Glam Metal was quickly becoming irrelevant, and many thought Metal could be next. That is until the music world heard “Vulgar Display Of Power” one of the greatest most important Metal records ever made. An album so important to the genre at the time as breathing is to a human being. It would be Pantera who would carry the torch into and though the 1990s. Especially after the huge letdown of Metallica’s Black Album in 1991, which was much more of a Rock sound, in contrast to Metal.
That’s when the four members of Pantera decided to fill the he void that Metallica had now left. Using the Black Album as their example to push them to make the hardest, and loudest record they could, also coming to the studio with the strongest set of songs they ever had. That’s the difference between band’s that wait for someone to develop a sound for them to follow, and innovators who take it upon themselves to take the bull by the horns to do it themselves.
Today this record still lives up to it’s title. The deep metal grooves, and Dime’s incredible guitar playing still sound ahead of it’s time. Vinnie Paul’s drumming with Rex Brown on bass will still make your ears bleed like a great metal album should. And we can’t forget Phil who’s singing and lyrics complimented the music perfectly. It took Pantera years and years to truly peak. Thank goodness for all Metal fans they peaked at the exact time we needed them to. What a band ! And what a record !!