Pantera was formed in 1981 by the Abbot Brothers, Vinnie Paul on drums; Dimebag Darrell on guitar and Rex Brown on bass. This band started of being heavily influenced by glam or hair metal before settling into a heavier sound. Pantera’s sixth album was released in 1992. This was Vulgar Display of Power and it had a much heavier sound than what had come before. It was one of the most influential heavy metal albums in the 1990s and is often described as one of the most defining albums of the groove metal genre.
The best most favorable description I can give this to album is that it’s a romp and stomp birth of screamo sort of album. I have a natural inclination against this album in that I believe a singer should actually sing. Maybe that’s a silly notion in this day and age, but, I prefer music in my music and that includes a discernable melody and words that can be understood without looking at the lyrics sheet to ensure the content is understood.
The jackhammering guitar and pulverizing beats has something to offer that I cannot deny. But sheer crushing force gets old sooner than later. There is very little majestic or worth repeating in lumbering rhythms that go almost nowhere but straight forward into oblivion. The hostility and screechiness of Phil Anselmo’s voice sounds like vomit gone wrong more times than it does a decent vocalist.
Despite its reputation and with all due respect to this album’s influence on the genre, Aloha Promises Forever is giving this one a four out of 10. My best suggestion, skip listening to this one and just realize it’s place in time was such that it merited consideration. Consideration has been given to it and if I never hear it again, it will be far too soon.
Vulgar Display of Power may be listened to here: