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4.4 out of 5 stars176
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on May 16, 2004
Actually, this album gets 4 and 1/2 stars. I love this album, mainly for the song "walk." that song is one of their best, if not, their best song ever. "Mouth for War," like "Cowboys from Hell," is a tremendous opening song for an album. I love "A New Level" because it's an extremely heavy song. when i saw the title "F***ing Hostile," i was expecting not to care for it that much, but instead i love it. it is extremely fast and extremely pounding; you can tell it is going to be brutal the second you hear phil scream "one, two, three, four." other songs that i am personally fond of are "rise" and "no good" sure "no good" has rapping, but phil's rapping mixes really well with metal.
now the downside with me is with "by demons, be driven" and "hollow." don't get me wrong, i like both songs. but the ending to "by demons, be driven" is much longer than it needs to be, so it tends to drag a little. "hollow" i like better than "by demons, be driven," but i do not like how it ends on a negative note. it just doesn't seem to have any resolution, it makes a transition from sorrow to complete anger and resentment. it seems a lot of pantera songs seem to end on a negative note, and that is my only problem with pantera lyrics. other than that, their music is one of a kind and i respect them for their talent. in conclusion, vulgar display of power is not as good as cowboys from hell and reinventing the steel, but it is not that far behind them because it is a tremendous album.
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on January 3, 2004
It's 1992. With hardcore metal becoming more mainstream(mostly due to Metallica; no comment) and the rise of grunge and hip hop(much to my delight), what would be the fate of the genre? Fear not, fellow headbangers! Pantera, who had already relased the delightfully energetic Cowboys From Hell two years earlier, would excrete their measure of revenge on the music world. Vulgar Display Of Power is the best metal and second best rock album of 1992, after Alice In Chains "Dirt".The influences of Metallica,Motorhead, Rush, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even some Bad Brains are prevelant, and the lyrics and musicianship are top notch. Track for track there is no let up on the kick ass Texas rock; I use to listen to "Mouth For War" "F****n Hostile" and "Walk" all the time, because I bought the album for those songs, but my favorite songs are "Rise", "This Love" and "Hollow". What really suprised me was the song "No Good", where the band sounds like a heavier version of Faith No More, and Phil Anselmo's rapping(if that's what he's doing)is pretty good. It's sad that they've broken up, because metal needs them; but never say never.......
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on November 15, 2003
Somewhere in amongst my old hockey card collection, in it's own protective sleeve, is a signed (Dimebag) ticket when I saw them on tour for this album here in Phoenix at the Celebrity Theatre. Also, somewhere there's a pack of "death smokes" (those of you who don't know, don't matter) that Dime threw at me during the show (yes, he threw them AT me...I was going apesh*t the whole show, hanging off a railing, air guitar and drums, all exactly on-time...the whole nine yards. He loved that and he could see me because I was right in front of the mixing board which was probably no more than 80-100 ft. in front of them.) That tour would pretty much be the last of the small venues for them as they would later go on to play massive shows in Russia and all over the world. White Zombie and Crowbar opened for them that day. I never did see them live again although I kept buying their albums and to a certain degree I'm glad I didn't (see them again) because I was spoiled by that one was amazing and you just can't duplicate the intensity of being so close to the band. One of the funniest things I remember is maybe about halfway through the set Phil proclaimed he was gonna puke, to which the whole crowd started shouting "PUKE! PUKE! PUKE!" while he was hunched over on stage. He never managed to, but the whole scene was something that would stick in anyone's mind this many years later. Anyhow!
This is one of the best metal albums of all time and strangely (or maybe not) enough, the critics typically agree. Vulgar Display of Power is the showcase of a metal band at a stage in its career where they're young, arrogant, full of energy and anger, with the touch of naive that all young bands have before they're stressed out with endless touring, interviews and all the other junk that begins to wear bands down. To their credit Pantera always did stay true to their music but there's always been something special about this album. Even when songs started off like ballad's (This Love), it would end with a bone cruching riff that made you just want to break something (way before your time I might add, Mr. Durst) or like the cover shows, punch someone right in the face. It was the ultimate anger management album for me in those angst-ridden teenage years and it's still an album that even though I haven't followed metal for probably around 6 years, I can still pick up and let loose with. Dime's guitar work is superb and this would be the album that put him on the map as a guitar idol and make all us kids back then flip out like he did when he listened to VanHalen's 'Eruption' at the same age. Vinnie's drums are brutal and Rex was the perfect backbone for them all. Top it all off with Phil's vocal antics and they were another example of a band where the sum were greater than its parts. Even though my penchant for metal has waned over the years I would still buy a new album from them because they were a great band. It's sad when a good thing falls apart but it happens all the time. Thanks for the memories, guys.
Standout songs (the whole album, to be honest...but these are my fav's):
1. F*cking Hostile
2. Regular People (Conceit)
3. By Demons Be Driven
5. This Love
6. No Good (Attack The Radical)
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on October 24, 2003
First of all, this album rocks. I got into this CD when I heard "Hostile" and a friend reccomended Pantera to me. What suprises me more than how heavy and brutal this album was, the fact that so many people gave it a bad review. How can you claim that all the vocals are "obnoxious screams??" Try listening to bands such as Nile or Dying Fetus, and then you can get back to me on that one. Second, people are saying that Dimebag Darrel is "stealing riffs from other songs" and being "unoriginal." What the hell is that all about? Not only is Dime an excellent guitarist, but all Pantera's material is original and unique sounding. And lastly, one person said that Vinnie Paul was "the worst drummer they have ever heard." I can't even comprehend this. Well, maybe if your stupid and you think that just because a drummer can rip up on the set and mop the floor with drummers of lesser bands, if that's what you call a horrible drummer than maybe they are right. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain stupid, I'd like to see you try to keep up with Vinnie Paul.
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on September 27, 2003
Hmm... how to describe Pantera's 1992 hit "Vulgar Display Of Power"? Heavy, fast, brutal, smart, angry, catchy, fun, deep, threatening. Keep out of reach of children under four.
This is one AWESOME album. (Especially when you're driving!) There is a REASON it went to #1 on the charts eleven years ago. Take, for instance, the first track: "Mouth For War". The opening METAL riff, and Phil Anselmo screaming "REVENGE! I'm screaming revenge again!" will give you a good taste for the rest of the album. (And nothing beats that breakneck ending.) Yes, on tracks 1 - 4 (all awesome), Dimebag Darrell's heavy, crushing riffs, paired along with Rex Brown's quick bass and Vinnie Paul's insane drumming, will help you get your mosh pit into high gear. (Gotta love those last 20 seconds of "[Edit] Hostile".)
But then, track five, you get a curveball...or so you are led to believe. (Heh heh heh.) "This Love" starts off with a gentle riff, and Phil Anselmo singing (!!!). But make no mistake: this ain't Bon Jovi. You realize that as soon as the chorus kicks in. Great song. And we can't forget "Rise", can we? Arguably the best song on the album, combining political lyrics, heavy riffs, a fast beat, and Phil Anselmo screaming "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR MIIIIIIND!!!!!". Pure audio bliss.
I could go on for quite awhile on how killer this album is, but I'll just shut up now and let the music speak for itself. So buy it already!
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on August 10, 2003
I just have to say that I'm getting a little tired of the unfair judgements many people on the internet seem to give Pantera. I'm sick of reading all of this ignorant garbage from folks like Liquid Fist about how Pantera are posers and imitators. I feel the same about how people say that Pantera are weak due to the fact they were playing power-metal back in the 1980's. These things have nothing whatsoever with the Pantera album, and are little more then comments that should be posted in places like message boards or shoul be discussed between two or more people you know. I am not a fan of Pantera, and my personal feelings about Pantera personally are not hugely positive. But as a music/video critic here, these feelings are not important to the content of the disc.
A short summary of the content of this disc: The album as a whole is consistant in positive and negetive ways. It starts off perfectly with the first 6 tracks (the awful "One Love" being an excusable exception) but everything after that ranges from awful to mediocre.
Review albums without so much prejudice, and you'll go places.
overall: 3 stars
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on July 25, 2003
Although I personally like Cowboys From Hell better, and Far Beyond Driven is heavier overall, Vulgar Display Of Power remains Pantera's greatest achievement. Influential, technical, catchy, heavy, and to a degree, intelligent.
Phil Anselmo, at one time, did write great lyrics. He covered everything: decay of society, racism, war, peace, self-respect, self-loathing, love, loss of a friend, anger towards parents, hatred, everything. "Hostile," for instance, is a song dealing with teen angst. However, there's no KoRny sludge here. It's a fast-paced romper-stomper that sounds more like an adolescent furiously making a point rather than a 12-year-old whining about not getting a dirt bike for Christmas. Phil's vocal range is good, too. He is mostly using the 'tough-guy' voice, occasionally singing with that amazing choirboy voice of his, and no longer screeching like Plant or Halford. The Abbott brothers, Diamond Darrell and Vinnie Paul, are amazing as usual. Dime's probably one of the best metal guitarists. His solos are never messy, always precise. Vinnie is pretty much the same. Insane double bass. It's not always fast, but precise. The foot-rhythms are nothing compared to the crushing groove of the hi-hat and snare, or the crazy fills. They're both great. Rex Brown fills in nicely with bass. Funky, groovy, and going just as fast as Vinnie and Dime. Truly the stuff of legend.
"Mouth For War" took this album to the top of the pop charts, with its barreling main riff and the unforgettable opening line--"Revenge! I'm screaming revenge again!" "Walk" is a simple, anthemic, Texas-styled metal song, with a great chorus, and even better solo. "Hostile" is a pile driver, "Rise" even faster, with a great riff later stolen by Helmet. "No Good," "Live In A Hole," and "Regular People" aren't as spectacular, but aren't quite filler, "No Good" being the best with its rapped verses. "By Demons Be Driven" is a heavy death-metal-esque tune with a killer chorus. "Hollow" is the epic closer, with wonderfully sung verses and a surprise heavy riff-filled ending.
"New Level" and "This Love" are good songs. I rarely listen to them, although the former is heavy as hell and the latter a great semi-ballad.
A great album. I like CFH better because of the Texas influences, but this is better than FBD and Reinventing The Steel. However...
I will never forget being twelve years old and seeing this album for the first time, with the brutal cover, ominous PA sticker, and insane song titles. What got me the most was the picture on the back. Four guys who LOOKED metal. Who WERE metal. I remember seeing that picture and saying to myself, "Now those guys, they're COOL."
I tip my ten-gallon hat to the boys in Pantera for helping to shape one little boy's life...probably for the better.
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on June 9, 2003
Pantera's second available album is a complete departure from the sound of their earlier power-metal recordings. The aggressive, rough vocals from Phil Anselmo; the high guitar notes played by Darrel Dimond (his name back when this album was released); the jazzy bass of Rex; and the fast-paced drumming from Vinnie Paul make up the sound of "Vulgar Display Of Power".
None of the views expressed in this paragraph are intended by me to sound negetive or positive. These are more or less mere observations about the sound of this disc. Here, Pantera has obviously taken influence from 1980's thrash metal bands (i.e. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth). They come off sounding like a mixture of the guitar tecnicality of Megadeth and the speeding thrash of Metallica, with more basic song structures. Phil Anselmo's lyrics deal with government and religious hypocrisy, being yourself, etc.

"Vulgar Display Of Power" kicks off perfectly with the first 5 tracks (excluding "This Love"). There is variety, headbanging guitar riffs, and insane vocals. Since these are the standout tracks of the entire 11 song album, I might as well give information on them. Starting with "Mouth For War", we are given a great catchy guitar-line that sounds like it would work for any metal-head house party. Although Phil Anselmo's vocals are too rough to make the lyrics catchy, the music is way too good to let that bother you. "A New Level" has a very simple song structure, but certainly stands out, with it's genius guitar-solos and heavy backdrop between Phil's verses. By the way, Darrel Dimond was at his peak for mind-blowing guitar-solos, and it helps even scattered moments of the weaker songs. Moving onto "Walk". It's repeated guitar-riff fails to be catchy for a good amount of time, but is good enough. The only other thing worth noting is the genius solo (which is controlled, but risky. You'll see what I mean when you hear it.) "Hostile" is a good song. It sounds like Metallica, but without any of the power. A lack of bass is apparent, and it just barely feel put together. But the speed should keep car racers and criminals of the such happy. Skipping past the horrible anti-love song "This Love" we come to the best song, "Rise". With it's blindingly fast main-riff and powerful vocals, it remains Pantera's best song.
Unfortunetely, the second half of the album is too weak. "No Good" is sickeningly basic and utterly boring to listen to. "Live In A Hole" is slow and dull. "Regular People (Conceit)" nearly rips off Metallica's "Disposable Heros" in the intro, and in the middle of the song, recalls the boredom of "No Good". "By Demons Be Driven" tries to sound intense, but the lack of ominous bass and goofy screaming of Phil, we are treated to a snore-fest. In the beginning, "Hollow" tries to sound melodic and 'haunting' but ends up sounding like an oldies hit from the 70's. Admittedly, the heavier part of it is refreshing, and a half-decent way to close the album.
Basically, this would be a perfect album if "This Love" and everything after "Rise" were edited. Then we'd have a classic EP. As it is though, "Vulgar Display of Power" suffers from severe inconsistancy.
Phil Anselmo's lyrics are arrogant. Whenever he speaks of the government, he sounds like a "anti-political redneck". All I have to say about this.
I wrote a review for this before, but since I wrote it, it sounds insincere. This is not a great album, it is average at best. Pantera's inability to be more than half-consistant hurts this album too much for me to recommend it.
It is difficult to enjoy Pantera if metal is not your only musical preference, so if you like Metallica and Megadeth, this is for you. If Fuel, Pearl Jam, or even something radically different compared to this like The Roots, this is not for you. It would be best for you to download the standouts above, and nothing else.
If you enjoy this album, you may also enjoy Metallica's "Kill Em' All", and Helmet's "Meantime".
Overall rating: 2.8 stars (technically rounded to 3, but not recommended)
P.S. This album is garbage compared to "Cowboys From Hell", which is highly recommended.
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on June 8, 2003
Hey, I could care less about all this "who's really metal" stuff everyone is spewing. It's bad enough having to listen to punks whine about who's punk, gimme a break.
This is really a great, solid album. It's definitely Pantera's most accessible work, but don't let that make you think it's soft or made-for-radio. It basically means that the songs have more traditional structure than you might find in their other albums. Very listenable rather than random-sounding experimentation like you might find in other metal albums.
Now, I'm not a pure metal fan, but I do like Metallica, Napalm Death and Sepultura... also Motorhead is one of my all-time favorite bands. I don't know what you guys call "metal" but I also love AC/DC and Black Sabbath. I'm more of a punk guy, metal as a genre tends to get a bit grating but there are some gems out there... and I think this is one of them. Hopefully that puts my opinion in perspective.
I like music that's energetic and anthemic, and gets you moving. I also like a lot of talent in the band, and I think Diamond is a great guitarist... BEING A GUITARIST MYSELF, anyone who is saying he [is bad]is out of their mind. People who complain about Philip's screaming... it is very high quality screaming and he does hit notes... do the Fourier transform and see for yourself. Those people just want to hear Metallica sing a ballad. Pantera are also amazingly fast, just a great energetic band. The lyrics are fairly cool in places but can be a bit offensive, but that's more of a warning than anything... it takes a LOT to offend me and it doesn't bother me.
I have a couple Pantera albums and this is the best from among them, "Far Beyond Driven" is also good but not as "even" as this one.
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on April 12, 2003
This album is excellent, it is simply fast, haunting and angry. This album may help you through times as well and i find it helps me when im stressed, it helps me let my anger out, and my main interest in the album is the guitar riffs, their just so fabulous, this is one of my favourite guitar albums. Heres a run down on each track.
1.MOUTH FOR WAR: A great song with excellent guitar riffs. This song is also without a doubt panteras best song, its a classic. I love the bit close to the end where the songs tempo goes faster and faster. 10/10
2.A NEW LEVEL: Well excellent guitar riffs, i love the bit where the singer screams "a new level of confidence and power", but still nothing beats the classic mouth for war. 8/10
3.WALK: A very reconigsable song by pantera fans. I love the guitar riffs in the intro, it really shows the guitarists talent. This song is like an anthem. 9/10
4.F**KING HOSTILE: Whooa, this is a hell fast song, propbably the fastest song on the album, nice guitar riffs, as usual, and i think this song is talking about being controlled and un free to do what you want, well something like that. 8/10
5.THIS LOVE: An excellent intro with haunting guitar riffs in the beginning of the intro. This song is propbably my favourite power ballad ever, i love the chorus where he goes angry. A very haunting song, you know how i said nothing beats mouth of war, well maybe im wrong, this song does in my opinion. 10/10
6.RISE: Whoaa another fast song, nice intro, good guitar riffs. I love the bit where he screams "whats wrong with your mind". Not quite as fast as f**king hostile, though better in my opinion. 9/10
7.NO GOOD(attak the radical): Nice intro it really shows the guitarists talent. I like this song, it has great guitar riffs, i like the bit where the singer says "live in the past we make it last". Overall great song. 8/10
8.LIVE IN A HOLE: A nice intro, the guitar riffs sound cool. Thats what i like about pantera, each song has totaly different guitar riffs, and unlike heeps of other metal bands they depend on one sort of guitar riff. Any way great song. 9/10
9.REGULAR PEOPLE(conceit): A nice long intro, showing off the guitarists talent, and then the singer pops and starts yelling and stuff. Sorry, this is propbably the only forgettable song on the album. 7/10
10.BY DEMONS, BE DRIVEN: Great song attaking religions, nice guitar riffs. I especially love the guitar riffs on the chorus, when the singer screams "by demons, be driven". I also love the bit after the chorus, where you hear this really haunting voice sayin "back in the call" or something, sorry its sometimes hard to understand what the singer is saying. 10/10
11.HOLLOW: A nice intro with guitar riffs that easily warn you that this is going to be a sad song. Slower than usual, though its not a power ballad like this love, still great song, that gets me curious to know the song meaning to this song. This song the gets harder as it gets closer to the end though, but not a power a ballad. 9/10
Overall great album, take it from me, you won't be disapointed, and yes this is one of my favourite albums, and this album helped me through some times, and pantera is just a very original band, so if you like metal, go get it. THANK YOU FOR READING-peace
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