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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!
RE! SPECT! WALK!
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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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on October 17, 2002
Wow.
If you haven't heard of Pantera, and you're a "metalhead", you've been living under a rock for the last decade. They are the only metal band to reach No.1 on the mainstream album charts (Far Beyond Driven), not counting Slipknot, or Limp Bizkit, or Staind...aagh. Pantera is certaintly the greatest out of all these groups - and this is their finest 52 minutes.
This CD will wake you up anytime waking up is needed - much like any other Pantera CD, but to a even greater degree of quality music. With the opening chords of the now classic "Mouth For War", to the piledriver lead out of the still quite mellow "Hollow", all 52 minutes of this CD are worthy of your time. And while the standard of musicianship would be topped in songs that come on later in Pantera history, this is their most all rounded, and giving you a severe case of moshing while you're at it.
Tracklisting:
1. Mouth For War. Classic. Giving the US it's first metal No.1 single, and if you listen, you'll figure out why. From Dimebag's awesome solo to the throughly speed metal outro, this simply rocks. Best Pantera song ever, no contest.
2. A New Level. A particular live favourite, and though it takes a while to grow on you, believe me it will. Also, the first time that Rex Brown's bass really stands out - during the other awesome solo - Dimebag's, how convienient!
3. Walk. The only slow song on the album I dislike, and also the most radio-friendly. It's OK, for a few listens, but you'll find you'll be skipping it after a while, onto...
4.F**king Hostile. Absolutely awesome. 167 seconds of sheer speed, though quite a few songs can top this for BPM, not many can top it for sheer power. 1,2,3,4!!!!
5. This Love. The first "power-ballad" on the album, but far heavier than most. With truly dark lyrics (anti-love), which have become a Pantera staple, and again another great Dimebag solo (I don't think there is a single song on this album where he doesn't solo actually), this song was released as a single, and though you may see why, you'll change your mind.
6. Rise. ! The opening chords may pin you to the floor. Linking seamlessly with the quiet of the previous track, all the time building up to an amazing chorus, with Phil screaming, "What's wrong with your mind!!!", undercutted by Vinnie Paul's stunning drum work. Vinnie is a drum god, by the way.
7. No Good (Attack The Radical). Though the second half of the CD doesn't quite live up to the sheer brlliance of the first, and even though this track in particular ain't so good (probably because they're all the same pace, though I wouldn't complain too much), this still has some great moments, with one of the grooviest bridges on the album.
8. Live In A Hole. More of the same, yet this track has a rather abrupt tempo change twice throughout the bridge, which does throw you off some, but it's still Pantera, and there's no denying the quality of the musicians on show.
9. Regular People (Conceit). With more of that groove undercutting the entire song. It takes time going, but you may just be humming/screaming the chorus for weeks.
10. By Demons Be Driven. Another metal cliche, attacking religion. Maybe this is what is meant when people say Phil has stupid views. Yet this is a powerful song, the last relatively weak song on the CD but still containing some crushing guitar work. Signals a previous intensity not heard before on any other Pantera work.
11. Hollow. After that, the final piece of masterwork. Being careful not to put all the excellent songs at the start, they've held back this "power-ballad", again relative, for the final cut. And without it, the CD would probably only get an 8 - as it's the depth and breadth of Pantera's music that is a particular standout about the band - being able to write sweet sounding yet bitter songs and incredibly heavy MAINSTREAM metal tunes. For the first 3 minutes, a lovely little song about, well, being hollow inside, before kicking into a very catchy end part that leads out the CD in style.
There are those that say this is probably the end of the really great Pantera, as Far Beyond Driven went even heavier and alienated about half their fanbase, but I say this one was an indicator that this CD indicated that was their new direction. Songs like Rise and By Demons Be Driven show startling balls for such a mainstream group. Nowhere else would you be able to hear this stuff on daytime radio back in 1992.
And if you think this is metal, wait for The Great Southern Trendkill!
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on October 5, 2002
Back in the spring of 1992, I bought Vulgar Display of Power on the same day I purchased Queensryche's Empire. Did your jaw just drop to the floor or what? Two albums that qualify as stone-cold metal classics purchased on the same day!? If I could remember the exact date, I'd petition to turn it into a national holiday. They are that good, trust me. Now on to our story...
A spartanly furnished one-bedroom apartment in the trendy, though crime-ridden, Fan district of Richmond, Virginia. A comfortable seat on the living room couch. A bottle of IBC within arm's reach. 'F!cking Hostile' blasting on the stereo. What more can you ask for when you're 21?
Unfortunately, my bliss was soon interrupted by a persistent knocking on the front door. I thought that if I ignored it, perhaps the unwanted caller would take the hint and go away. Sadly, the knocking only grew louder and more insistent. After about 30 seconds, I realized that I was going to have to open the door. I tried to be optimistic - perhaps my visitor was a weary traveler whose only desire was to boost their energies by taking in a little Pantera and IBC. Surely, I could help them with that.
But, when I opened the door, I saw none other than Mrs. Hollister glaring at me. The same raven-haired wench whose husband was my landlord. Let's just say, I was about as likely to share my IBC with Prune Hollister back then as I would be today to share one with Mullah Omar. That woman and her husband had done virtually nothing just a few months earlier when the roof of my bathroom collapsed on me while I was in there. No apologies, no "we hope you don't sue us". They simply acted like it was a routine occurrence and expressed surprise that I found it inconvenient that my bathroom had been reduced to a heap of rubble.
So, you'll understand why I wasn't exactly thrilled to have Prune Hollister up in my grill that fine spring day. "Your music is too loud," she shouted, "Turn it down!"
I just glared back at her, with Phil screaming in the background, "You're making us f!ckin' hostiiile!" In fact, that's exactly what Prune was making me. But, I had to control my rage. I stood there in the doorway silently and when the song came to an end, I nodded blankly at Prune and shut the door. Did I turn down the music? Yes, but only out of respect for my other neighbors - certainly not for Prune, if that's what you're thinking.
So, here I am today, 10 years later, recalling the incident from a spartanly furnished one-bedroom apartment in the trendy and generally low-crime neighborhood of Point Breeze in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My landlord is a tough old guy named Grimes, but he leaves me well enough alone and you can be damn certain that if my bathroom collapsed on me, Grimes would come over and fix it immediately. You can also be pretty sure that, like Prune Hollister, he doesn't care much for Vulgar Display of Power. On the other hand, he might just turn up in the mosh pit the next time Phil and the boys come to town and break out the metal classics from Vulgar like "Mouth for War", "Walk", "No Good (Attack the Radical)", "Regular People (Conceit)", "Hollow", and, of course, "F!cking Hostile". You never know. After all, Vulgar does represent a near perfect fusion of power and thrash metals. And if you listen closely, you can almost hear the beginnings of nu-metal in there as well. But let's not blame Pantera for the creation of that generally execrable genre. Let's simply sit back with our IBCs and enjoy one of the greatest and most influential metal albums ever made.
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on September 27, 2002
This is my first Pantera album and certainly not my last. If you love heavy metal and don't like this album, I think that a santarium is the abosolute perfect place for you to spend the remainder of your life. All the one star reviews really make me sick and give me periodic spasms of pain and anger blistering in my veins. Why is the average rating for this 4.2 stars? it's far beyond that!! Those people probably don't even listen to the music. They are missing out on all the fun (or just don't like it). Pantera is loud but not very distorted, brutal yet technical, foul-mouthed and tough but send out a couple nice messages (see for yourself in "F.Hostile" and "No Good/Attack The Radical"). For an album that is this "commercial" (not like Limp Bizkit or Blink-182(ugh)commercialism) this really shows very little sign of selling-out (none). The music is not quiite as heavy as I was thinking, but I must of been thinking elsewhere when that came into my mind. However, it takes a little time to get into it. When I first got it, I only liked the first six tracks because the others were too slow. But you need to listen to the whole thing through so that when you're done, you'll be nearly out of breath.
If you want consistantly fast, I don't think that this is the perfect place to look. You'd best be looking at Slayer or Grip Inc. However, "Rise" is blindingly fast. Not all the way through (It would be a little hard for Phil to do the verses while keeping the beat), but if you compare it to Metallica's "Sad But True" in speed, you can see where I'm going. But also, HEAVY! All of that good stuff is found on all of the tracks. However, there is a ballad as you should know by now. The 6 minute-plus "This Love", with it's melodic semi-acoustic-guitars and softer (yet raw-throated) vocals, it deals with the extreme pain of broken relationships. Now hold on; I know some of you are thinking that this is another one of those Papa Roach "She luvs me not" type songs. NO!! KEEP THAT THOUGHT OUT! This song takes it a step further. Instead of feeling sad and pityful about it, Phil emphasizes violent and self hatred very well. It's pretty disturbing, and it can somehow get under your skin in ways too complicated to explain. You'll probably love it, considering it takes a much needed detour from all the screaming and scratchy vocals (that isn't a bad thing at all, don't get me wrong). Aside from that, almost every track is an assault on the sences. "A New Level" is amazing! Grinding guitars and a perfectly constructed (not to mention creative) solo that stands out make it up and really kikas! "Walk" (although very repetitive musically) is tiringly catchy. The main-riff packs it's belongings and moves into your head to live for about a year until it decides to leave you alone relizing how you can't concentrate on anything at all (It's not a bad thing at all). "No Good/Attack The Radical" is an unsettling song that can make you want to attack someone or something. Proceed with caution! "By Demons Be Driven" is one where Phil screams very loud. Be Careful Bizkit fans (it can hurt your ears). All the other songs you need to listen carefully to. You'll love em all. Any weakpoints? Yes as a matter-of-fact. "F. Hostile" is kinda sloppy, the bass can't be heard very well and it just doesn't do too much for me. Oh well. It'll grow on me eventually...
Don't read anymore!!Just grab this classic album as fast as you can! If you love this, I would also recommend Metallica's "Master Of The Puppets", Slayer's "Seasons Of The Abyss", Sepultura's "Chaos A.D." and Megadeth's "Rust In Piece". HEY! ARE YOU STILL HERE? Go out and grab this! peace...
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