Classic Album Review

The Saw’s Classic Cuts: Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power (1992)

It may come as a bit of a surprise to many but, Vulgar Display of Power is Pantera’s sixth studio album. Released on February 25, 1992, it is the second Pantera Album from Atco Records (Cowboys From Hell was the first), and the second record that featured the new Pantera sound. The four previous releases featured a very different, Glam Rock sounding Pantera. In fact, the great “Dimebag” Darrell (R.I.P.) used to be know as “Diamond” Darrell before the band’s evolution to pure Heavy Metal!

The goal of Vulgar Display of Power was to be the heaviest album ever, and at that time, it just may have been! Pantera took the notions of violence and anger and translated them into site and sound as never before. Not only Phil Anselmo’s  lyrics in songs like “Mouth for War,” “F****** Hostile,” “Walk,” and “By Demons Be Driven;” but the power of harnessed chaos in Dime’s guitar riffs, Rex’s crushing bass, and Vinnie Paul’s (R.I.P.) thunderous drum playing. Their live shows are legendary, bosting the largest circle pits of the era. The explosive band caused every crowd in every city to explode in a chain reaction.

The title of the album is taken from the 1973 movie, The Exorcist (a great movie, BTW!). The album cover is of a man being punched in the face. Classic! It is an illustration of what this record does to the listener.

Vulgar Display of Power has been dubbed “one of the most influential Heavy Metal albums of the 1990s.” Another critic commented that it “is one of the most satisfying Heavy Metal records since Metallica’s early-80s cult days.” The record has been listed in the “1001 records you must hear before you die.” Everyone agreed that Pantera was “head and shoulders” above everyone else. In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Vulgar Display of Power as 10th on their list of the “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.”

Pantera was the perfect storm of a band – all four members were the best of their craft – that created the perfect storm of a record – a pure ass-whoopin’!

Favorite songs: A New Level; Walk; This Love

Rating: 10/10!! A must-have for the lover of raw metal power!

Stay Metal,