Disappointed with Metallica’s drift away from thrash with their self-titled release in 1991, Pantera set out to fill the void with their sixth album, Vulgar Display of Power in 1992. Receiving critical acclaim, it is one of the most defining metal albums of the 90s - Going Gold in its first year, by 2004 Vulgar Display of Power had gone Platinum not once, but twice.
Characterised by heavy riffs and a change in vocal presence, the album churned out singles such as Mouth for War, Walk, This Love and Fucking Hostile; taking a quantum leap forward in the sound of thrash metal. One of the best known Pantera songs of all time is Walk, and for good reason. Dimebag Darrell came up with the masterful 12/8 signature riff while on tour in Moscow with Metallica and ACDC, and when played over Vinnie Paul’s soul stomping 4/4 drums, it creates a sound that makes you want to mosh until your ankles break. Songs such as This Love and Hollow are powerful ballads that slash through the heaviness, giving a budding insight to personal relationships.
But it’s not only their unique sound that made Pantera famous; it’s the energetic live performances that clicked with fans and critics alike. Although Pantera met its unfortunate fate almost two decades ago, the songs still harness a kinetic force that cannot be stopped. Being used in everything from films to MTV bumpers, it’s hard to find a metal-head who doesn’t know the legacy of Pantera. The album’s innovation, power and lyrics made it an instant success, and when compared with some mainstream metal today, is still heavy as fuck.
Celebrating its silver jubilee, Vulgar Display of Power is still one of the most influential metal albums of the 90s, if not all time. In honour, it’s only fair to sift through the dusty pile of CDs, and play it loud.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
When I listen to Pantera,
My neighbours do too.