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I will keep this review straightforward. If you are expecting the Pantera that released "Vulgar Display Of Power" on this album, then you will have a huge shock. It is very hard to believe that the Pantera that released this went on to keep metal alive in the 90's. I personally love both of Pantera’s eras, from their incredibly cheesy glam to their "mainstream" releases. I do not care what some people on this site say, I love every single one of their albums.
Firstly, people often complain about the production on this album. I disagree as I feel the raw, unpolished production adds to the feel and charm of this release. Also, unlike Pantera's "mainstream" albums, you can actually hear Rex's bass lines. I felt on some of Pantera's other albums the bass was too low in the mix.
Both Vinne and Dime provide solid performances on this album, with Dime never failing to create tasty, catchy riffs and decent solos. However it is clear, that because this is their debut Dime had not had the chance to develop his playing style completely. However, the soloing and guitar work on this album are still admirable and well written. Vinne's performance is impressive, managing to keep his drum parts varied and interesting. However, I feel the Abbott brothers had not fully developed the playing style for which they would become famous.
However much I love this album, it is flawed. The main problems are the lyrical content and Terry Glaze's vocals. The lyrics are typical of this style of music. They are mostly about girls and sex (Ride My Rocket and Tell Me If You Want It, for example). I do not think Terry Glaze was a bad singer. Perhaps this was due to the production on this album but his vocals sound weak at certain points. However I think his vocals are fitting. Even though Terry Glaze's vocal performance was good, it would later be outdone by Phil Anselmo's mind blowing performance on their fourth album "Power Metal".
Overall I would not recommend this album to any casual Pantera fans (that is those only aware of their "mainstream" releases). However those who are interested in the origin of the band, or die hard fans, you should certainly pick this up and give it a listen with an open mind. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- "Ride My Rocket"
- "Tell Me If You Want It"
- "Metal Magic"
- "Nothin' On (But The Radio)"