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So this is how it started out for the boys in Pantera, but I wouldn't call it a great start. First off, the sound quality is not that great, which it rather forgivable given that they were a small time glam band from Arlington, Texas and this is their debut. It's gritty and doesn't do the music any good. But I'm sure Jerry Abbott, father of band members Vinnie Paul and Darrell Abbott, did the best he could with what he had.
The album starts out strong and straight forward with Ride My Rocket and I'll be Alright, songs that bring bands like Diamond Head and the early stuff of Def Leppard to mind. As does other songs like Metal Magic and Widowmaker, which is a sound that kinda suits them. But mainly this album has an aura of glam and Kiss influences about it and I would say it's rather evident that this is not their strong suit. They do pull off some nice melodies and rythms here and there, like the verse in Latest Lover and the chorus in Biggest Part of Me, but the rest of their more glammy approaches comes off as generic and boring. Sadly, most of the album is glam and thereby mostly dissapointing.
The album also features one of the worst album covers I have ever seen, comparable in quality to the debut of Aerosmith. A ripped panther on two legs coming at you with a knife, I cannot fathom how Danny Leatherman or the band thought of this as a good design.
A good thing about this is that even early on could you hear the brilliance of the brothers Abbott, Vinnie Paul's steady but playful drumming and Darrell's rather unique guitarchops. Rex Brown's bass playing is as allways flawless, even in these early days. And Terry Glaze, despite giving the weakest performance, does a fairly good job singing. But still, if I was an A&R guy I wouldn't sign them based on what I heard here. Funny where greatness can come from.