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So here we have Pantera's real debut, and it's nothing like the album they want you to think is the debut. This is basically generic hair metal or galm or whatever you want to call it. I actually tend to like this genre, but this is bad even for hair metal.
The songs on this album sound like a mix between early Motley Crue and every 80's new wave band. Actually everything about Metal Magic screams 80's. The vocals are whiny at times, screamy at times, and melodic at times. However they suck all of the time. The drums are pretty good and fit the music perfectly. That said this is nothing compared to what Vinne would eventually do on Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display Of Power, or even Power Metal. The bass can only be heard on one track, Nothin On(But The Radio). This might be the worst track on here, there is really nothing metal about this song. It sounds like Loverboy or something like that.
The only saving grace about Metal Magic is Diamond Darrel, as he was called. He shows on this album how much of a Eddie Van Halen master he is. The riffs are mostly garbage, generic hair metal stuff. The only riffs I really like are on the title track. Prue Judas Preist worship on this one and it's done very well. If the vocals didn't suck this would be an awsome song. Every solo found on this album is killer. Dime really was a great guitar player even if his songwriting ability was lacking at this point.
So if you like 80's hair metal you may like this. There are many other albums of the genre that are much better, but a big fan may like this. If you like Pantera and haven't heard any of the pre Cowboys From Hell albums listen to Metal Magic just to see where the band came from. I actually appreciated the later albums even more after hearing this.