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Very few people are aware that the highly successful Metal Cowboys from Texas known as Pantera released the album before Cowboys From Hell called Power Metal, let alone had any clue that they had released a few albums before that. For those who know of this album are most likely HIGHLY aware of the controversy on how Pantera created 'Power Metal', and also believe that this is a Power Metal album.
I can most definately assure you that this is not a Power Metal album, and even more so, they definately did NOT create Power Metal, but in some way at the bear most COULD have been an inspiration to Power Metal. I would say the common mistake made why this is labelled Power Metal is because of both A) the drums, and B) The Vocals. There are alot of fast double kick, and that doesn't quite make it power metal, and Phil's vocal style is often heard in mass majority of Power metal. Still, this is not power metal. If you ask me, I would say that this is more than anything but power metal.
In my point of view, the best way to describe this album's sound is think of Traditional Metal or even 80's Metal with almost NO glam and A LOT more aggression. Not quite Thrash though, but has SOMEWHAT thrash influences. Listen to Over and Out and you'll know what I mean. That is the song on here that I would consider to have a much more Thrash sound to it.
Now, those of us who love Pantera love them because of their groove sound. I know that's why I love them, especially when I hear music from that old saga genesis game Skitchin. But after listening to this, I have a much greater perspective on Pantera. To some extend, I almost prefer listening to this more than I do listening to their other stuff, with the exception of C.F.H. or a personal favorite V.D.O.P.
What I love about this album is how technical/melodic and how catchy it is. Yes this is indeed metal, and though it might not be Thrash, it has it's moments of thrash with songs like Over and Out. I also love how this is not exactly 80's Glam shit either THANK Pantera. This is a very nice and catchy album.
BOTTOMLINE: If you ask me what to expect of this album, I would tell you that all depends on what you are looking for, meaning if you want a (post) Thrash album, hmmmm, I guess you could say stay away because this is NOT thrash. Thought it has it's influences of Thrash and aggression, this is much more of a Traditional Metal sound. If you want a Power Metal album, stay away from this, because this is NOT Power Metal. I'll give 'er an 88 because of how much I was pleased.