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This album is terrible. I'm not going to be subtle about this point. Pantera is something that can only be compared with child rape, spousal abuse, and a rising infant mortality rate. They are far beyond abysmal and a vulgar display of trailer park mentality. The last album might've been just bad in that normal way, like say you're sandwich wasn't too good because the bread was stale and the meat was old. Vulgar Display of Power is like being forced to eat a sandwich consisting only of cow shit and menstrual blood from aging goats.
Vulgar Display of Power is Pantera's first official album. As we all know they started off as a horrendous glam band that no one liked . They released albums featuring such fabulous songs like Ride My Rocket (get the reference there?), Metal Magic, Heavy Metal Rules, and Hot N' Heavy. For some unknown reason, they never made it with those songs of epic prose. The band decided they needed a change. So they kicked out "pussy" Terrence Glaze (that's the worst stage name ever) and picked up "tuff guy" Phil Anselmo. They miraculously got "meaner" and "heavier". Well not really, but they convinced a lot of shitheads they did. Their first album with Herr Anselmo wasn't horrible, definitely their best, but by no means a classic. But no one bought the album and it was later deemed to be not "badass" enough. But soon they got a major label deal and an Exhorder demo in the mail, so Pantera were finally ready to claim they actually recorded the next album coming out. The next album was a sad attempt to mix brain-dead thrash with southern boogie. Harlequin fetuses would be fitting allusions to the results. But remember that Exhorder demo? Guess who they ripped off on the next album?
Even though Cowboys From Hell was terrible, people are stupid and many bought the album. Feeling that the next logical step for Diamond (he wasn't dimebag or dirtnap yet) Darrell and co decided to get even meaner and heavier. So they decided to listen to Exhorder's first album, take the vocals, riffs, and drumming style; but drop the Slaughter in the Vatican credo, the complex song structures, and the varying tempos and wah-la: Vulgar Display of Power. Oh yeah, they also weren't able to write coherent songs and added "i'm angry and I was raised in a single-wide muthafucka!" lyrics. Also every song sticks to an irritating mid-tempo groovestomp that even 2-year olds with downs can nod off to. An atrocity ensued.
Ever seen Gummo? Remember the redneck party that includes chair wrestling in a roach-filled kitchen? Well this music conjures that up to mind. The simple song structures that aren't much different from your standard hard rock of the time and Philip's attempts at being tough come off as well as your neighborhood wigger comes off at being ghetto. The riffs are bland and contrite. Take the most famous one from Walk. I think the sound my dish washer makes is more subtle and complex than that. Seriously it's the musical equivalent a beeping sound that you can't stop and have to endure for five minutes. Oh but remember: RE- SPECT- WALK(fuck you Anselmo). This Love has virtually no direction with the song reverting back to the acoustic part without any sense of progression. For seven minutes it's acoustic, ANGRY PART, acoustic, ANGRY PART, diamond noodling. It also boasts the worst lyrics on this piece of shit. "As it turns out/Deeper within me/ Love was quickly twisted/and pointed at you." "You keep this love, fist, scar, break" (what?) Fucking Hostile is a fucking trainwreck with the guitars, vocals, and drums all sounding out of sync and trying to keep up with the others in pace. A fast-paced track that falls flat on its face. People who like this album don't even care about the second side of it, so neither should you. The complete lack of any inspiration is astounding on those songs. The rest of the music would be perfect for Ford Truck commercials. That big, bad gasguzzling machine needs some Neanderthals from Dallas to provide the soundtrack. One more thing, I don't give a shit how good Dimebag's leads are, nothing can save these songs from the pit of musical inferiority.
Thanks to this album other bands with even worse music were able to make a career by applying the formula found herein. Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Slipknot took the simplified and artificially heavy riffing and sold millions. The first roots of Deathcore can be traced to Vulgar. Disturbed loved that beeping sound on Walk so much that that they covered it. Pantera were claimed to be the defenders of metal in the 90s, but they were really the Judas Iscariots. Ripping off a genuine heavy metal band like Exhorder that didn't start out as a glam band and had no chance of mainstream success and watering it down so much that it could be theme music for monster truck rallies and inbred hillbilly hoedowns is inexcusable. Grunge might've killed metal in the mainstream in the 90s, but Pantera did irrevocable damage to the genre as a whole. Every genre that elitists love to hate (nu-metal, metalcore, and to an extent melodic death metal) owes a huge debt to Pantera. Pantera is the reason that the majority of people think that metal must be for semi-literate morons only.
Vulgar Display of Power is to the metal community as AIDS is to the gay community. There is nothing else to be said.