without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Pantera is an interesting band that surely cannot be generalized like any other. Their first albums were certainly not unique or special and were merely hair metal; the trend of the time. With Cowboys From Hell they changed their sound to fit the mainstream once again now that hair metal had begun fading away into obscurity. When Darrel Abbott was shot down while preforming with his false metal band, Damageplan, in 2004 his and Pantera's popularity skyrocketed overnight as scenester teenagers began to embrace him post-death.
Surely a band that is as popular as Pantera must be good, correct? No, this album is just a pathetic display of awful music that somehow gets called a classic metal album. Listening to another false metal band - Lamb of God or Slipknot perhaps - it is far easier to pick out the Pantera influence than in any real metal band. It is clear through the song titles and lyrics that Pantera is full of angst and merely wanted to try and appeal to the masses instead of trying to put any real thought in their music.
Every riff on this album sounds uninspired and almost like nu-metal. Abbott's solos are nothing special either, particularly on the song "Rise" which has one of the worst I have ever heard. Similarly all the other instruments do not fare well. Paul Abbott's drumming is dull and slow paced, doing nothing other than keeping time. Bass is audible but not exciting.
Anselmo's vocals are nothing great to be sure. Clearly the point of this album was to be "tough" and "brutal" as evidenced by his coarse yells and barks. The whole atmosphere of this sounds fake and is not believable, down to the point of being corny at times (Like on "Fucking Hostile").
So far I have only brushed on the weakest point of the album - That it seems completely artificial, fake, and dumb. The songs do not go anywhere, and all are extremely repetitive and get very boring after the first third or so. Normally the solos would help alleviate this a bit, but since they are also dull and boring they do not. I cannot see any real value behind this album; it only serves as face value entertainment that can be thrown away and never missed. Just who Pantera was trying to appeal to with this album is a mystery. It is also a clear rip off of the sound Exhorder created with "The Law" that was released earlier the same year.
Musically, Vulgar Display of Power is certainly competent. However it fails to excel in any areas at all, instead falling flat. I have seen this album placed high with thrash metal classics like Darkness Descends and Bonded by Blood. But this album is not thrash, it is not original, and it has little merit beyond what you hear at first.