Pantera
Vulgar Display of Power


2.5
average

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
February 26th, 2007 | 41 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist


Pantera is one of those bands that has generated a hype of fanboys surrounding it, not unlike metallica. I've met people that swear by this band, and honestly to God believe this band is the sickest one ever. And that's a literal quote, folks. And definitely there are some songs on here that are definitely good. But overall, I find Pantera to be an overbearing display of vanity and rather mediocre, except for the guitars. To me, this band gets a lot more hype than it actually deserves.

Now why would Pantera be overhyped? First of all, people don't seem to understand that vocals and the sound of the band are very important. Pantera had enlisted Phil Anselmo for this duty. However, Phil has been more busy with drugs than proper singing. His vocals are gruff, offkey, and in no way are they likeable. I know most thrash bands aren't known for their vocals, but please, come on, just give me someone that can actually growl. They can be tolerable though, for example on the classic Pantera song "Walk", which also directly represents the best song on the album. The lyrics are more of a "look at us WE R HEAVY METAL" kind of thing, as exemplified on the terrible ***ing Hostile. With songs and lyrics like that, it's just hard to take these guys seriously.

Second, because the variety level is nonexistent. Every song, bar Hollow, has the same "awesome riff, shouting killing the song, more riff, ok solo, terrible chorus" formula. It's plain boring. Not to mention Phil's voice coming through like a wounded rhinoceros bellowing at the top of his lungs every song just makes the album a ***ing drag at times. If Phil could maybe sing in more than two styles, one of which is "growl" and the other is"annoying wail", or maybe if Pantera had just replaced this guy, they'd have been a lot better.

Then there's the rhythm section, which does absolutely nothing of interest here. Sure, they keep the beat, but I don't see the bassist doing anything spectacular or straying with a single note, in fact, I can't even HEAR a bassist over Dime's downtuned riffs. Yeah, there are drums, but it's nothing really overly complex, Vinnie can obviously keep a beat but any displays of technicality or skill are too much too ask. Yeah, he can speed the tempo up a bit too, like on ***ing Hostile and Rise, but to say this guy is excellent on the drums is kind of blowing his skills out of proportion. He's not bad at all, and he isn't nearly as annoying as Anselmo, but to say this guy is the best drummer ever is a tad(read: a lot) bigheaded.

Of course, this album does have its good points. Namely, Dimebag. I don't care how much you hate this band, at least Dime has a sense of what he's doing. His riffs may be a little similar, at least they're full of aggression and anger. They're definitely badass, and his solos, while sometimes being able to resemble pointless wankery better known as shredding, are without doubt technically top-notch and proficient. However, just the guitars can't really a band. It's a big step up the ladder though, at least there was a guy in here who knew what the hell he was doing. It's a pity they shot Dime, because in his new band Damageplan he'd released an outing which far outstrips Pantera's work.

There are some highlight songs on this album, that due to Phil not being completely annoying and Dime showing off his class qualify as either competent or above average. Walk has a ***ing classy riff, and I can really shout along with the chorus, probably Pantera's best track ever, although the Damageplan version outshines it considerably. Live in a Hole and Mouth For War are the two other tracks that get stamped with the satisfactory label. The riffs in both songs are kickass, and the vocals/lyrics are not annoying enough to kill the track, plus the solo in Live In A Hole is of excellent skill.

The rest of the album however, is awfully average and mediocre. If you're into thrash or heavy metal, I think you're better off sticking to Slayer, Megadeth, Damageplan or whatever else-have you. If you're a fanboy or collector or like that "we have balls" attitude, this is for you, but it's definitely not as good as it's made out to be. And this is their best album in my opinion: overrated is definitely the best way to describe this band. Look elsewhere if you want to please your heavy metal senses.



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user ratings (2431)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
February 26th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Good review. I agree 100%. I can't stand this album, or any Pantera album for that matter.

Altmer
February 26th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually like the album slightly more than this, but yeah, Pantera is the most overrated band ever.

rockstar18
February 26th 2007


741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There are some great riffs on this album, but song wise the album is just good.

rmgebhardt
February 26th 2007


32 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is one of Pantera's weaker post-power metal releases, but it still has some good moments. For the time, remember, they were starting to inject some much needed attitude and heaviness into the hair metal genre.

south_of_heaven 11
February 26th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

VDOP and CFH own. Everything else they put out sucks.

Wizard
February 26th 2007


19641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You have to admit that the reason these guys are overhyped is because they are one of the more popular metal bands out there. The fact is that they appeal to more straight forward rockers because of their easy to follow time signatures and shout along chorus's. Sometimes you need to get away from all the techincal stuff and just put on something that is straight up rocking (not trying to sound all cliche or anything hahahaha). But your review is great because you back up your opinion very well. Good job!
PS also good to see some more dutch reviews on this site! Cheers! even though Im half Canadian and half Dutch!This Message Edited On 02.26.07

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

freudianslipknot
February 26th 2007


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I enjoy this record - I didn't particularly disagree majorly with your review - well written. Although, I guess I quite enjoy Anselmo's singing and Dimebag is awesome. Also their overall sound is pretty much unlike anyone else. This is my fave Pantera. This Message Edited On 02.26.07

Inflames
February 26th 2007


635 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they were always a stoner band to me....
i do like some of the licks darrell put out thoThis Message Edited On 02.26.07

freudianslipknot
February 26th 2007


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Without wanting to get bogged down on the whole genre thing, I thought they were "groove metal" - not thrash.

Altmer
February 26th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Groove metal is a term the band coined; they are post-thrash in my opinion.

freudianslipknot
February 26th 2007


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can go with that.

StrizzMatik
February 26th 2007


3229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very well-written review, but I disagree on a few points. Pantera most definitely was
the only thing keeping metal alive in the 90's, and like it or not they're one of the
better, more original metal bands of their time. And btw, "F*cking Hostile" is about
police officers acting like they're better than everyone, which in turn makes everyone
else "f*cking hostile" to them. Do your research.

Damageplan was NOWHERE as good as Pantera, anyways.This Message Edited On 02.26.07

Altmer
February 26th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Someone has definitely not heard of Dream Theater.

I still think Fucking Hostile is a ridiculous song.

And I think Damageplan is a lot better than Pantera. Taste for you.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 26th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Off the top of my head, Metallica and Megadeth were also both holding up the fort in the mainstream during first half of the 90's, and certainly when this was released. And in the underground they had that whole death metal scene going, amirite?

Not that I deny Pantera's influence, just saying...This Message Edited On 02.26.07

Altmer
February 26th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Plus black metal, yeah.

south_of_heaven 11
February 26th 2007


5438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damageplan blows. Pantera after "VDOP" (excluding "RTS") blows even harder, however.
But yes, they are more Groove-Metal.

Shattered_Future
February 26th 2007


1541 Comments


I never got the hype surrounding this band either. Sure, they're kinda cool at times, but to call them "best band ever" is blowing it terribly out of proportion.

Intransit
February 26th 2007


2797 Comments


Good review. I qualify as a pantera hater.

WARPATH_88
February 26th 2007


514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I dont think Pantera is as overrated as peopel say. But thats just me.

Intransit
February 26th 2007


2797 Comments


[quote=warpath_88]User Album Rating: 4.5

I dont think Pantera is as overrated as peopel say. But thats just me.[/quote]
I can't imagine why you would come up with such a bias-free assumption.




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