After changing their glam image and releasing the moderately enjoyable Cowboys From Hell
, Pantera was ready for the next step in their career. Vulgar Display of Power
supposedly brought metal to a whole new level and is now hailed as the band's shining moment. For all the praise that it gets though, I personally do not see what makes it that interesting, much less a landmark.
pretty much follows the same formula that Cowboys
sets, namely start the album with a few memorable tracks, then add the mid-paced slow track somewhere in the middle, then degenerate into boring and rehashed forgettable groove. Sure enough, Mouth for War
and A New Level
are enjoyable, but nowhere near the level of Cowboys From Hell
and Primal Concrete Sledge
. This Love
is nice, but it doesn't hold up a candle to Cemetery Gates
. Besides, at a length of six and a half minutes, it more than overstays its welcome. Album closers By Demons be Driven
and half-ballad Hollow
are actually pretty good, but I'll take The Sleep
and The Art of Shredding
over them any day.
is an especially boring song, with a really dry and simplistic riff; even if it's true that along with the drums, it somewhat creates a "walking" pattern. The lyrics are pretty idiotic as well -- "Re-spect-walk / You talking to me" / Walk on homeboy!". Wait, I got confused... is this metal or hip-hop"
Phil Anselmo's tough guy impersonations may be inspiring if you're 13 and desperately looking for something cheap to boost your confidence. Dimebag's guitar work is good, but only as far as the solos go, with most of his riffs being generic and boring.
I'm sure I would have enjoyed this album more if I had a beer gut, lived in a trailer somewhere down in Louisiana or Texas and did meth or heroin every other week. But I don't.