Vulgar Display of Power (Deluxe Edition)  


Few albums in rock history have boasted a cover that so perfectly matched the contents. Pantera’s groove-metal landmark Vulgar Display of Power is indeed a musical blow to the head—and the fist that delivers it was never more tightly clenched than in 1992. Singer Phil Anselmo, guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, bass player Rex Brown and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott together formed a unit that struck forcefully and as one. On Vulgar highlights like “Mouth for War” and “Walk,” Pantera’s strength of purpose remains its most potent weapon 20 years later. Anselmo rages relentlessly against a world that fails to live up to his standards, while Brown and the Abbott brothers lock in and don’t let go.

This anniversary edition adds a DVD featuring music videos alongside a half-hour festival performance from 1992 that finds the group roaring through songs from Vulgar and its predecessor, 1990’s Cowboys From Hell. But for loyal fans, the real prize is the CD’s bonus track: The previously unreleased “Piss” is a leftover from the original album sessions that, we’re assured, is the only completed track remaining in the vaults. It sounds perfectly at home here, as Anselmo rants about yet another annoying “punk” he’d like to beat down while his bandmates deliver one more ringing roundhouse to your eardrums. Sadly, it’s impossible to hear without thinking of the real-life brutality to come. Darrell Abbott was killed in 2004 by a deranged fan, a loss that still hurts like a punch in the face. –Chris Neal

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