Title: “Vulgar Display of Power”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
Our Music Year began with Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell,” so I thought it fitting to end with its successor, 1992′s “Vulgar Display of Power.”
As the yelling at the end of “F—— Hostile” demonstrates, Texas’ Pantera kicks things up a notch from the groove metal of “Cowboys.” If zombies sang, they would sound like lead singer Phil Anselmo’s guttural growl on “Vulgar.”
While “Vulgar” inspired a generation of nu-metal successors, it stands a step above them. There are knuckleheaded moments, such as the lyrics and delivery of “Walk,” but like most of the songs here, what Pantera lacks in lyrical genius, it makes up for in musicianship.
The late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott shows his guitar skills on several tracks, particularly “Rise,” on which he climbs above the meaty riff and delivers a soaring effort.
It’s hard not to hold the legions of followers to this dirtier, slower take on thrash. But going to the source holds merit. What does it feel like to listen to “Vulgar Display of Power?” Well, take a look at that cover art. Sometimes, it really is like a fist to the jaw.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.