Everyone knows the names: Phil Anselmo, Dimebag Darrell, Vinny Paul, Rex Brown, Terry Date. Everyone definitely knows the songs: “Mouth For War”, “Walk”, “This Love”. Everyone now gets the complete package with the 20th Anniversary edition of Vulgar Display Of Power including the unreleased song “Piss” as well as a DVD featuring a 28-minute live performance from 1992’s Monsters Of Rock in Italy and the videos for “This Love”, “Walk” and “Mouth For War”.

Pantera holds a special place in my heart as they were the first live band I ever saw in April of 1994 during the Far Beyond Driven tour. I remember thinking that FBD was one of the most brutal things I owned at the time and seeing them live was certainly an eye opening first concert experience.

Two years previous though, in 1992, I was still devouring new music, new genres and developing my musical identity. I owned Vulgar… already on cassette after hearing “Walk” and the various clips that were used on Headbanger’s Ball at the time (“A New Level”, “Fucking Hostile”) and went back and got the already-classic Cowboys From Hell. I fell in love. The riffs Darrell played were unmatchable even today, Paul’s double bass barrage is unmistakable, Brown laid down the grooves, and Anselmo became a frontman to reckoned with after Vulgar Display Of Power.

This is easily a record that changed the face of metal and the heaviest album (at the time) to hit number one on the Billboard charts so it’s stupid for me to sit here and re-review this record. There’ve been enough oral histories and write-up’s of this over the years that my two cents isn’t going to add anything already said. I will say this: If you claim to be a metal fan and don’t own this record, you’re lying to yourself as to what you’re a fan of actually. Vulgar Display Of Power is an essential piece of any metalhead’s collection. You can get a copy right here.
Grade: A



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