Ten Metal Albums to Hear Before You Die

Categories: Metal

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5. Pantera
Vulgar Display of Power (1992)

Before Pantera recorded their second major label record, Vulgar Display of Power, the band heard Metallica's "Black Album" and were disappointed by its lack of speed and ferocity. At the same time, they viewed the commercial effort as an opportunity to claw their way into the top tier of thrash. In the years that followed, internal and external forces set the band members against one another, but Vulgar Display is the sound of a unified groove-inflected thrash band with energy and anger to burn. The late Dimebag Darrell plays an unforgettable assortment of passages --the primal, simple main riff of "Walk," the bluesy, ZZ-Top influenced power-groove of "Regular People," the ominous and melancholy acoustic arpeggios of "This Love" --each of which creates a crushing foundation. The rhythm section of bassist Rex Brown and drummer Vinnie Paul anchor Dime's playing with precision and power, but it's vocalist Philip Anselmo that makes the album impact with such vital force, whether he's screaming in a hardcore-influenced voice in the aptly-titled "Fucking Hostile" or crooning about childhood trauma and present-day beefs in "Hollow." -- JW



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