Ben’s Brilliant Best Albums of the 1990s. No. 99. Pantera – A Vulgar Display of Power

There are albums that have rocked louder, and faster, but I can’t think of any that have rocked harder than Vulgar Display of Power. It is just full on. It opens with a big riff, moves onto a bigger riff, pauses, moves onto an even bigger riff and then, with a…


…they’re off.

Eleven tracks, all wonderfully stupidly heavy, all loud, with lyrics that deal with everything from the shortcomings of American law-and-order and organised religion, to love, to having a friend in a coma, but (I think it’s fair to say) mostly with how it is a really terrible idea to try to fuck with either the band Pantera collectively or their lead singer Phil Anselmo specifically.

Those of you who aren’t familiar with the album are most likely to have heard Walk, which just scraped the Top 40. It is a song about how some of the band’s friends treated them differently after they began to become successful. Pantera had a message for them and that message was, in Anselmo’s own words, “Take your fucking attitude and take a fuckin’ walk with that. Keep that shit away from me.” It is in 12/8 time, which is quite interesting, and it rocks like a mother. Have a listen to it why don’t you?

I don’t listen to a whole lot of metal but I like what I like. It’s good to listen to while doing housework, establishing a useful I’m-taking-no-shit-from-grimy-build-ups attitude and inspiring you to greater, more intense, levels of scrubbing and dusting. In this regard, Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power is the Cillit Bang of music. Unstoppable. The drums on Regular People alone could clear a year’s worth of limescale from the hard to reach areas of your shower. Trust me. That bit behind the door that you can never quite get to? By the third time you have sung, “Most regular people would say, it’s hard. Any streetwise son of a bitch knows: Don’t. Fuck. With. This.” it will be as good as new. Boom.