Vulgar Display of Power

Release Year





Vulgar Display of Power is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band Pantera. Released on February 25, 1992 through Atco Records, it was the band's second collaboration with producer Terry Date, after having previously worked with him on their breakthrough album Cowboys from Hell (1990).

The album was well received by both critics and fans, and is Pantera's highest selling album to date and would eventually be certified double platinum.[5] It is often considered one of the most influential heavy metal albums of the 1990s.[6] In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Vulgar Display of Power 10th on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time'.[7] Several of its tracks have become among the band's best known, such as "Mouth for War", "A New Level", "Walk", "Fucking Hostile", and "This Love".


The band's 1990 major label debut, Cowboys from Hell,[8] demonstrated a change in their musical direction, from their 1980s material influenced by hard rock or glam metal bands like Van Halen and Kiss[9][10] to a new similarity to bands like Slayer, Metallica and Black Sabbath.[9][11]


Vulgar Display of Power received critical acclaim upon release. Many critics have praised Darrell's guitar work on the album and use of heavy riffs and tone to set the tone for the album.[41][44][46][51] Reviewers also pointed out the change in Anselmo's vocals from previous releases, with him using deeper growls and powerful vocals to accompany the catchy riffs and aggressive lyrics.[41][46][51]

Kerrang! and Sputnikmusic both gave the album 4 out of 5.[45][50] Steve Huey of AllMusic rated the album 4.5 out of 5 stars, describing it as "One of the most influential heavy metal albums of the 1990s".[41] He also said that while the album stacks the best songs at the beginning, the riffs and sonic textures are more consistently interesting than those used in Cowboys from Hell.[41] Janiss Garza writing for Entertainment Weekly said that it was "one of the most satisfying heavy metal records since Metallica's early-80s cult days".[44] She also praised the album's two ballad tracks "This Love" and "Hollow", stating "their tough edge slashes painfully through deep introspection about personal relationships".[44]

Reviewing the 20th anniversary reissue, Michael Christopher of The Phoenix rated the album 3.5 out of 4 stars stating while the bonus track "Piss" does not match up to the rest of the material, the groove that flows through the original record is the muscle behind what mattered most.[46] Denise Falzon of Exclaim! stated that the reissue sounds a little cleaner from the enhanced production quality.[51] She noted that "Piss" does sound oddly out of place on the reissue, but the release is worthwhile for the DVD showcasing the band's dynamic live performance.[51] In 2005, Vulgar Display of Power was ranked number 333 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[52]