Vulgar Display Of Power

Pantera releases their 6th studio album, "Vulgar Display Of Power," on this day in 1992. Track list includes the sonic barrage of singles "Mouth For War," "This Love," "Hollow," and "Walk."


Every Heavy Metal blogger and halfass historian can regurgitate the particulars. This album is the soundtrack to a generation of warriors. Every rifle platoon in the US Marines and US Army at the time, if they were worth a shit, was blasting this album at every opportunity. Texas Metal. Upside your head. Warriors moshing and headbanging in every barracks and Rock bar all across the globe to "This Love," in 1992. But wait. Back up a bit.

It's early spring in North Texas. Saturday, 1985. Pantera are local favorites on the club scene. It's very common at the junior high and high school to see kids wearing Pantera shirts to school. 

Pantera 1985

A group of stoners and rockers are gathered at the local park. Muscle cars and long hair. Dudes in a circle getting high. On the way over there's the "dude, be cool, the dudes from Pantera are gonna be there,..." speech. I'm the youngest kid among the group of high school aged boys. Not supposed to say anything. Just stand there and be cool. The Abbott brothers are standing there against a car. Tunes are playing inside the car. Let's pretend it's something like AC/DC or Judas Priest.

James Hetfield & Darrell Abbott, 1985

Dudes are smoking cigarettes and sneaking beers in this public park. Comes around a joint. Somehow for some reason Darrell Abbott starts talking to me. 

Van Halen, 1979

Of all the older stoners he starts talking to me. Immediately the words "Van Halen...,' begin pouring from my new and permanent musical obsession. Darrell's eyes light up and he's now digging the younger kid. We talk Van Halen and guitars. We are in agreement; Eddie Van Halen is the greatest guitar player of all time. Our favorite. He asks and I tell him I've just started learning to play. To my grave this is what he says to me; "Right on. You can come and jam with us anytime you want, man."


The takeaway. I'm too young to even get into the clubs where Pantera is currently melting faces with their Van Halen/KISS inspired sound. Abbott was friendly to me when there was no reason, nothing to gain from me. I never jammed with him and that's not the point. He meant what he was saying. We actually had a few more encounters....may tell one more story at another time. 

The true measure of an individual is revealed when you watch how they treat people who can do absolutely nothing for them. 

Metal heads know Darrell was murdered in 2004 while performing in a club in Columbus, Ohio. Edward Van Halen spoke at his funeral. Edward Van Halen also stuck his original black and yellow "Bumblebee" guitar in Darrell's casket. 


Watch both videos. Darrell is blisteringly articulate. Melts faces. Highly innovative for Heavy Metal guitar; a Texas infused shot in the arm for the genre of Heavy Metal right when the pussies were taking over everything and crybabies like Kurt Cobain made it OK to suck at the guitar.


Pantera, Hollywood, California 1992

 Pantera, 1996

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