The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Jacob’s Playlist: “Vulgar Display of Power” by Pantera

Album cover provided by Wikipedia.
Album cover provided by Wikipedia.

Let’s kick this year into high gear with an album featuring some kick to it.  


Pantera started out as a hair metal band in the ‘80s but later made the switch to groove metal,  inspiring many famous bands to do the same. The band featured a hard-hitting sound and some truly incredible playing from guitarist Dimebag Darrell. 


The album starts off strongly with “Mouth for War,” a song about being faced with hardships and using it as fuel to carry on. On a similar note, “A New Level,” is a head banger about leaving your past self behind and becoming better, is certainly an inspirational message about starting something new.  


It also featured a couple heavier songs with stronger, more serious messsages, including one of Pantera’s most famous songs, “Walk.” This song is a true rager that is filled with such strength you can’t help but want to shout it as loud as you can, a classic that makes it impossible to sit still while listening to it. The second being “Fucking Hostile,” a song about hypocrisy within institutions who don’t abide by their own rules, leaving little room for personal growth.  


Switching the vibe to almost a ballad and back and forth between harsh and soft, “This Love” makes for a memorable experience and has great heart to it. This song is then followed by “Rise,” a song that pushes a message about everyone coming together against those who try to pin people against each other. It tells listeners to not give in to the hatred those in power try to force on us while featuring one of the greatest riffs on the album. 


Sparking controversy, the song “No Good (Attack the Radical)” written after lead vocals Phil Anselmo was accused of racism, addressed these allegations. In this song he talks about how everyone argues for superiority due to personal issues and how focusing on race only amplifies division. 


One of my favorite songs from the album, “Live in a Hole,” speaks about the struggles of social anxiety and how isolation feels necessary, yet only makes things worse. It has killer riffs that flaunt Darrell’s overall skill and musical talent. Also addressing internal moral dilemmas, “Regular People (Conceit)” addresses the harms of faking who you are to act “macho” and how not being yourself, ultimately hurts you in the end.  


The last two songs are “By Demons Be Driven,” a song about religious cults and their unhealthy habits and ”Hollow” the final ballad of the album. “By Demons Be Driven” included some insane guitar playing with pinch harmonics and stellar drumming, which is commonly overlooked due to Darrell‘s talent. The last song, ”Hollow,” is about Anselmo’s friend who was involved in a serious car crash and put into a coma, explaining the title which comes from him feeling like his friend became a hollow shell of who he was prior to the accident.  


My top picks for this album, even though a hard choice, are “This Love,” “Rise,” ”Live in a Hole” and “By Demons Be Driven.”  

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