Vulgar Display of Power
Released February 25, 1992
Recorded 1991 at Pantego Sound Studio in Pantego, Texas, U.S.
Length 52:48
Label Atco
Produced by Terry Date

Vulgar Display of Power is the sixth studio album by Pantera. It was released on February 25th, 1992 through Atco Records.

It is considered Pantera's masterpiece album and magnum opus.


One of the most influential heavy metal albums of the 1990s, Vulgar Display of Power is said to have played a major role in defining groove metal, slowing down the tempos and incorporating a harder-edged vocal style. Several songs from this release have become some of the band's best known, such as "Fucking Hostile", "Mouth for War", "This Love", and "Walk", the latter of which reached #35 on the UK Singles Chart. The album is the band's first to be labeled with a Parental Advisory. "Fucking Hostile" was covered by Machine Head, and has received radio play, yet was not released on an album.

During the 90s, MTV's Headbangers Ball used excerpts from the album's songs for the show's opening theme, bumpers, and closing theme. Perhaps the most prominent sample is that of Anselmo screaming "hostile," taken from the end of the song "Fucking Hostile". "Rise," "Regular People (Conceit)", and "Mouth for War" were covered by Robert Prince for the first-person shooter computer game Doom, and a cover of "This Love" appeared in Doom II: Hell on Earth.

The title of the album is from a line in the 1973 film, The Exorcist. When Father Damien Karras asks Regan MacNeil (or the demon who possesses her) to break her own straps and release herself using her evil power, Regan replies 'that's much too vulgar a display of power'.

Philip Anselmo has a tattoo on the back of his neck which reads 'ATR', which is an abbreviation for 'Attack The Radical' which is the subtitle of the seventh track on the album.

In April 2006 the title was used for the book A Vulgar Display of Power: Courage and Carnage at the Alrosa Villa, which includes many song titles to name its chapters. The book details those involved and the details leading up to the murder of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. The Abbott family have stated that they are against the book and took no part in its writing.

The song "Fucking Hostile" bears a striking similarity to the ZZ Top track "Heard It On The X". This song was covered by the Pantera side project Tres Diablos (Dime on guitar and vocals, Vinnie on drums, and Rex on bass).


Vulgar Display of Power peaked at #44 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album achieved Double Platinum status in 2004. In 2001 Q magazine named it one of the "50 Heaviest Albums of All-Time."

  • IGN named Vulgar Display of Power the 11th most influential heavy metal album of all-time. They said about the album:

"This album makes the list because it took heavy metal and made it heavier. It took darkness and made it darker. It took anger and made it angrier. Never before had a band tuned down its guitars and crunched a heavier riff than on this album. "Mouth for War" and "A New Level" and "No Good (Attack the Radical)" stand out on an album where every track is a classic track. Dimebag Darrell was an innovator and a true godsend for heavy metal. One of the most underrated players in the genre. And this may sound corny, but the way the band was able to turn seemingly negative aspects of the genre - hate, anger, violence and despair - into positive thoughts is somewhat akin to De La Soul dropping a positive message into rap."

  • Entertainment Weekly (3/6/92, p. 59) - " of the most satisfying heavy metal records since Metallica's early-80s cult days...11 caustic songs of unabashed brute force...a fully realized album that goes way beyond metal's usual crunch-and-burn." - Rating: A
  • Q magazine (7/92, p. 90) - "Pantera's new, heavier direction...was succinctly summed up by 'A New Level's sludge-thick chorus and the neck-snapping riffage of bile-flecked hate anthem 'Fucking Hostile'."
  • It has been listed as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


  1. "Mouth For War"
  2. "A New Level"
  3. "Walk"
  4. "Fucking Hostile"
  5. "This Love"
  6. "Rise"
  7. "No Good (Attack the Radical)"
  8. "Live in a Hole"
  9. "Regular People (Conceit)"
  10. "By Demons Be Driven"
  11. "Hollow"


Additional CreditsEdit

  • Produced, Engineered & Mixed by Terry Date and Vinnie Paul.
  • Co-produced & arranged by Pantera
  • Recorded & Mixed at Pantego Sound Studio, Pantego, Texas.
  • Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk, New York City.
  • A&R coordination: Derk Oliver.
  • Cover photo: Brad Guice.
  • Band photography: Joe Giron.
  • Art direction: Bob Defrin.
  • Design: Larry Freemantle

Charting positionsEdit


Year Chart Position
1992 The Billboard 200 44
Pantera studio albums
Metal Magic, Projects in the Jungle, I Am the Night, Power Metal, Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, Far Beyond Driven, The Great Southern Trendkill, Reinventing the Steel
Vulgar Display of Power
Mouth For War, A New Level, Walk, Fucking Hostile, This Love, Rise, No Good (Attack the Radical), Live in a Hole, Regular People (Conceit), By Demons Be Driven, Hollow