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3.20 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Rock the World (3:36)
2. Power Metal (3:54)
3. We'll Meet Again (3:56)
4. Over and Out (5:08)
5. Proud to Be Loud (4:04)
6. Down Below (2:51)
7. Death Trap (4:09)
8. Hard Ride (4:18)
9. Burnnn! (3:37)
10. P*S*T*88 (2:41)

Total Time: 38:18


- Phil Anselmo / vocals
- Diamond Darrell / guitars
- Rex Brown / bass
- Vince Abbott / drums

About this release

Label: Metal Magic
Released: May 1988
Producer: Producer
Pantera, Marc Ferrari, Jerry Abbott

First album to feature Phil Anselmo.

Thanks to CCVP, progshine, UMUR, adg211288, Unitron for the updates


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Even though considered part of their "glam era", Power Metal provides some of the blueprint for the masterpiece that is Cowboys From Hell. Judas Priest meets Kill 'em All-era Metallica for an album that sounds like an early thrash album, and if it was released in 1983 or 1984 instead of 1988 I bet it would've been looked at in a better light.

I really like the band's first three albums as well, but everything is definitely turned up to eleven on this album. Phil Anselmo has more edge and bite than Terry Glaze, and was needed for the increasingly faster and aggressive direction they were heading in. His vocals are mostly in Rob Halford-esque screaming rather than the gruffness found on future albums, and it fits perfectly for the early thrash sound. There's so much energy on this album that it's impossible for me to not get instantly hooked.

Over and Out is a favorite, and includes a similar breakdown to the one found in Domination off of Cowboys. Straight from the start, Dimebag's always had a signature sound with both the riffs he wrote and especially the soloing. The whole album's great, but the breakneck speed of Power Metal, and pure thrashers Down Below and Death Trap are also among my favorites. Another is P*S*T*88, the only song in Pantera's discography with Dimebag on vocals, and he sounds a lot like James Hetfield.

The next two albums are my favorites from the band and two of my all time favorites, but Power Metal is not far behind.
"Power Metal" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, Texas based heavy metal act Pantera. The album was released on the band´s own label Metal Magic in May 1988. Like the case were on the three preceding albums Jerry Abbott (the father of guitarist Diamond Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul) acts as producer, but this time around as co-producer along with the band. The first three albums by the band were released within a three year period, but the three years between "I Am the Night (1985)" and "Power Metal" were among other things due to a change on the lead vocalist spot as Phil Anselmo has replaced Terrence Lee Glaze.

Stylistically there´s also been a change from the melodic heavy metal style of the three predecessors to a more harder edged heavy metal style with occasional thrash metal leanings. Terrence Lee Glaze was a great frontman on the early albums by the band, but Phil Anselmo is a more versatile and expressive vocalist and he adds a lot of aggression to the sound too. Not at all to the extent that he would on subsequent releases, but he is still relatively angry sounding on "Power Metal".

"Power Metal" features the most powerful sounding production of any of the first four releases by Pantera and that also helps push the music in a more power focused and aggressive direction. The band are really well playing and by now a very tight unit. In addition to Phil Anselmo´s strong performance, which is a real asset to the music, guitarist Diamond Darrell really shines bright here. His solos on "Power Metal" are generally incredibly well played with a personal touch. Rex Brown (bass) and Vince Abbott (drums) also deliver a very convincing performance.

So at this point it´s only the songwriting that´s still a bit lacking, but there are a couple of pretty strong tracks included, so the overall level of the listening experience is pretty high. It is however obvious that "Power Metal" is a transitional album and there are sections and tracks on the album that are stuck a bit too much in the band´s original melodic heavy metal style and it´s generally the harder edged material that works best. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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  • MagnusPrime
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