This album was the first to have Phil Anselmo on Vocals and also helped them to get recognition in the metal underground at the time which probably explains why Dave Mustaine asked Dimebag to join his band Megadeth a year after the album’s release which he declined. A majority of Pantera fans claim that Pantera’s true career began with “Cowboys From Hell” when they got “hard”. Ok this album may not hold a candle to their 90’s albums and may still have traces of the hair metal bug in their systems. But the main improvement on this album is Phil’s vocals that sound more agressive and polished than their previous singer Terry Glaze who sang on their previous albums. This album sounds more like a combination of Judas Priest, WASP and a touch of Megadeth than hair metal. There are some of my favourite Pantera songs on this album like rock the World, Over and Out, We’ll Meet Again and Death Trap. However if you are only a Pantera beginner I suggest you go along with their 90’s albums first.But If you are a huge Pantera fan and also love 80’s metal then go out and buy this album (if you can find it)
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Power Metal (1988)
Review: After a fateful meeting with James Hetfield, Diamond Darrel wanted Pantera to get heavy. “I Am The Night” in ‘85 was still glam, but wanted to get metal. Getting better. Now after hiring new vocalist Phil Anselmo, Pantera wants to achive an excellent level of metal.
They did it. Despite the corny looking cover picture, this is actually really decent. The previous Pantera albums were heavily glammed up, but here Pantera ditched almost all of that and replaced it with fast and high paced drumming, excellent bass, intricate thrash riffs, and metal vocal shrieks. This isn’t Power Metal, no, this is a re-awakening. Phil’s vocals here are intense and the shrieks are just right. Phil really had what it takes back then and it shows! Diamond’s leads are just killer. Every lead here is definetly worth it alone. Listen to the thrash riffing in the tune, one of my Pantera favorites, “Over and Out”. Pantera delivers all out excellent thrash. It’s all out menacing. There are a few glam moments here, but are so few and far in between. With tunes like “Over and Out” and “Death Trap”, Pantera got their wish to be metal. Even in the final tune “P.S.T. ‘88″, Darrel sings here and had a pretty decent voice.
Overall, Pantera’s soul searching came to a near end here. It wasn’t till two years later when Pantera reached their pinnacle and finally found themselves. I Highly recommend Power Metal. The only shame is that Pantera ingnored this just because of the silly picture. This is an excellent album!
After three RATT soundalike LPs (Metal Magic, Projects In the Jungle and I Am the Night) Pantera got Phil on vocals and gave us Power Metal. This sounds more like the band we all knew n loved in the 90s than their other 80s efforts but this 88 album still hardly predicts their 90s sound- although at times it does sound like a rough ROUGH blueprint for Cowboys From Hell. Worth buying for hardcore Dimebag fans.
What you think of this album(if you can find it) will depend on if your a hardcore fan or not. As for myself, I love Pantera!! They changed the path of metal with skull crushing albums like VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER, FAR BEYOND DRIVEN, and REINVENTING THE STEEL. But 1988’s POWER METAL sounds alot like a mix between early Metallica and Judas Priest(Not that thats a bad thing). Alot of people forget that Pantera were a run of the mill hair metal band in the early 80’s with albums like I AM THE NIGHT and METAL MAGIC. POWER METAL is different though, it is the first to feature Phil Anselmo on vocals and the whole band go for a more heavier approach. Dimebag Darrell plays phenomenal guitar work here(As usual) and even sings on the last song P.S.T 88 and sounds alot like early James Hettfield singing. Songs like OVER AND OUT, WE’LL MEET AGAIN, DOWN BELOW, DEATH TRAP, HARD RIDE, and BURNN show that with Phil Anselmo on board there was alot of gelling going on. So I would just have to say to listen to POWER METAL with an open mind if your not a hardcore fan, because it really isn’t anything like their later work. It is really interesting and exciting to see where one of the best bands of metal started from, and then to see how far they went. I highly reccomend! ROCK IN PEACE DIME
This is Pantera’s last hair metal album. This is the first album with Phil Anselmo on vocals and you can tell there going a thrash metal direction. They sound a lot like Metallica, Slayer, Queensryche, Judas Priest with some hair metal thrown in. Phil hits as many if not more high notes on this album than Cowboys from Hell and Dimebag Darrell than known as Diamond Darrell has some of his best solos on this album. Despite the albums criticism it sounds like the band that did Cowboys From Hell. I actually rate this in the top 3 Pantera albums behind Cowboys from Hell and a little behind Vulgar Display Of Power.
1.Rock the World- 10/10 A great album opener. This an anthem type of song that could have been a big hit. The chorus is great and Phil hits some high notes in this. Phil sounds like a mix between Rob Halford and Geoff Tate on this album. The riff is great too.
2.Power Metal- 10/10 An excellent title track that sounds like a mix between Judas Priest and early Metallica. Phil sounds almost exactly like Rob Halford on this song. A great fast paced song that shows the direction they were going in. Similar to Shattered execpt not as heavy. imebag’s shredding solo is excellent and his riff is actually one of his best ever. This could be described as thrash metal.
3.We’ll Meet Again- 10/10 A good riff and cool soft intro vocals. The vocals are good and this has one of Dimebag’s best solos ever. Dimebag’s solo is very melodic and technical. A good song with good vocals and good riffs. Phil sounds like a Rob Halford clone during the ending part of this song where Dimebag throws in another great solo.
4.Over and Out- 10/10 A great thrash track that would be right at home on Cowboys From Hell. The chorus still sounds a little hair metal but the rest of the track is thrash metal with some great screams. Dimebag’s solo is great and includes his trademark shredding and whammy bar dives. The one part after the solo is as fast as Pantera gets. This also sounds like a mix of Cowboys From Hell Pantera, early Metallica and Judas Priest. A great song.
5. Proud To Be Loud- 9/10 A great hair metal song with a good riff and strong vocals from Phil. Phil’s hgih pitched screams and the big chorus in this song work great. The lyrics are cheesy but this was 1988. Another great shredding solo from Dimebag and the loud hair metal style drums after the solo work well also.
6.Down Below- 9/10 Another good song that sounds like early Metallica execpt with higher vocals. The riff is great and Dimebag’s shredding solo is faster than any of Kirk Hammett’s solos. Another great vocal performance by Phil Anselmo too.
7.Death Trap- 8/10 Another good song that reminds me of a mix between 80’s Megadeth and Judas Priest. Dimebag’s solo is great and has his trademark shredding and whammy bar dives.A good song but not one of the better songs.
8.Hard Ride- 10/10 A great hair metal song with the excellent mix of loud and quiet vocals. Phil reminds me of Geoff Tate on this song. The riff is excellent too. Dimebag’s melodic shredding solo is great too. One of the better songs on the album.
9.Burnnn!- 10/10 A good fast paced song with more high pitched screams and another great shouted hair metal chorus. Dimebag’s riff is excellent again. Dimebag’s melodic shredding solo is excellent too. A classic.
10. P.S.T.”88″- 7/10 Dimebag takes over lead vocals on this song. This sounds like a mix of Slayer, early Metallica and hair metal. Dimebag’s vocals are good and remind me of James Hetfield a little. The bridge and solo are great and very creative and progressive. A good song but the worst song on here.
I think is a must for any fans of Pantera or good 80’s metal. Judas Priest fans will enjoy this too. Phil’s voice is at it’s best on this album. A perfect mix of hair metal and thrash metal.
Phil Anselmo- Vocals
Diamond Darrell- Guitar
Vinnie Paul- Drums