Brütal Søng: “Rise”
Album: Vulgar Display Of Power
Undeniably a vulgar display of power. “Rise” is one of the song’s from Pantera’s sixth album, and in my opinion, their sixth is the best collection of songs the Texas groove metal outfit ever put out. What’s that you ask? Sixth album? Correct. No, I do not mean their second album. Vulgar Display of Power is their sixth album, and if you have to ask about why that is, clearly somebody has not brushed up on the musical history of Pantera and should receive a prolonged time-out for crimes against heavy metal fandom. So if you can believe it, the band we now know as Pantera, arguably one of the heaviest, brütal-est, and most influential heavy metal acts of their time, started out their career as a glam metal group, one of the characteristically pansiest subgenres of metal possible. And the late Dimebag Darrell was referred to as Diamond Darrell, a nominal homage (though borderline rip-off) of David Lee Roth’s moniker, Diamond Dave. Whaddaya know?
But enough with all the exposition, because we’re not even freaking talking about early Pantera stuff. Instead, we’re talking about “Rise,” which obviously came AFTER the band’s drastic change into a ruthlessly fierce and contentious metal band and their induction of the falsetto-squealing vocalist Phil Anselmo in 1986. Considering that quite a few songs on Pantera’s fifth album, the also much-loved Cowboys From Hell, took time to build up to their extreme climaxes (including“Cemetery Gates,” “The Sleep,” “Medicine Man,” and even the title track “Cowboys From Hell”), it appears to me that a fair amount of tracks on Vulgar Display get straight to the point. The point obviously being to RØCK ŸØÜR ÅRG¥LË SØCKS ÖFF. AND YOUR PANTS, TOO.
“Rise” wastes no time. Not even a single second into the song, and it has already assaulted the listener, dropping them headlong into its whirlwind-speed tempo, Vinnie Paul’s electrifying drumming, and Dimebag Darrell’s impossibly crunchy guitar distortion. I suggest for those of you who haven’t experienced the song yet, quickly find yourself a pair of BFHs (a reference to the game “Doom,” only the ‘h’ stands for headphones), plug ‘em into your computer, turn the volume up full blast, and revel in the ridiculous force of just the first few seconds. It may temporarily leave you breathless.
Something I really enjoy about the song is its use of stridently discordant notes to make unconventional chords. Just listen to the accented guitar sounds in the introduction, and the dissonance in the considerably groovier (though not any less heavy) verse riffs. As I see it, from the beginning of each verse straight to the end of each chorus, it is one massive buildup of aggression and unbridled rage. The gravelly cry of “It’s time to RISE!” is like the band recalibrating after expending so much pure vitriol and energy. For you see, everything that goes up must come down at some point. Come to think of it, “Rise” is a suitable song title interpreting it in that light.
And as a hearty source of Vitamin T-Virus, here’s Beavis and Butt-head commentating on one of Pantera’s other songs from Vulgar Display of Power. DAMMIT, PANTERA! THIS BEER IS WARM!