3 Vulgar Videos From Hell (Rhino/Warner)
by Martin Popoff
The beautiful thing about 3 Vulgar Videos From Hell is that it grabs Pantera‘s three VHS videos and sticks ’em in one place, along with chapter selection, which didn’t work with the original video (not that you’d want it after several Black Tooth Grins, a Dime favorite). First thing that comes to mind is how many damn videos these guys made, the classy “Mouth For War” being a particular fave. And given their penchant for relentless partying, it’s no surprise how many friends they had. There’s hijinx footage of the Cowboys from Hell with Skid Row, Alice in Chains, Suicidal Tendencies, Rob Halford, Exodus, and Tommy Lee, who gets his curly locks shorn live. A lot of bud, a lot of booze, the Hulk, Moscow, paper mache pot, comparisons of cuts and bruises, a number of small appliances smashed to bits: This is life on the road, and the fans love it, judging from the way they turn up in droves to get body parts signed (Phil: “Is anyone in school today?”). Cool to see Anselmo’s hair change with the times (and Vin’s recede), and his drawl get worse. Cool to see how sort of commercial and almost quaint some of the early stuff sounds to metal-battered ears this century, and mainly, it’s just cool to see Dime livin’, laughing, hanging out with everybody, no matter who they be.
This is just a tidy package with the new technology compacting your Pantera collection so you can file, re-draw, shoot, reminisce and re-file. There are no extras, the graphics are kind of crude, as is a lot of the camcorder footage, and standards have just gone through the roof for how good DVDs can be now. But what will fall out of it is a new appreciation for how cool and singular and powerful this band was.