Sound — 8
It's hard to find this album anymore and a lot of you younger Pantera fans may have never heard of it. I had to buy it on eBay for thirty bucks and I hope eventually it's released digitally or included in a box set. Well the biggest thing about this album is the drastic style change between this one and "Cowboys From Hell." It's not a bad thing if your into the same influences Pantera was when they made this album, as well as late '70s early eighties speed metal and believe me you can really hear it in the sound of a lot of the songs. The most notable is the title track Power Metal and I'll be damned if it doesn't sound like a Judas Priest song. Which is awesome and I think a lot of it has to do with Phil's vocals and how they were in the early days before age and constant touring caught up with him. The guitars show a lot of influence from Dime's early years (i.e. KISS, Black Sabbath, Van Halen) mixed in with early '80s thrash metal. Many of the songs didn't have that heaviness that they're later albums did and I'm not sure if that was a change in Dime's amp rig, guitar setup or the way they recorded but this album does have its heavy moments. Vince's drum skills really shine through as well and Rex's bass does what it always has on a Pantera album.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are pretty typical of mid eighties thrash and speed metal mixed in with a bit of the hair metal style. They are good lyrics considering it is Phil and he's always been good at the word smithing. These lyrics also really fit with the music as a whole and the entire feel on "Power Metal." As previously stated Phil's vocals are at top quality here as far as actual singing goes the only better singing by Phil can be found on Cowboys From Hell. Also this is the only time on a Pantera album that Dime does vocals. The last track on the album "P.S.T. 88" has Dime singing on the whole thing and he doesn't do a bad job either.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall this is a good album with some memorable songs. You can definitely hear the direction they were going in becoming what they were on "Cowboys From Hell" with songs like "Burnnn!," "Death Trap," "We'll Meet Again," "Rock the World" and "Power Metal." I can't say how much they improved from their earlier stuff cause I've never heard it but I have seen videos of Pantera from the early '80s and this album is exactly what I expected from the videos I saw. I honestly like how much this album sounds like Judas Priest which for some folks is a major turnoff but that was one of Pantera's biggest influences so you gotta respect that. In the end I would say this album is worth tracking down and buying. Number one it's a badass album with many memorable songs on it and two it's probably going to be a collector's item because of it's rarity. So if your a major Pantera fan then go find this album!