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Although Anthrax were a band who influenced Pantera, the admiration went both ways. Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian immediately got what the Cowboys From Hell were going for on their titanic 1992 opus, Vulgar Display of Power, and remains a lifelong fan and avid Pantera supporter to this day. "Phil really became Phil on Vulgar," Ian told us in 2012. "Dime and Vinnie were already the sickest guitar player and drummer who could lay down this groove like nobody else in metal. But they were missing their David Lee Roth. And I truly believe Phil came into his own on Vulgar by incorporating his love for hardcore and more extreme metal, and that was the quantum leap."
Ian's favorite Pantera song? "A New Level," a track that leans particularly hard into Anselmo's love for heavier, moshier sounds while his bandmates played with peak thrash-metal proficiency. See why Ian thinks it's the cream of the crop below.
"I got Vulgar when it came out — I may have heard this song live before that, not sure — but when that record came out, it actually did put Pantera on a new level," Ian says. "And the song was a self-fulfilling prophecy. For me, it defines the attitude of a band that was on the verge and knew it. They really had something special to offer the world. And the riff just fucking rules. I was lucky to play that song with Pantera almost every night on tour in '91 and '98. It moves me deeply when I listen to it, but mostly I think of the great times we had together."