Philip Anselmo Says He Wrote Guitar Riff in Pantera’s ‘Mouth for War’
Former Pantera vocalist Philip Anselmo said he wrote the main guitar riff in Pantera's "Mouth for War."
His revelation came during a recent video chat looking back at the metal band's 1992 album, Vulgar Display of Power, from which the song derives. The album celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
It arrived in stores on Feb. 25, 1992, as Pantera's second album on a major label after 1990's Cowboys From Hell. But when making Vulgar Display, as Anselmo recalled, not all guitar parts were composed by the band's actual guitarist, the late Dimebag Darrell.
Watch the videos down toward the bottom of this post.
"When we wrote 'Mouth for War,' I wrote the main riff, and Dimebag liked it," Anselmo told The Pit. "It sounded about a thousand times better when he played it, and he made it his own. And everybody — God, they put that song together, we put that song together."
He continued, "I think we knew we had written a pretty good song, that one. And I think the video for its time was unique to look at, groundbreaking, sort of action-packed — shit like that. So very '90s-band-like."
Anselmo's recollections arrived in a series of successive interview clips. In the same talk, he referenced his initially humble outlook for the album.
"When Vulgar Display of Power first came out, my expectations for how it would do were none," Anselmo remembered. "I never had any expectations for any record we've ever done. I always felt like if I put an expectation upon it, I'd always get let down. So I just let things happen as things happened."
Ultimately, however, the "difference in the audience from [the] Cowboys From Hell touring cycle to Vulgar Display was night and day," he added. "But I was surprised at how positive the reception was and all the massive crowds and the fans."
Last year, the club where Dimebag was killed during a 2004 show by his post-Pantera band, Damageplan, was demolished. The site will now have affordable apartments. Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, Dimebag's brother, died of heart failure in 2018. Their joint gravesite is in their home state of Texas.
An official Pantera tribute or quasi-reunion with Anselmo and surviving bassist Rex Brown has been previously discussed by the vocalist. In 2021, Brown declined an earlier notion that guitarist Zakk Wylde might replace Dime. A year prior, the bassist voiced his support for a reunion with Anselmo.
Anselmo now fronts Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals.