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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Pantera - 1984 Projects In The Jungle
Pantera - 1984 Projects In The Jungle

ARTIST: Pantera
ALBUM: Projects In The Jungle
LABEL: Metal Magic
SERIAL: MMR 1984 (LP), MMR 1-002 (CD)
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2012, Metal Magic, MMR-1984 (CD)


LINEUP: Terry Glaze - vocals * Darrell Abbot - guitars * Rex Rocker - bass * Vincent Paul Abbot - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Over Tonight * 02 Out For Blood * 03 Blue Light Turnin' Red * 04 Like Fire * 05 In Over My Head * 06 Projects In The Jungle * 07 Heavy Metal Rules * 08 Only A Heartbeat Away * 09 Killers * 10 Talkin' My Life


While Pantera are not typical GLORY-DAZE candidates, their pre 90's work certainly qualifies. Most fans know of their existence as a melodic hard rock/heavy metal act before they changed tack and went extreme in the early 90's, but does anyone realise just how good they were? In many regards 80's Pantera is more convincing than the contrived angst that dominated later releases; it's straight ahead rock with melody by the bundle. Back then wildman Terry Glaze was vocalist, singing on the 1983 debut 'Metal Magic', this one, and 85's 'I Am The Night'.

The Songs
People like to go back and ridicule Pantera's somewhat glam image from the 80's, but they were just dressing like all the other bands of the time: Kiss, Def Leppard etc and not surprisingly drew their sound from them also. 'All Over Tonite' sounds like Adam Bomb's debut musically and Glaze is perfect in his Joe Elliot imitation. The riffs are thunderous and this is further imposed by 'Out For Blood', which raises the speed a few notches, genuine traditional metal. 'Like Fire' moves back within Def Leppard range, 'Pyromania' style naturally. With better production it might have sounded as contemporary. The AOR tinged 'In Over My Head' easily fits in to what Bon Jovi were doing at the time e.g. 'Love Lies', 'Roulette', surely that's David Bryan on synths? The title cut is a raging slab of metal, more sincere than later efforts. That's REAL metal riffing there. The boys make their intentions known with 'Heavy Metal Rules', an anthem with a macho chorus. Purely innocent stuff making Manowar look tame. There's no escaping Def Leppard however and the blatant 'Only A Heartbeat Away' cuts the sound even closer, but the melody is contagious and all their own. 'Killers' goes for broke, pile-driving metal that suggests Pantera may have heard Tokyo Blade's debut in 1983. 'Takin My Life' finishes it off in pure AOR fashion, faultless to a tee and an eye opener at what these guys were capable of.

In Summary
Following 'I Am The Night', Glaze departed paving the way for Phil Anselmo to take over for 88's 'Power Metal' which still favoured the approach of 'Projects'. It wasn't until 1990's 'Cowboys From Hell' that Pantera changed their image and music, realising they were never going to break the world of hard rock. And while Pantera choose to ignore the early material, it is truer to their influences (Kiss, Aerosmith) than 'Vulgar Display Of Power' or 'Far Beyond Driven' would be. Notoriously hard to find, 'Projects' is usually coupled with 'I Am The Night' as part of Reborn Classics, um.. 'reissue' series. If found, buy without hesitation.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on June 26 2008 11:35:28
Apart from the lousy cover art, Pantera could do no wrong on these early records.
#2 | jeffduran on July 08 2008 19:28:58
Agree....Sadly some of their belligerent followers stomp on this like a narc at a biker rally!
#3 | rkbluez on August 28 2008 20:50:41
Very sad that their first 3 albums and some tunes on 'Power Metal' were the best stuff Pantera ever recorded IMO...this album and then to and even greater extent 'I Am The Night' were classic hard rockin' guitar slinging music of the highest order...which label will do Dimebag justice and re release these killer albums legit on CD once and for all so they can hear the Metal Magic he made back at the begining of his career.
#4 | reyno-roxx on August 29 2008 17:24:27
I really don't think we'll be seeing the first three albums released on Cd anytime soon, if at all. I believe the Abbot family own the Metal Magic stuff and have always resisted calls to release the albums on CD before Darrell's tragic death and, it would appear, nothing has changed that since. I believe the band became extremely embarassed by these albums. A crazy scenario, but that's what I believe.
Glad I've got my copy of the 'Power Metal' CD!
#5 | rkbluez on April 02 2010 22:47:26
Hard to believe they are embarassed by two of the greatest albums of the 80's metal era IMO 'Projects In The Jungle' and 'I Am The Night' are two of the most classic melodic metal albums ever released and Dimebag's playing on these albums is phenomenal...what a waste that all the fans of this great music will never get a chance to own these classic's done right...I for one think Pantera went downhill starting with 'Cowboys...' sad very sad...maybe they should pole Dimebag's fan and maybe they'll be embarassed they never released the gems.
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