Cowboys from Hell

Cowboys from Hell

by Pantera


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Although Vulgar Display of Power remains Pantera's best and definitive album, Cowboys from Hell was the creative breakthrough that set the stage for its conception. Not only were its demos responsible for getting Pantera signed to a major label in the first place, but its fresh musical perspective also gave them a much-needed blank slate with which to conquer the 1990s and, first and foremost, erase their 1980s failures. These failures were cataloged on no less than four independently released LPs packed with largely derivative and thoroughly unimpressive hair metal, and only the fourth of them even counted with recently installed lead vocalist Phil Anselmo, whose broader influences and irrepressible energy cannot be underestimated in altering Pantera's fate. As the "new guy" entering the Texans' insular world, Anselmo made only tentative contributions to that fourth Pantera album, 1988's Power Metal, but its incremental heaviness and titular statement of intent nevertheless presaged the wholesale reinvention that would be effectively crystallized by Cowboys from Hell. Here, at last, virtuoso guitarist Diamond (soon to be rechristened Dimebag) Darrell Abbott was finally inspired to snap out of the rampant Van Halen-isms that had creatively shackled his formidable talents thus far, and established his own unmistakable imprint for the instrument, and, by extension, Pantera's signature sound. This was characterized by a subtlety-free sledgehammer approach informed by, but not beholden to, recent developments in extreme metal, as well as a groove-laden, muscular riffing style punctuated by squealing pinch harmonics -- as illustrated to perfection by the downtuned post-thrash beatdown of the title track, "Primal Concrete Sledge," and "The Art of Shredding," among others. For his part, Anselmo was only too eager to decorate Darrell's blunt rhythmic onslaught with cavernous roars declaiming impetuous and empowering lyrics that challenged all comers. In the process, he virtually abandoned his impressive melodic singing range (on par with the great Rob Halford) altogether, only reaching for those higher registers on "Shattered" (a rather misplaced throwback to the power metal era) and the stately lament "Cemetery Gates," which, years later, would sadly serve as requiem for Darrell's untimely passing. Not to be left out, drummer Vinnie Paul almost matched his baby brother's coming-out party with a heretofore unknown percussive dexterity, and bassist Rex Brown not only managed to keep up with Darrell's six-string tour de force, but bolstered the band's bottom end with added gut-punching power. So it was that, in what can truly be described as a collective ritual of musical catharsis, the members of Pantera were reborn as Cowboys from Hell, simultaneously defining an entirely new subgenre in the process: groove metal. [Indeed, such was the album's lasting impact that in time it was accorded a 20th anniversary reissue comprised of three separate discs: the first contained a complete remastering of the original set; the second packed 12 live recordings, of which seven (recorded at the 1990 Foundations Forum music industry event) were previously unreleased; and the third collected the all-important album demos (most of them very faithful to the album versions, although "Shattered" boasts an intro that was later dropped -- "Cemetery Gates" still lacks the intro it got) plus a never-heard album outtake called "The Will to Survive," which, with its more traditional heavy metal riff and predominating melodic vocals from Anselmo, wouldn't have sounded out of place on Judas Priest's Painkiller.]

Product Details

Release Date: 07/17/1990
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0075679137227
catalogNumber: 91372
Rank: 7231

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Cowboys from Hell 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
awesome album if you love amazing guitar riffs this album deff is for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SMeyerSucksForever More than 1 year ago
amazing debut album by pantera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dimes guitar work is off the wall amazing rex browns bass are just pure awesomeness phils vocal style reminds me of bruce dickinson from iron maiden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! vinnies drumming dimebags brother is one seriously amazing drummer he reminds me of mike portnoy and joey jordison etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc
TheHalfBloodPrinceReturns More than 1 year ago
pantera are the princes of metal metallica are the kings of metal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YoungMoneyFails4Life More than 1 year ago
amazing dimebag is one of my most favorite guitar players and this album and the rest of pantera albums prove that he is a true guitar legend same when damageplan was formed he made amazing guitar work just insanely amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thegodofthebassguitar More than 1 year ago
amazing album by pantera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is Pantera's greatest album. the title track, Psycho Holliday, and Heresy have some of the most amazing solos i have ever heard. amazing riffs and Anselmo's has the awesome ability to change from a growl to a high pitched scream, as on cemetary gates.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Real good riffs. The title track, "Psycho Holiday", "Medicine Man" and "Heresy" are made with real anger. "Cemetery Gates" is a peaceful one. There is no lousy tracks but something's missing. Maybe there should be more fast tracks. Anger isn't always enough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great album. Better than Far Beyond Driven. More Depth. Phil Anselmo sounds a little different then anything past Vulgar Display Of Power. In songs like Cenetery Gates and Shattered, he sounds like Bruce Dickinson(Iron Maiden) and Rob Halford(Judas Preist). A good album, worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago