Flashback Review: Pantera – Cowboys From Hell

On July 24, 1990, Pantera released their 5th album, that’s right 5TH album Cowboys from Hell.

Now there is a bit of caveat here, being that “CFH” is their first major label release and the first release that saw the band essentially reinvent their sound shifting from power metal to a more groove-oriented, thrash style.

Little did the band know that the shift in sound and attitudes would forever alter the landscape of heavy metal and that genre-changing movement all started with the release of Cowboys from Hell.

Overall I’d say the album has a relatively dry-sounding mix. The guitar tone gives me “…and Justice for all” vibes but with a more defined rhythm section. Rex Brown and Vinnie Paul are simply mesmerizing together, check out the ending of “Domination” to hear what I mean.

It goes without saying that there are plenty of great moments from Dimebag Darell on the record. From the thrashy-sounding riffs of “Hersey” to the whammy bar work at the conclusion of Cemetary Gates and everything in between. You can really get a sense of just how special a guitar player he was.

Vocally, we see a lot of different styles from Phil Anselmo on the record. There are some that work really well,

Cowboys from Hell is just a solid record. I know we are in a day and age where individual songs are valued more than the collective work of an album, but do yourself a favour, put the album on and listen to it in its entirety. I mean It’s not every day you can listen to an album that is credited with being the birth of a new genre.

Until next time, Play it loud friends!


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