Wednesday, August 31, 2011

PANTERA-Cowboys From Hell

Post #158 [Poll winner: favorite Pantera album 1990-2000]
With Pantera's major-label debut, Cowboys From Hell, they became an instant success in the extreme/thrash metal scene in 1990. This was around the peak of the thrash-metal scene, before the alternative and grunge movement had established a grip on the heavy music market. Though Pantera would go on to become one of the biggest metal bands in the world in the coming years, it was the strength of Cowboys From Hell that gave them the fan-base upon which to grow.
In last month's reader's poll you chose Cowboys From Hell as your favorite Pantera album. Although there is a definite sense of the kind of hardcore band they would become in the next couple years, Cowboys From Hell still shows some residual influence from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal era, at least in some of Phil Anselmo's higher pitch screamed vocals. Songs like 'Psycho Holiday' had some verses that sounded like they could easily have been sung by the likes of Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson. Others, like 'Primal Concrete Sledge' or 'Domination', showed us the direction they would choose to pursue with their future releases.

The most memorable, and most accessible, track on this album is without a doubt 'Cemetery Gates'. This song features prominent clean, melodic sections that seem to show the band's influence from early-era Metallica. Even as early as 1990, some of the harder-edged radio stations dared to play this track. I believe its wide-spread exposure is partially responsible for Pantera's die-hard following they maintained throughout the 90's, in spite of heavy metal's general decline in popularity. At the same time, they became a primary inspiration for a new generation of hardcore metal bands.

Pantera's influential legacy began with Cowboys From Hell. Check out these tracks from this heavy metal classic!
-Cowboys From Hell
-Primal Concrete Sledge
-Psycho Holiday
-Cemetery Gates
-Clash With Reality
-The Sleep
-The Art of Shredding

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