Sunday, 7 December 2014

CD Review: Cowboys From Hell, by Pantera (1990)


Pantera abandon their glam metal roots and re-announce themselves to the world as quite possibly the loudest, baddest and most sonically dangerous band in the world.

Cowboys From Hell was ostensibly the band's fifth album, Pantera having struggled on the fringes of the outlandish glam scene since 1983. But with the metal world changing, Pantera carve their own path and invent something called groove metal. With a massive depth of sound built on the concrete foundation of bass and drums, a tinge of southern rock, angry vocals, nimble yet aggressive guitar work and complex variations held together by a commitment to melody, groove was born to a stunned realization that metal can find yet more power in unexplored mine shafts

The album itself contains several highlights. Opener Cowboys From Hell introduces the genre with an unforgiving assault somehow combining pure power with no shortage of playfulness. Cemetery Gates is a seven minute ballad which injects soul into the budding formula and builds to a frantic riff. Domination ends with two minutes of the finest headbanging metal in any genre with the added bonus of one the grandest breakdowns ever placed on record. Shattered is a straightforward exhibition of the band' emerging tightness.

The other tracks are always competent and charged with bucket loads of wattage, without necessarily standing out, as Pantera explore the different avenues and tools that they have created for themselves.

Cowboys From Hell is a Texas-sized roar, as a new door in metal's storied history is blasted open.


Band:

Philip Anselmo - Vocals
Diamond Darrell - Guitars
Rex - Bass
Vinnie Paul - Drums


Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Cowboys From Hell - 10
2. Primal Concrete Sledge - 7
3. Psycho Holiday - 7
4. Heresy - 7
5. Cemetery Gates - 8
6. Domination - 9
7. Shattered - 8
8. Clash With Reality - 7
9. Medicine Man - 7
10. Message In Blood - 6
11. The Sleep - 7
12. The Art Of Shredding - 7

Average: 7.50

Produced and Engineered by Terry Date.
Mixed by Terry Date and Pantera.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.


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