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Pantera is one of my favorite bands and one of the few bands that delivers some awesome kick-ass metal (others are Megadeth, Sepultura etc.). I don't really understand why so many think they're bad or so, at least here the most seems to find them good at all. Anyway, I love Pantera and here's my review and my opinions. Read it or not, it's your choice...
Even though Pantera claims that "Cowboys From Hell" was their debut, I really think they should reconsider about using "Power Metal" as the official debut because it rocks. Anyway, it's not like that right now but at least we're sitting here with Pantera jewel number 2 and that's at least as great. The legendary opening "Cowboys From Hell" is a little swingy due to the awesome guitar riff by Mr. "Diamond" Darrel (which he still was here) and a really heavy backing support on bass and drums. "Primal Concrete Sledge" is a somewhat pretty strange song, the only thing I'm thinkin' of while hearing that one is "huh? what's this?". It's only a little longer than 2 minutes and really intensive. "Psycho Holiday", another "hit" that could be a headbanger's ball classic is powerful and it sure kick your ass to God's home called "heaven". "Heresy" goes through with it's thrasin' anger before it's time for the great classic "Cemetary Gates". This one starts off with a really beautiful acoustic intro for about 2 minutes when it suddenly goes into a heavy, awell as catchy, 5 minute long headbanger. "Domination", maybe a strange song at the first listenings but after you melt it down into your 3 braincells (you're a headbanger, right?) then you'll love it for eternity. The next 5 tracks are aggresive, heavy, swingin' and all but I don't have any special thoughts about these, they're all good and especially "Shattered" and "The Sleep". The final track, "The Art Of Shredding", is so cool. It starts off with some mid-tempo double bass drumming with a pumping bass to it before a really catchy guitar riff finally jumps into the whole thing aswell as Phil's awesome vocals.
The production, well, there's not much to say about it. It's one of most perfect, awesome and heavy produvtions I've heard. Everything's balanced and you clearly hear everything. It's not like the old mid-80's classic that sounds like a raw but pretty good rehearsal recording. They've succeeded when it comes to guitars. The guitar sound is really awesome, everything is but especially the guitars.
The cast is built on some of the greatest musicians the world has ever seen. "Diamond" or as I prefer, Dimebag, is phenomenal. A true genious and both his brother Vinnie and friend Rex on drums and bass respectively is really good. Phil is one of my all time favorite singers so I just give him 2 thumbs up and say "awesome job, Phil!".
So finally to my last comments on "Cowboys From Hell"...
This is one of the best albums ever, especially in the thrash history. Pantera is one of the best bands to have walked on this earth and now they're splitted up and Dimebag has left uss all tragicly but probably has a better time with all the other gods up in the heaven of rock 'n' roll!
I think you should check out this masterpiece, it's a very special album from a very special band. You can watch some videos by Pantera from this release at the net, you should be able to find "Cowboys From Hell" and "Psycho Holiday" immediately if you search on the on google or youtube.