One of the most important heavy metal albums in history dropped this day, way back in 1990, Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell. Though the band had already released four albums to that point, besides the heavier almost thrash metal Power Metal of 1988, Pantera was for the most part a glam metal band (believe it or not!).
Produced and mixed by legendary producer, Terry Date, the album has been praised by most critics as one of the most influential albums in the metal scene in the 1990s and of all time. Pantera’s early ’90s ‘groove metal’ was a breathe of fresh air for those metal heads wanting something different between the largely thrash metal scene of the time and whatever Ac/Dc was doing.
After being turned down “twenty-eight times by every major label on the face of the earth,” ATCO Records A&R rep Mark Ross saw the band when Hurricane Hugo stranded him in Texas. The rest, as they say, is history, including another seven years and over a million miles of touring for “Cowboys” to be certified platinum (one million album sales).
On the 20th anniversary re-release of the album the liner notes include essays by each of the band’s surviving members, producer Terry Date, and the aforementioned Ross. Recalling the first time he saw PANTERA, Ross writes, “By the end of the first song, my jaw was on the floor. The sonic power of it all — the attitude and the musicianship — blew me away. Basically, you had to be an idiot to not think they’re amazing. I mean, how could you see these guys and not think, Holy shit!?”
Pantera Cowboys From Hell – 25 years on – we salute you!