Pantera
Cowboys from Hell


3.0
good

Review

by LaughingSkull USER (34 Reviews)
December 19th, 2013 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Decent, but kinda repetitive. Saved by a few strong numbers.

When Pantera's Cowboys from Hell came out in 1990, it was a great success. At the time, their sound was really fresh and innovative, and inspired a whole new movement within metal, the so-called "groove metal". With the passing of time, however, it becomes apparent that this sound has not aged quite well. In hindsight, the riffs sound grating and repetitive. They have simply lost the novelty factor that they had at the time of the initial release.

Despite the staleness of the most of its musical content however, the album is not entirely a waste of time, as there are several standout moments that make it memorable. The album opens promisingly enough, with the effective one-two punch of Cowboys from Hell and Primal Concrete Sledge, both great songs. Unfortunately, soon the album degenerates into bland, boring groove drivel, with hardly any variety to make a lasting impression. Of course, the number one exception that comes to mind, offering some kind of respite from the boredom, is Cemetery Gates. It's a song every metalhead (even some non-metalheads) knows, and for a good reason. From the squealing main guitar riff, to the acoustic arpeggios in the verses, to the heartfelt lyrics, this song is among Pantera's finest. The Sleep is a track that doesn't get mentioned very often, and I think this is pretty unfair, as its solo is simply phenomenal, surely among Dimebag's best. Closer The Art of Shredding also stands out, as it has a more of a thrashy, rather than groove feel, offering a bit of variety as well.

Phil Anselmo demonstrates that he is a proficient vocalist, adeptly shifting gears between Hetfield-like gruffs and Halford-style screams. Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott is a decent guitarist, but despite his technical proficiency, he doesn't hold a candle up to the songwriting abilities of some of the genre's big names like James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine. And I am not going to praise him beyond reason simply because he happened to die a tragic death. Cry me a river.


Recommended tracks:
- Cowboys from Hell
- Primal Concrete Sledge
- Cemetery Gates
- The Sleep
- The Art of Shredding




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user ratings (2318)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
tempest--
December 19th 2013


14419 Comments


Pretty good review, but the last line ruined it. There was no need to put that in dude.

therapy20
December 19th 2013


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agree that the album hasn't aged well, songs like 'Medicine Man' sound very dated.
Could have done without the critical assessment of Dimebag at the end, stick to the album which you're reviewing. His guitar work evolved after this album into a more groove based sound which paved the way for many modern guitarists, whether you think he is as good as other guitarists is neither here nor there. The "Cry me a River" line was needless.
Otherwise short but good review.

sapient
December 19th 2013


2145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review other than the last line. I disagree about this being stale other than a few tracks though, if anything, the tracks I initially deemed as filler (i.e. Clash with Reality, Message in Blood) have grown on me in more recent years

Digging: Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out

Necrotica
December 19th 2013


10063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Yeah, the last few sentences were quite douchey compared to an otherwise ok review

FearThyEvil
December 19th 2013


12694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The last few sentences were completely unnecessary.

emprorzurg
December 19th 2013


523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Although I kinda agree with your last sentence, don't put it in a review, it's just not needed. Apart from that, it's not actually too bad, it's short, but tells me enough about the album, so good job.

Necrotica
December 19th 2013


10063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

I think the entire last paragraph needs work or needs to be rewritten. It doesn't flow too well and ends the review quite abruptly

InbredJed
December 19th 2013


6101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

are there any classic or near-classic albums that Laughing Skull won't write a 3 review for?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 19th 2013


50872 Comments


probably not

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

CK
December 19th 2013


4947 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cute review

Tyrael
December 20th 2013


20946 Comments


Decent, but kinda repetitive. Saved by a few strong numbers.

what

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

MeatSalad
December 20th 2013


14902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rocks

Digging: The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site

tempest--
December 20th 2013


14419 Comments


You've never heard songs being referred to as 'numbers', Ty?

Necrotica
December 20th 2013


10063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Yeah, I say "number" like that all the time in my reviews

Tyrael
December 20th 2013


20946 Comments


My bad, then

XingKing
December 20th 2013


10966 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I am going to be the millionth person to tell you to take out that last sentence or two

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013


6492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Decent, but kinda repetitive. Saved by a few strong numbers.


Review is decent, but kind of repetitive. Ruined by a few bad sentences.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

LaughingSkull
December 20th 2013


247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"are there any classic or near-classic albums that Laughing Skull won't write a 3 review for?"

No. I'm out to destroy all you hold sacred.

LaughingSkull
December 20th 2013


247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

btw, Phil Anselmo explains very well why Dimebag's the shit and guitarists like Yngwie suck: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIrdGkFpFM4

Necrotica
December 20th 2013


10063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

That's because Yngwie does suck.



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