Rhino Expands Pantera’s Major Label Debut For 20th Anniversary
As A Three-Disc Deluxe Edition
With Rare And Unreleased Demos And Live Tracks
Includes Previously Unreleased Track, “The Will To Survive”
Recorded During The Cowboys Sessions
Two-Disc Expanded Edition Also Available; Both Set For Release On September 14
Ultimate Edition Featuring Replica Memorabilia
From The Era Available November 23
PANTERA found its growl and groove on COWBOYS FROM HELL, a landmark album whose bone-powdering intensity, razor-sharp riffing and pummeling rhythmic assault represented a turning point in modern metal when it was released in 1990. More than just PANTERA’s major label debut, many consider this album to be the official debut of the PANTERA lineup with singer Philip Anselmo, guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex Brown.
To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of COWBOYS FROM HELL, Rhino rounds up a three-disc Ultimate Edition, a three-disc Deluxe Edition, and a two-disc Expanded Edition. All three editions include a newly remastered version of the original album along with unreleased and rare live performances from the “Cowboys From Hell” Tour.
The Ultimate and Deluxe Editions will also feature a disc of unreleased demos for nearly every album track, plus, “The Will To Survive,” a previously unreleased song recorded during the album’s sessions.
“’The Will To Survive’ is a great track. With so many killer songs, it was hard to pick and choose the ones that should make our major label debut,” says Paul. “After hearing it for the first time in about 20 years, its a pretty stellar performance and I am definitely proud that it will see the light of day for all the die hard PANTERA fans around the world! It shows the true musical diversity of the band at that time!”
The Deluxe and Expanded Editions of COWBOYS FROM HELL will be released September 14 at all retail outlets, including www.pantera.com and www.rhino.com. The Deluxe Edition will be available for a suggested list price of $29.98 (physical) and $17.99 (digital) and the Expanded Edition for $19.98 (physical) and $12.99 (digital).
The Ultimate Edition will feature all three discs included in the Deluxe Edition and will be housed in an intricate box including several replica memorabilia pieces from the Cowboys era. The Ultimate Edition will be available on November 23 and final pre-order details, as well as the contents, will be unveiled soon on PANTERA’s Facebook page <http://www.facebook.com/Pantera>.
Along with the remastered version of COWBOYS FROM HELL, all three sets include a disc of live music recorded during the tour for the album. It begins with seven unreleased performances from PANTERA’s September 15, 1990 appearance at the Foundations Forum metal convention in California, a show recorded for radio broadcast but never released commercially. The remainder of the disc contains the five-song EP Alive And Hostile, a collection of performances recorded in 1991 at the Monsters of Rock festival in Moscow that was previously available only in Australia as part of a 1994 boxed set.
The Ultimate and Deluxe Editions of COWBOYS FROM HELL include a third disc that contains the previously unreleased “The Will To Survive,” along with demos for 10 of the album’s 12 songs, including early versions of the title track, “Psycho Holiday,” “The Art Of Shredding” and “Cemetery Gates.”
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) by the RIAA.
The album’s 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!?”
COWBOYS FROM HELL
Disc One – Ultimate, Deluxe, and Expanded Editions
1. “Cowboys From Hell”
2. “Primal Concrete Sledge”
3. “Psycho Holiday”
5. “Cemetery Gates”
8. “Clash With Reality”
9. “Medicine Man”
10. “Message In Blood”
11. “The Sleep”
12. “The Art Of Shredding”
Disc Two – Ultimate, Deluxe, and Expanded Editions
(Tracks 1-7 Recorded Live at Foundations Forum, Los Angeles, CA 9/15/90)
(Tracks 8-12 Recorded at For Those About to Rock: Monsters in Moscow, 1991)
1. “Domination” – Live*
2. “Psycho Holiday” – Live*
3. “The Art Of Shredding” – Live*
4. “Cowboys From Hell” – Live*
5. “Cemetery Gates” – Live*
6. “Primal Concrete Sledge” – Live*
7. “Heresy” – Live*
8. “Domination” – Live, Alive And Hostile EP†
9. “Primal Concrete Sledge” – Live, Alive And Hostile EP†
10. “Cowboys From Hell” – Live, Alive And Hostile EP†
11. “Heresy” – Live, Alive And Hostile EP†
12. “Psycho Holiday” – Live, Alive And Hostile EP†
Disc Three – Ultimate and Deluxe Editions Only
1. “The Will To Survive”*
2. “Shattered” – Demo*
3. “Cowboys From Hell” – Demo*
4. “Heresy” – Demo*
5. “Cemetery Gates” – Demo*
6. “Psycho Holiday” – Demo*
7. “Medicine Man” – Demo*
8. “Message In Blood” – Demo*
9. “Domination” – Demo*
10. “The Sleep” – Demo*
11. “The Art Of Shredding” – Demo*
* Previously Unreleased
† Unreleased in the U.S
(COWBOYS FROM HELL originally released on July 24, 1990)
It is hard to believe that it has already been 20 years since the release of Pantera’s incredible record, Cowboys From Hell. Cowboys From Hell was released on July 24th, 1990, and was easily one of the best metal albums of that decade, and quite possibly of all time. So what makes Cowboys From Hell such a great album? The combination of Dimebag Darrell Abbott’s (R.I.P.) stellar riffs, the infectious grooves of Rex Brown’s bass, and Vinnie Paul’s drums, and Phil Anselmo’s crushing vocal delivery created one perfect metal experience.
Every time I listen to this disc, it blows my mind that Pantera started out as a hair metal band. You would think an album this tight would come from a veteran thrash metal band, not a fledgling hair metal act. Their previous album, Power Metal showed signs of the band’s transformation from a glam to a heavy metal band, but I would have never expected such a powerful release from Pantera. Without question, Cowboys from Hell delivers, and delivers big. The first four songs come storming out of the gate with an unmatched METAL fury. “Cowboys From Hell”, “Primal Concrete Sledge”, “Psycho Holiday” and “Heresy” might just best start to any heavy metal album. The bonecrushing rhythms on these songs practically demands a mosh pit. (Headbanging is not optional.)
“Cemetary Gates” might just be the biggest Pantera song ever. This classic metal piece with its shifting tempos, and killer fret work from Dimebag Darrell is still one of my favorites today.
“Domination” has to be one of the more under rated metal tunes from Pantera. The mix of chugging riffs, and high-speed fretwork are absolutely classic on this tune. The last two minutes of the song are nothing but a heavy metal guitar lover’s delight! I absolutely love this!
It is a total shame that some idiot took Dimebag Darrell’s life. I wish that he was still with us so a Pantera reunion could take place. I never got the chance to see these songs performed by Pantera, and would have loved to seen them live. At least Cowboys from Hell will always be part of Dimebag’s legacy. It is the ultimate metal album, that no fan should be without!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Cowboys From Hell
2. Primal Concrete Sledge
3. Psycho Holiday
5. Cemetary Gates
8. Clash With Reality
9. Medicine Man
10. Message In Blood
11. The Sleep
12. The Art Of Shredding
Phil Anselmo – Vocals
Dimebag Darrell Abbott – Lead Guitars
Rex Brown – Bass
Vinnie Paul – Drums