The 31 Days of Rocktober is almost over and it can’t end without Pantera. Tonight’s pick is Cowboys From Hell, the first song on the thrash metal kings’ 1990 first album of the same name. Truthfully it was their fifth album. The band was founded by brothers Vinnie Paul (drums) and ‘Dimebag’ Darrell (guitar) Abbott in 1981. I say first album because they were a glam rock outfit until Cowboys From Hell’s release, taking their cues from bands like Kiss and Van Halen.
Cowboys From Hell is when Pantera found themselves, and they never took cues again. They dominated metal for the next 13 years and sold 20 million albums. Even today, long after a couple of tragedies ended the band, their groove/thrash template still influences most bands even attempting to be hard. I love the story of Cowboys From Hell because most think it’s Pantera’s first album, but it ‘only’ took them 9 years to find their zone. A good lesson for whatever endeavor you pursue.