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Cowboys From Hell
Double Vinyl, 180 gram
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Cowboys From Hell
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With their 1990 major label debut, Pantera unleashes one of the most acclaimed and imitated records in the history of the genre. Upon it's release (and soon after unsuspecting fans took a gander at the band's take-no prisoners live shows), songs like the album's title track and "Cemetary Gates" helped Pantera to swiftly join America's pantheon of great heavy metal bands.
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The remaster was pushed all the way to DR5 for not much gain and a lot of extra treble. Two very different sounds. I honestly think this could have been pushed to about DR8-9 with a slightly better EQ and we would have had a definitive version. Instead, they crushed it too much and did nothing about the high-end.
Now, I know bands can remix and have lower DRs yet still sound good. Death's remasters and remixes have pretty low dynamic range but sound fantastic. I don't think much was done to these Pantera records for the remaster process but scanning them and compressing the sound. And for this early 90s/late 80s sound you really can't quite get away with that at DR5 without the album sounding a little too shrill. Even the Vulgar Display of Power remaster sounds a bit better than this one.
There are a few deficiencies in bass and tone with the original, but that was mostly how it was recorded. The original or the HDtracks version are your best bets for sound. The three disc remaster does have a lot of extra stuff on it if you are into that, but I'd keep both at that point too.