Born of Osiris' Lee McKinney on Pantera's 'Cowboys From Hell' — The Record That Changed My Life

Cowboys From Hell (1990)

My dad turned me on to all the metal I listened to when I was younger. We’d listen to a lot of Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne.

But when he played Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell for me, that was what really made me want to play metal and be in a band. That Pantera record changed everything for me. I was probably 12 when I first heard it, which was about 10 years after the record came out, and I would look up all their videos online.

I remember the "Primal Concrete Sledge" video in particular. It was live, and so crazy. Pantera had that clicky kick drum and rhythmic chugging, and of course Dimebag Darrell’s lead work. The groove behind Cowboys from Hell was a different take on the other stuff I was listening to at that time, and it really drew me in.

Unfortunately I never got to see Pantera live, which is a major bummer. But traveling on the Mayhem festival, I’ve met a lot of people that were close to Dime, like Rita [Haney, Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend]. It’s cool to hear all the stories about him. He seemed like such an awesome guy.

To this day, I still listen to Pantera. We tour a lot with another band from our label, Sumerian, called After the Burial. When we get with them, it always turns into a Pantera listening party, and Cowboys from Hell is always in the mix.

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