So by now, a lot of you have decided to like Pantera. Wait, let me start over again. You’ve loved them for over 20 years, but a lot of you have started to like them on Facebook in order to hear the previously-unreleased song “The Will To Survive.” In fact, their page has nearly 1.5 million fans, many of whom rushed to the social network yesterday to hear the Cowboys From Hell-era demo track, which will be included on the three-disc and box set editions of the 20th anniversary of CFH.
Apparently there was enough confusion about the song in the comments section that the keepers of the page needed to give some additional information.
Lots of you seem to be confused about “The Will to Survive”. Just to clarify, this is a demo track from the Cowboys From Hell Demos. It was recorded in 1989 & was not included on the original release of Cowboys From Hell. It is going to be included on the 20th Anniversary 3cd deluxe set (instore 9/14) as well as the Ultimate box set (Instores 11/22). And yes, that is Philip singing.
So what are our thoughts on the song? Well first of all, it’s a demo of a non-album track. That means “didn’t make the cut for the album.” Secondly, it was 1989. Just look at the above photo from the band’s previous album, Power Metal, to see where they were then. Dimebag Darrell was still “Diamond” Darrell, and Phil Anselmo was way more on the metal side of the fence than the hardcore side. Cowboys was the sound of the band finding themselves, transitioning from a glam/power hybrid to the band that would come to define metal in the ’90s. The riffing on the track is vintage Dime – and then Phil starts singing. It definitely sounds like there’s some Priest worship going on, and when the chorus comes along, it sounds a lot more like Queensryche than anyone in the band would probably want to admit. But at the end of the day, it’s still Pantera, it’s a pretty solid song, and while it may not have held up as well as the rest of the album it didn’t make the cut for, it’s something that any Pantera completist will want. Our thoughts on the song can be perfectly summed up by friend of Metal Insider Jen Guyre, who said “I want to make an 80s montage of me learning to fight or training for a skateboarding competition to the new old Pantera track.”