To celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of Pantera's most brutal live performances, the band has unleashed 'Far Beyond Bootleg -- Live From Donington '94' unto the masses. The performance was first released to the public as the second CD of the 20th anniversary edition of 'Far Beyond Driven.' Now, vinyl fanatics can spin the performance on their turntables as Pantera have given 'Live From Donington '94' a proper release on wax.

Why did Pantera make sure that this release included a vinyl edition? "I ask, why not," frontman Philip Anselmo says in an exclusive chat with Loudwire. "Being the owner of Housecore Records, I believe vinyl is a potent need for the true collector. Every Pantera record has -- or had -- been released on vinyl back in the day, so why not now?"

Anselmo's reasoning isn't just based on his professional acumen, but it's rooted in a personal respect for the format as well. "I love owning vinyl because it feels special. It's way more of a collector's item than a regular old CD case or a miniaturized cassette foldout format," he explains. "Plus, vinyl sounds better, as well. As cumbersome as carrying vinyl records around may be, that's how we did it back in the day, so any 'old schooler' out there shouldn't mind the burden, especially if they want superior sound."

The sound on 'Live From Donington '94' reflects a true bootleg. It's not necessarily pristine, but it sounds much better than you'd expect a 20-year-old performance to sound. When the needle drops, 'Live From Donington '94' hits you right in the gut and doesn't let up until the finale. It's a blistering archive of nine songs, kicking off with 'Use My Third Arm' and wrapping up with 'Cowboys From Hell.'

"The first thing [that comes to mind] is that everyone kept telling us, 'This is the first cool Donington,'" Anselmo tells us as he reflects on the 20-year-old gig. "What they meant by that was that the powers that be that actually put the event on were finally allowing heavier bands to play. This to us meant that music was heading in a more severe direction and we were part of this movement."

In addition to the nonstop set that finds Anselmo saying very little in between songs -- other than quick bursts to keep the crowd frenzied -- the vinyl experience of 'Live From Donington '94' is elevated thanks to the artwork. Simple yet grim, the cover art on the 12-inch jacket perfectly complements the intensity of the concert.

The legendary frontman tells us, "If you grew up in my generation, then one could easily see why vinyl is a killer format. Back in the day, that's the only format I'd buy because that's the way my folks did it. I grew up in a house where tabletops were preferred and common. Even in the late '80s and early '90s, when me and my friends would go record hunting, I think I was one of the only cats at the time that hadn't caved in to the whole cassette thing. And I was a latecomer to CDs, as well. I'd buy vinyl because it seemed the correct thing to do!"

For metal fans across the globe, 'Far Beyond Bootleg - Live From Donington '94' is a must-have. From the artwork to the performance itself -- not to mention the historical significance the show played for the future of Donington -- Anselmo and company have created an experience that will no doubt be a memorable addition to anyone's stack of vinyl.

'Far Beyond Bootleg - Live From Donington '94' is available now on vinyl as well as the digital format. Don't hesitate, get your hands on this essential release here

Pantera, 'Far Beyond Bootleg - Live From Donington '94'

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