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Pantera (/pntr/) is an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas, formed in 1981 and currently composed of vocalist Phil Anselmo, bassist Rex Brown, and touring musicians Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante. The group’s best-known lineup consisted of the Abbott brothers (drummer Vinnie Paul and guitarist Dimebag Darrell), along with Brown and Anselmo, who joined in 1982 and 1986, respectively. Buy Pantera Merch Here!
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Having started as a glam metal band, Pantera released four albums during the 1980s. Pantera introduced a groove metal sound with its fifth album, Cowboys from Hell, released in 1990. The sixth album, 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power, exhibited an even heavier sound. Far Beyond Driven (1994) debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
Tensions began to surface amongst the band members when Anselmo became addicted to heroin in 1995, which nearly led to his death in 1996 following an overdose. These tensions resulted in the recording sessions for The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) to be held separately. The ongoing tension lasted for another seven years, in which only one studio album, Reinventing the Steel (2000), was recorded. Pantera went on hiatus in 2001, but was disbanded by the Abbott brothers in 2003 amid communication problems and their conclusion that Anselmo would not return to the band.
The Abbott brothers went on to form Damageplan, while Anselmo began work on several side projects, including Down in which Rex Brown joined as well. On December 8, 2004, Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on stage by a deranged fan during a Damageplan concert in Columbus, Ohio, effectively ending hopes for a reunion.
And that would be the end of Pantera, with the token greatest-hits albums and whatnot appearing now and then. In the years to follow, the bandmembers busied themselves with side projects, most notably the host of bands fronted by Anselmo. His projects included, among other endeavors, Down, Superjoint Ritual, Viking Crown, and Southern Isolation — none of which bore much resemblance to Pantera. Meanwhile, Dimebag and Vinnie Paul formed Damageplan, a fairly stable band that sought to pick up where Pantera had left off. In fact, they even played some Pantera songs during their live shows.
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