Gemini>>Eternity>>PANTERA - USA

Cowboys From Hell – 1990 - ATCO
Vulgar Display of Power – 1992 - ATCO
Far Beyond Driven – 1994 – ATCO
The Great Southern Trendkill – 1996 - EastWest
Official Live: 101 Proof – 1997 -EastWest
Reinventing The Steel – 2000 – EastWest
Live At Dynamo Open Air 1998 – 2018 - Dynamo


  
 
Members

S= Samhain, Razor White, Superjoint Ritual, Enoch, Christ Inversion, Viking Crown, Necrophagia, Down>>PHILIP ANSELMO>>Christ Inversion, Superjoint Ritual, Enoch, Viking Crown, Necrophagia, Southern Isolation, Down, Eyehategod, En Minor, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Scour, Metal All Stars, Arson Anthem, Bill & Phil
G= Gasoline, Rebel Meets Rebel>>DIMEBAG DARRELL [DIAMOND DARREL]>>Gasoline, Rebel Meets Rebel, Damageplan
B= Gasoline, Rebel Meets Rebel, Down>>REX BROWN [REX ROCKER]>>Gasoline, Kill Devil Hill, Rebel Meets Rebel, Down, Crowbar, Solo
D= Gasoline, Rebel Meets Rebel>>VINNIE PAUL>>Gasoline, Rebel Meets Rebel, Damageplan, Machinehead, Hellyeah



History

No entity has managed a successful a transformation as Pantera save Donald Trump going from sleeping with porn stars, between wives and mistresses, and running casinos to become the darling the Christian right or Metallica, which went from hating on record distributors and playing thrash metal to corporate lawsuits against Napster, hiring Rolling Stones’ backup singers and playing soft rock medlies with members of Foreigner.

Pantera was founded in Texas by brothers Darrell and Vincent Abbott in 1981. The group came from Arlington, which is next door to Dallas. The glam metal band drew influences from Kiss and Van Halen and played cover versions. The flashy performances and spandex-oriented outfits completed the make-up and the get-up. Darrell went by ‘Diamond Darrell’ and Vince became Vinnie. Bassist Rex Brown was Rex/Rexx Rocker. Early singer was one Donnie Hart. Second guitarist Terrence Lee (‘Terry Glaze’) moved to vocals upon Hart’s departure. The band founded its own Metal Magic imprint and issued a demo also called Metal Magic. The group had the occasion to open for fellow glam hard rockers, the white metal band Stryper. Thus followed Projects In The Jungle in 1984 and I Am The Night in 1985. Influenced by Metallica, whose Hetfield visited Darrell, the band turned heavier and metallic on I Am The Night. Singer Glaze, however, was more glam and the band was on the road to conflict. Royalty and income issues, differences in musical and image tastes lead the singer to leave. The band was trying to adapt to the scene gravitating away from glam. Several singers came and went as the band readied to record for Atlantic with whom it had signed. Jason McMaster declined the gig so an unknown Philip Anselmo was picked at the tail-end of 1986. This line-up issued the Power Metal LP. The band was reinventing itself and erasing all traces of its history inclusive of a new sound, new image and a tougher-than-thou macho demeanour. Darrell was invited to join Megadeth, but the union was not to be as he had insisted his brother Vinnie be given the drummer’s stool. Walter O'Brien at Concrete Management replaced the brother’s father as their manager. The transformation was complete with 1990’s Cowboys From Hell. The members of Exhorder would claim Pantera ripped them off. However, when Pantera hit the bigtime and was popular years later the members became close again as they joined side-projects involving one another. Phil Anselmo of Pantera had hung around with Exhorder earlier and in fact joined for a few days when Diamond Darrel had been accepted into Megadeth before returning. The band was now Phil Anselmo, the very urban Dimebag Darrell, Rex Brown and Vinnie Paul. It was not that the band abandoned playing its old songs. It is that Pantera claimed those songs did not exist and Cowboys From Hell was its debut. In Fact, Cowboys From Hell was nominated for and won the poll for ‘Best Debut’ in Metal Forces magazine. The group also won the Best Newcomer award at Foundations Forum! Cowboys From Hell was produced by Terry Date and charted in the USA. The group opened for Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies. Rob Halford jumped on stage with the band at one show and later Pantera opened for Judas Priest. Rob Halford was rumoured to have a crush on Anselmo. Vulgar Display Of Power’s title was a quotation from the Exorcist movie. Vinnie Paul taped the album for the band himself. The Alive And Hostile EP of 1994 was recorded in Russia. Far Beyond Driven landed at the No. 1 position in the USA charts. The album's original artwork was a drill head entering an anus. Drugs became more than a pastime at this juncture for the band when Anselmo became a heroin addict. He claimed he was alleviating his back pain. Anselmo called out rap music on stage in Montreal Canada in 1995 by saying "rap music advocates the killing of white people." He duly apologized and said he was drunk. Anselmo overdosed in 1996. The band’s rider (and sponsorship) demanded bottles of whiskey on and off stage. The Abbott brothers got into a fight with a writer for Kerrang over the tabloid’s depiction of drummer Vinnie. Anselmo fought with a security guard who was preventing fans from climbing the stage and was convicted in court. Official Live: 101 Proof was recorded live in the USA and featured a couple of new tracks. The band played the Dynamo festival in the Netherlands in 1998. The result was immortalized as a record in 2018. Reinventing The Steel was followed by multiple compilations, but the band threw in the towel in 2003 as the members were feuding. The band had been out of commission since 2001 at least having played Ozzfest and played with Slayer and others. The groovers also played at the Beast Feast festival in Japan on August 28th, 2001. The band had sold 30 million records at this juncture. Anselmo picked up on the black metal trend at this time and formed his own Housecore label, while the brothers founded other groove metal acts, Damageplan and Hellyeah. The former act was on the road at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio, USA in 2004 when military veteran Nathan Gale climbed onto the stage and shot Dimebag Darrell five times killing him instantly. Also shot were three others including roadies and security for the act. The armed veteran was later revealed to be paranoid. Dimebag’s wife blamed Anselmo for the circumstance. The brothers had not spoken to Anselmo for years and actively disliked him. Philip Anselmo apologized to his then current band-mates after his band’s appearance at FortaRock festival in the Netherlands was cancelled. Other promoters also began cancelling band shows after the singer gave a Nazi salute on stage and shouted “white power” in Los Angeles. Anselmo quickly defended himself saying he and others were drinking white wine and the expressions were “inside joke.” Astute observers would have noted that Anselmo’s Superjoint Ritual had a debut album with a confederate flag on it. Former drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott suffered a heart attack and died at his house in Las Vegas on June 22nd, 2018. He was buried in a Kiss Kasket, which is part of the extensive merchandise of vendors Kiss.

Pantera is Spanish for ‘panther’.

Reviews

DIMEVISION - VOL I: THAT’S THE FUN I HAVE DVD - BIG VIN RECORDS  
This is almost 75 minutes of home videos presenting the late Dimebag Darrell in various fun activities. The use of fireworks indoors is one of the major themes of this DVD as is various footage showing his guitar work and extended solos, some of which date back to 'circa 1984'. Highlights include a version of Metallica’s Seek And Destroy and the many Van Halen inspired extended solos. Also included are a good quantity of still photos of Dimebag with the likes of Slayer, Metallica and many others. Watch for the monologue towards the end of the DVD where Dimebag explains his love and preference of the raw sound over digitally produced and computerized music. - Anna Tergel




Interviews


Pantera