Pantera                                           Pantera                                                      


One of the Heavy metal band in America.Formed in 1981.The band was originally named Pantera's Metal Magic and consisted of Vinnie Paul Abbott on drums, Dimebag Darrell Abbott (called Diamond Darrell at that time) on guitar, Donnie Hart on vocals, Terry Glaze on guitar, and Tommy Bradford on bass. In 1982, the band was renamed Pantera in order to shorten the name and to settle an agreement between all band members. Hart left the band because he did not agree with the band's ethics and Glaze became the group's vocalist .

Band members

  • Dimebag Darrell – guitar, backing vocals (1981–2003)
  • Vinnie Paul – drums (1981–2003)
  • Rex Brown – bass guitar, backing vocals (1982–2003)
  • Phil Anselmo – lead vocals (1987–2003)



“The thing about us is that we always stayed on the ground level with the fans,” proclaims Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell in his proud Texas twang. “We never rode above the fans – I’m a fuckin’ fan myself – and we always had great interaction with them. They’re us, we’re them, we’re all for one and stronger than all.”

Of course, it took the Dallas-based Pantera time to find their groove, shape their sound, and harness the right mix of combustible personalities. The band emerged in the early Eighties, when drummer Vinnie Paul and his guitarist brother Dimebag Darrell put Pantera together with bassist Rex Brown and vocalist T Lee. After three self-released albums, it was clear that a remarkably different heavier sound was evolving. Enter new frontman and New Orleans native Philip Anselmo, , on a fourth independant release. The collaboration with the heavy trio and explosive singer was about to set the stage for a harder, more damaging, 
trademark Pantera. 

After being turned down “twenty-eight times by every major label on the face of the earth,” an Atco Records A&R rep named Mark Ross saw the band when Hurricane Hugo stranded him in Texas. The long-sought record deal finally arrived, and with it, Pantera’s “official” 1990 debut, titled Cowboys From Hell. Co-produced by the band and Terry Date (Max Norman turned the project down in favor of Lynch Mob), Cowboys From Hell took Pantera’s evolution to the next level. Darrell’s chugging, jagged guitars, Vinnie’s machine-gun, darting drums, and Philip’s collection of harsh screams, clenched-fist roars, and eerie melodies, all fused together into a sound they called “power groove.”

“Cowboys is where everybody came into their own, along with the full-blown Pantera sound,” says Vinnie. “That was actually the first song we wrote for the record. Basically it was about us coming out of Texas and being out of place. People don’t think of Texas as being a hot spot for heavy metal, they think of New York or L.A. or something like that, so it just seemed like an obvious concept for us.”

Cowboys From Hell spawned several other unquestionable classics, including the moody, morbid epic, “Cemetery Gates.” “We’ve always done a bunch of musically diverse things,” says Dime. “I’m a big fan of King’s X and bands like that. I was just showing a broader side of the band, the more melodic stuff we can do.”

Months of solid touring molded the band into an even more lethal live act than they had been before, and two years after the release of Cowboys, the band reconvened to lay down what many fans consider their masterpiece: Vulgar Display Of Power. Working with Date again, the band carved out an even more incendiary sonic assault on an album that truly lived up to its monicker with frightening intensity. 

The disc yielded, among others, the awesomely heavy shuffle, “Walk,” the pummeling, warped riffage of “Mouth For War,” and the disturbing, bitter “This Love.” Vinnie: “If there’s one thing that Philip did the very best, it’s that he always wrote straight from the heart. He never candy-coated anything or had a bullshit way of saying anything in his lyrics. ‘This Love’ was pretty much the story of a relationship that he had been in, that just didn’t work out, and he was fuckin’ pissed about it!”

More endless roadwork followed the release of Vulgar Display, elevating the band into bigger venues and drawing larger audiences all the time. By the time 1994 and Far Beyond Driven rolled around, Pantera was established as the metal act to beat in terms of heaviness, sheer power, and slavish allegiance to the metal lifestyle. 

“We drove ourselves, that’s for sure,” says Vinnie about the album, which remains the most extreme disc to ever debut at Number One on the Billboard Top 200. “We didn’t debut at Number One for any other reason than all the fans we had made on tour. We still weren’t a radio band or anything like that, so it was strictly word-of-mouth and the live show that did it.”

“We couldn’t get airplay and nobody gave a fuck about it, but the fans damn sure did,” agrees Dime. “We wrote that record for them.”

The first single from the album, “I’m Broken,” was “a soundcheck riff – one of them ones where I’d walk in with a hangover from ripping it up night after night with everyone in every town,” chuckles Dime. “That’s where a lot of the best riffs I ever wrote came from. I just played the first riff I thought of, Vinnie started kickin’ in on it, Rex joined in, we didn’t write the entire song on the spot, but we kept toying with it and finally worked on it once we got into the studio.”

And then there’s “Five Minutes Alone,” which crystallized the band’s “take no shit” attitude, as Vinnie explains: “There was a guy in the front row at Pine Knob in Detroit who was heckling Phil. Finally, several people in the crowd just jumped this guy’s ass and beat the shit out of him on the spot, so he sued us. And when his dad called our manager, his exact quote was, ‘you just give me five minutes along with that Phil Anselmo guy and I’ll show him who’s big daddy around here.’ Phil’s response was, ‘You just give me five minutes along with that cat’s dad and I’ll whoop his ass.’ That’s where that song came from.”

As brutal as Far Beyond Driven was, it ended on an uncharacteristically quiet note with the band’s cover of Black Sabbath’s dreamlike “Planet Caravan.” “Black Sabbath’s one of our all-time favorite groups,” says Vinnie. “We got asked to be a part of the first Sabbath tribute record, Nativity In Black, and we were thinkin’ about what song to do, and we just suddenly decided that “Planet Caravan” was a cool song, plus nobody would even expect it. It turned out great, but due to legal circumstances, we ended up not being on Nativity In Black, so we added it to the end of Far Beyond Driven. We thought it was the perfect way to end the record.”

The Great Southern Trendkill, released in 1996, is now considered Pantera’s “overlooked” album, coming out as rap-metal was hitting its stride and temporarily drowning out the mighty Pantera roar. Trendkill did, in fact, find Pantera adding some different spices to their corrosive metallic stew, but the chilling “Drag The Waters” best represents the album. “That song is about a lifetime of dealing with people that you can’t tell what they’re really comin’ at you for, or what their motives really are,” snarls Dime. “You’ve got to drag the waters to get to the bottom and find out the truth.”

It was four years before Pantera released their next full-length studio effort, but the band was far from inactive. Touring nonstop, the boys still managed to find time to release a live album, Official Live: 101 Proof, featuring the ominous studio bonus track, “Where We Come From,” and a scalding cover of Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever” for the soundtrack of the Kiss-themed movie, Detroit Rock City. “Gene Simmons actually approached us to be a part of that,” remembers Vinnie. “And we were like, ‘we’re old Ted fans, let’s see if we can do a throwdown version of it.’ To this day, I probably still hear our version in titty bars more than I hear his.”

Dimebag Darrell calls the band’s most recent studio album, 2000’s Reinventing The Steel, a “best-of in its own right,” a mix of elements from the albums that had preceded it. Even the closing epic, “I’ll Cast A Shadow,” was a monster. “Usually when we write, the songs come together really fast,” says Dime. “But sometimes, you’ll be drilling at one for hours before you realize it ain’t workin’. This was one of those. So we put it on the back burner, finished up all the other tunes, then went back to give it one more pull. We rearranged it, throw a few new parts in, and it really brought it to life. I think it ended up being the baddest-ass song on the whole record.”

“Goddamn Electric,” a tribute to metal itself, was another bad-ass anthem, and warranted a special guest appearance. “We thought, ‘this song just gives so much respect to these other bands like Black Sabbath and Slayer, we’ve just gotta get Kerry King down here to put a lead on the motherfucker,’” relates Vinnie. “We went and met him at the Starplex in Dallas when Slayer was on Ozzfest. I took some portable recording gear, and we recorded that lead – first take, one take only, backstage in the bathroom at the Starplex. And it’s awesome.”

As one of metal’s most ferocious acts, with one of its most insanely devoted audiences, it’s clear as an empty whiskey bottle that Pantera’s impact and influence on heavy music is still being felt. “Every time I hear a kick drum with that extra slap on top, or that chainsaw sound on the guitar, I know where it came from,” concludes Dime. “We’re just glad we can hand it down and see everyone else bring some new shit to the table and keep passing it on. I’m glad we could actually put a stamp out there that everybody could get a pull off of.”

Cowboys From Hell - Pantera