Pantera Controversy: The Dispute Centres on Pantera’s “Reunion”
Originally formed in 1981 in Arlington, Texas, Pantera (/paentr/) is a prominent representative of American heavy metal. Vinnie Paul Abbott (drums), Dimebag Darrell Abbott (guitar), Rex Brown (bass), and Phil Anselmo (vocals) are the only original members of Pantera still active today; the latter two left the band in the early 2000s.
Pantera, along with other bands like Testament, Sepultura, and Machine Head, is considered a pioneer of the groove metal subgenre and a member of the second wave of the thrash metal scene that emerged in the late 1980s and continued throughout the early to mid-1990s. With four Grammy nominations and 20 million record sales worldwide, Pantera is widely considered one of the most popular and influential bands in heavy metal history.
Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown, Pantera members, will go on a “reunion” tour in 2023. The Arlington, Texas band shot to fame with the release of their fifth album, Cowboys from Hell, in 1990, and continued to rise to new heights with releases like 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power and 1994’s Far Beyond Driven. An integral part of the band’s success was due to guitarist Dimebag and the powerful tone of his Dean ML, which spread the word about groove metal.
This feature, often colored by a flanger, set them apart from their peers and brought something fresh to the metal world. Without Dimebag Darrell, the music of Korn, Slipknot, and countless others might as well end.
But internal strife ultimately led to the band’s dissolution in 2003, and so Reinventing the Steel, their ninth album from 2000, was also their last. In the wake of Pantera’s dissolution, Darrell and Vinnie formed Damageplan, and Anselmo played in several bands, notably the supergroup Down. Brown has shared the stage with a wide variety of musicians, including Jerry Cantrell, Crowbar, and for a brief time, Down.
It Seemed Like Things Were Going Smoothly in The Post-Pantera World
Despite the ongoing tension between Anselmo and the Abbotts, until the catastrophe in December of 2004. A troubled fan named Nathan Gale attacked the stage at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, while Damageplan was beginning their performance on December 8. Gale shot Dimebag many times. He was pronounced dead on the scene, and his age was only 38.
It’s no surprise that the metal scene was shattered by this news Their beloved protagonist has died. A large number of notable members of the local music scene, including Zakk Wylde, Corey Taylor, and Jerry Cantrell, were present during his memorial service, which was attended by thousands of fans. The casket also contained Eddie Van Halen’s famed black-and-yellow “Bumblebee” guitar. He made this statement about Dime during the funeral, saying that only an original deserves the original.
Not only are they not playing their classic songs, but they also don’t have Vinnie Paul, who passed away in 2018, thus the whole thing just doesn’t feel like a true Pantera show. His powerful drumming helped anchor his brother’s hefty riffs and gave Pantera its signature sound.
Despite this, there is still one more reason to be dissatisfied with Anselmo and Brown’s decision to reconcile: the former’s previous, inevitable views on race.
Anselmo Was Rightfully Criticized for His Outburst
Other rumblings became phantoms that haunted him for the rest of his life and career. Anselmo eventually issued an apology for making “harmful words that may have racially insulted our audience.”
Some have forgiven and forgotten Anselmo’s outburst, further polarising the already volatile singer, while others have not. In January of 2016, however, during the annual “Dimebash” homage to the late Dimebag, a video of the Pantera frontman surfaced on YouTube. Video footage shows Anselmo giving the Nazi salute and shouting “white power” to the crowd after his performance.
According to a Billboard article published on July 13, 2022, the band Pantera has signed with Artist Group International to plan a North American tour for 2023, marking the return of founding members Philip Brown and Philip Anselmo for the group’s first major tour in 22 years. After Dimebag Darrell’s and Vinnie Paul’s departures, replacements Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante were introduced.
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