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Formed in 1981, Pantera is a power-groove metal band that originated out of Arlington3, Texas. In the past 30 years, the metal power-house has become one of the most influential metal bands to thrash a stage. Partially responsible for the resurrection of metal during the grunge era, Pantera gained an unmatchable cult following that transcended their music throughout the past 3 decades.
Extremely talented, the band struggled finding a genre in the beginning; however, after switching vocalists on several occasions they finally settled on metal. The band eventually consisted of legendary guitarist Dimebag Darrell, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbot, bassist Rex Brown, and smashing vocalist Phil Anselmo.
Before the band added Anselmo, they released their first unsolicited album, Metal Magic. The music leaned towards a glam-rock sound, which continued on their second album, Projects in the Jungle. After making some changes, Pantera finally added Anselmo in 1987 and began their transformation into groove metal giants.
In 1988, the band dropped its first heavy-metal album, Power Metal. The edgy new sound was different than their first 2 records; however, the band continued to have local success. Pantera performed an excessive amount of shows in the tri-state, where their cult like following began to grow.
After being stranded and hearing about a new local rock band, representatives from Atco records decided to attend a performance. The reps called their boss after the show and informed him that their faces had been rocked off and the label needed to sign Pantera. One year later, the band dropped their explosively dynamic album, Cowboys from Hell. Four years after their successful debut, Pantera found their groove on the second album, Vulgar Display of Power. Hit songs “Cemetery Gates” and “This Love” became hugely successful and like their first major record, received little support from MTV or radio stations. One year later, the bands next album, Far Beyond Driven, won the band its first Grammy award. Furthermore, Pantera’s live shows garnered them excessive praise and earned them a spot on the Monsters of Rock tour and later, Ozzfest.
In 1995, as a result of his alcohol and heroin abuse, Anselmo began to distance himself from the band. This led to them recording their next album, The Great Southern Treadkill, separately. Things looked better when the band returned to the studio in 1999 to record Reinventing the Steel. It released in 2000; however, Anselmo left the band shortly after a bitter war of words. In 2003, Pantera disbanded and ended their run as metal gods. Later, in 2004, Dimebag Darrell was sadly murdered on stage, while playing with Damageplan.