| Top 30 Metal Bands | Number 29 | Pantera |
Genre: Heavy Metal, Groove Metal, Glam Metal (early)
Band Members: “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott (guitar, backing vocals), Vinnie Paul (drums), Rex Brown (bass guitar, backing vocals), Phil Anselmo (lead vocals)
Discography: Metal Magic, Projects in the Jungle, I Am the Night, Power Metal, Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, Far Beyond Driven, The Great Southern Trendkill, Reinventing the Steel
Pantera formed in Arlington, Texas in 1981 as Pantera’s Metal Magic. Their vocalist changed twice (first Donnie Hart, then, for their first three albums, Terry Glaze), until finally, after their third album, they found Phil Anselmo, who would stick with them until the end. In 1982, they changed their name and in 1983 they released their debut. Both their debut and their next three albums starkly contrasted with the style for which they are famous; rather than the groundbreaking work they did in the 90’s, it was pure Glam Metal. People like to pretend those albums don’t exist, as with their fifth album, Cowboy’s From Hell, they completely reinvented their sound and image, creating something much heavier. After that, things just got heavier and angrier, and before anyone knew it, Pantera was dominating the scene. Unfortunately, the group broke up in 2003 due to some severe tension within the group, and all chances of the group reuniting were dashed when Dimebag Darrell was shot to death onstage by one of his own fans. This is considered to be one of the biggest tragedies in Metal history.
Pantera is credited, along with Exhorder, with laying the groundwork for the subgenre of Groove Metal; influencing bands such as Machine Head and Lamb of God. Dimebag Darrell is widely credited as one of the greatest metal guitarists of all time, and it’s easy to see why. While I haven’t gotten around to hearing much of their later albums, Cowboys From Hell alone earns them a spot on this list, as that album was incredible. From what I hear of their albums following it, those are incredible as well.
Even though they are gone now, their name will live on as that of true metal masters.