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    panteraPantera was one of the biggest heavy metal bands in the 1990’s, although their history goes back to the early 1980’s, when they had a completely different sound. The Pantera story begins with two brothers in Texas: “Dimebag” Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott, although in the 1980’s, Dimebag Darrell went by the name “Diamond Darrell”. Originally a glam-metal band, Pantera released 3 studio albums with the Abbott bothers (Dimebag and Vinnie), bassist Rexx Rocker, and vocalist Terry Glaze. These three albums are generally hard to find, and are not recognized by the band as official Pantera albums. They are called “Metal Magic”, “Projects in the Jungle”, and “I Am The Night”. After the third album, Terry Glaze left and vocalist Phil Anselmo joined. They released an album called “Power Metal”, which would be the last of the “old” Pantera.

    In 1989, Pantera officially ended its glam-metal phase with the major label release of “Cowboys From Hell”. This album went on to be massively successful, and to enter the band into a new era. Soon after, Diamond Darrell took on the name Dimebag Darrell cuz he loved the herb, and Rexx Rocker just became Rex. The band was growing in popularity due to their new and innovative metal sound. Pantera really was very unique sounding, due to the amazing talent of Dimebag Darrell. The band put out “Vulgar Display of Power” in 1992 which did even better than Cowboys From Hell, and further solidified Pantera’s unique sound. By the time “Far Beyond Driven” was released in 1994, Pantera was one of the hottest bands on the metal scene. They were everywhere: On tour with the greats, on Headbanger’s Ball, in all of the heavy metal magazines, you name it. Unfortunately, the success brought the drama. Phil Anselmo started using heroin as a painkiller, and started doing various side projects. Pantera did manage to release a few more albums in the mid and later 90’s which did well, but it was becoming clear that Pantera was past its prime.

    In the early 2000’s, Pantera was still sort of together, but not really. Phil Anselmo was doing his side projects, and the Abbott brothers had theirs. While there was some serenity during this time, it was looking less and less likely that Pantera would ever get back together again. In 2004, Dimebag Darrell was murdered by a nutjob fan, officially ending any hope that Pantera would reunite.

    Now, let me say that I have never been a huge fan of Pantera, but Dimebag Darrell was one hell of a guitar player. He was definitely one of the most innovative and unique guitar players that heavy metal had ever seen. Any time you would hear music with Dimebag playing, you knew it was Dimebag. His sound was very distinct and all his own. In addition to his amazing talent on guitar, he was well known as a cool guy and gentle spirit. He is missed by many.

    Pantera Discography

    Metal Magic (1983)
    Projects in the Jungle (1984)
    I Am the Night (1985)
    Power Metal (1988)
    Cowboys from Hell (1990)
    Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
    Far Beyond Driven (1994)
    The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)
    Reinventing the Steel (2000)

    While Pantera came from an era fully immersed in CDs, there are actually a suprising number of Pantera vinyl records available. On vinyl, Pantera sounds thicker, fatter and meaner. Have a look at these records and LPs from one of the most famous metal bands from the 1990’s.

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