One of the most influential heavy metal bands of the 90s, Texan quartet Pantera knocked out a series of albums in that decade that redefined the genre.
But in the background lies a 1980s back catalogue that is worlds apart from their latter-day hardcore, semi-death metal.
The Abbott brothers (Darell and Vinnie), bassist Rex Brown (billed as Rex Rocker) and their first singer, Terry Glaze, started their career as a glam metal band of the weakest kind – big hair, spandex, songs about lovin’ and rockin’ . . .
The four albums Pantera issued on their own Metal Magic label – Metal Magic (1983), Projects In The Jungle (1984), I Am The Night (1985) and Power Metal (1988) did absolutely nothing for their commercial fortunes, although Power Metal (the first with Anselmo) was tough enough to score them a deal with Atlantic.
That said, these albums now sell on eBay for substantial amounts (£60 – £100).
By Vulgar Display Of Power (1992), Pantera had shuffled off their poodle-metal beginnings (vocalist Phil Anselmo had even shorn off his locks) and guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott had reverted to type as a Texas bluesman.
Amid the brutal chugging of their new sound was a definite sense of groove, assisted by Dimebag’s drumming brother Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex’s rhythm work.
Darrell Abbott was murdered on stage in Columbus, Ohio, on 8 December 2004 by paranoid schizophrenic ex-Marine Nathan Gale, who also killed four audience members and was then himself shot dead by police. The gun Gale used had been given to him as a present by his mother.
‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott
Vinnie Paul (Abbott)
Rex ‘Rocker’ Brown