With the release of 1990's Cowboys From Hell, Pantera rocketed to
superstardom, fashioning a post-thrash, extreme metal style that
has since been copied by countless other bands.
At the time, many thought that Pantera had sprung from nowhere, but
as fans of the band at the time know, no fewer than four albums
preceded Cowboys, released independently by the band during what
some call Pantera's "glam" era.
In reality, Pantera never was a glam band, but those four albums
(in particular, the first three) do show a very different side
of the band, with an accessible style that at times sounded like
Judas Priest and occasionally wandered into a heavier
Motley Crue style, due at least in part to then-vocalist Terrence
Darrell's guitar work was particularly noteworthy, flashy yet
controlled, though again not really close in style to "modern"
The fourth album, 1988's Power Metal, was the first to feature
Phil Anselmo, and in retrospect is a perfect bridge between the
mainstream style of the first trio of albums and the pure heaviness
Since Cowboys, of course, the band has been unstoppable,
refining and perfecting their style with each successive release,
gaining in popularity year after year.
Though no formal announcement was ever really made, Pantera is
done, the band laying low for a couple of years
following their last studio album, 2000's Reinventing The Steel.
Anselmo, after being involved in many projects, is now
devoting his time to
while the Abbotts formed a new band,
(formerly known as New Found Power).
Rex Brown is
The metal world was dealt a shocking and tragic blow when
former guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed while
performing onstage in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2004.
The gunman, whose motive may never truly be known, killed three
others before himself being shot by a police officer.