Pantera to Reform in 2023 with Remaining Members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown for ‘Reunion’ Tour

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Pantera is a staple of heavy metal history, but the Texas-based band met an untimely end in 2004 when guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was shot and killed onstage during a show with his band Damageplan. His brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, then died in 2018, robbing the band of one-half of its longtime lineup.

Next year, however, vocalist Philip Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown — the surviving members of the band — will get back together for a reunion tour, according to headlines circulating this week.

This is a big deal, given the considerable reputation of Pantera and its place in hard rock history. It’s also important in a sense that any live performances will obviously be charged, emotional experiences in tribute to Abbott and Paul.

Emerging in the early ’90s with a primal energy and knack for groove-laden heavy metal “sludge,” Pantera would go on to become a phenomenon, selling upwards of 20 million records around the world and amassing a place in the upper echelon of crossover heavy metal success.

1990’s Cowboys from Hell was Pantera’s major label debut and went a long way toward expanding the band’s audience, an expansion that continued with 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power and the track “Walk”:

1994’s Far Beyond Driven debuted peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — a remarkable achievement for the genre. It featured singles like “I’m Broken”:

And “5 Minutes Alone”:

After Pantera took a break (prior to Abbott’s death), Anselmo stayed busy with other projects including Down, Superjoint Ritual and his own solo career, while Brown also participated in Down and Kill Devil Hill.

Billboard has details about Pantera’s new booking agents and the reunion plan, though it’s pretty early to be thinking about who, exactly, will step in to take over on lead guitar and drums.

It’s unclear who will fill in for the brothers on the tour. Last year, Anselmo told podcaster Paolo Baron that he and bassist Rex Brown had been discussing a reunion tour for a few months, but didn’t give any hints other than Brown stating emphatically that a rumored comeback with Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde on guitar was not happening.

Given the respect Pantera has across the heavy music world, though, there’s no doubt these shows will be packed to the brim with big-name stars and friends eager to lend their services.

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