Yep, a reunion of sorts is happening and … while no one is exactly hating on it … what to call it has become an issue for many fans of the groove metal icons.

Pantera were a dyed in the wool, Texas bred, group of straight up ass-kickers who wrote a new chapter in the book of heavy metal and brought some genuine lone star state swagger along with ‘em.

I was living in Dallas as they began their journey toward heavy metal legend and saw them bring the house down … literally on some occasions … many a time at a club called The Basement. They were an absolute powerhouse and it didn’t take them long to bring their mix of good ‘ole boy charm and in your face metal far beyond Big D.

The heart of the band were the Abbottt brothers, Darrell and Vinnie – aka “Dimebag” Darrell and Vinnie Paul. I can tell you from my own experience, no two cooler, nicer, more genuine people have ever walked the earth.

Abbot Bros

Dimebag was savagely taken from us in 2004 while touring with Damageplan and Vinnie followed in 2018. Even in the days immediately following Pantera’s initial breakup, rumors of a reunion abounded. Those rumors really picked up speed following Vinnie’s death. Now it seems that it’s actually going to happen as Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown have recruited Charlie Benante of Anthrax fame and the one and only Zakk Wylde, (Black Label Society/Ozzy Osbourne),  to fill in for the Abbott brothers.

Hence the division. Can it truly be called a reunion when 2 members, the 2 brothers who founded the whole thing no less, are not involved? Can/shouldl they even use the name Pantera at all?

I don’t think so. In my opinion, if you want to hear Phil and/or Rex play Pantera songs, then … by all means … go see them live. The music deserves to live and fans, new and old alike, want to hear them performed in a true concert setting. While Zakk and Charlie are certainly up to the task, calling it a "reunion” or using the name "Pantera" is a matter of debate.

I’m ok with calling it a “tribute to” or “celebration of” Pantera. Maybe even, “Phil and Rex performing the music of” Pantera”. I asked a few Local Locos what they thought ...

  • Johnny Salas/King Octopus: “I am a fan and I would love to hear those songs live again but I struggle with the word “reunion” as Vinnie and Dime were the heart and soul of that band. I’m lucky I got to see them live when they came to El Paso so, I will just hold on to that memory.
  • Lincoln Gier/Bloody Elephante:  “I think keeping the Pantera name will never stick as it’s just too forced and artificial. I do think the show would be great based on the all star cast but I would like to see them call it something else. It would also be nice if they would create some new music to work in with the Pantera material.”

While I wanted a variety of opinions on this matter, it occurred to me who the most logical peeps to ask would be. Whose opinions would have a basis not only as peers but also in personal connections. The members of a band that not only knew the Abbott’s well but were practically inducted into the Abbott family … Pissing Razors.

  • Eddy: “First of all, let me start by saying that Phil and Rex have every right to play the music they helped create but, mind you, this would not be happening if Vinnie were alive … out of respect for his brother. Zakk and Charlie are great choices to try and emulate the brothers, and they were great friends to Dime And Vinnie, the problem here is; don’t call it a reunion. Show some respect to the brothers Abbott and call it anything else.  As for the fans, this would be amazing for them as the band continues to gain new fans to this day.
  • Joe: I agree with Eddy. In every video or interview I ever saw with Vinnie, he was adamant that Pantera would never be after the loss of Dimebag. “A celebration of Pantera featuring Phil, Rex and friends” is what I say it should be called.
  • Matt: I agree with everyone. Ed, Joe and Geo. It’s incredible that their music and legacy live on and that people have a chance to get a glimpse of what they contributed to the music world. “Tribute” or “celebration” would be better suited. I’m fortunate to have seen the original lineup a few times and … no matter who steps in … it will never be the same without the original members. Best of luck to them though, I’ll still attend a show if at all possible and celebrate their legacy.
  • Geo: I have to agree. Phil was already touring and playing Pantera material, all he did was add Rex. I think it should be “a tribute to Pantera featuring two original members”.

Pantera's fan base, as Eddy said, continues to grow and the newbies will never get to see the real Pantera perform. This would certainly be a treat for them. The closest they will ever get anyway so, I’m good with them doing their thing.

Let’s keep it real though, this is NOT a “reunion”.


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