Pantera started as a glam metal band. In 1981, the band performed under the moniker Pantera's Metal Magic and opened for other metal acts like Stryper, Dokken, and Quiet Riot. The band later dissociated from these early albums and blocked their release.
In 1987, Pantera auditioned a new vocalist named Phil Anselmo. The singer clicked with the rest of the band and the new lineup decided to change their image before releasing 1988's Power Metal album.
In 1988, Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was offered a gig playing guitar for Megadeth. Darrell turned down the opportunity because his brother Vinnie Paul was not allowed to join Megadeth as well, as the band had already hired a new drummer named Nick Menza.
Anselmo is crazy about horror movies, so much so that he started the Housecore Horror Festival in 2013. In his Songfacts interview
, he listed some of his favorite films:The Sinful DwarfInnocents from HellI Bury the LivingThe House with the Laughing Windows
Pantera's fifth album, Cowboys From Hell, was released by Atco Records in July 1990. The record was produced by Terry Date, who is well known in the hard rock world for producing bands like Slipknot, Deftones, White Zombie and Soundgarden.
Abbott was shot and killed onstage in December 2004 while performing with his new band Damageplan in Columbus, Ohio. The shooter was a crazed fan who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and believed that Pantera had stolen his lyrics.
After Pantera disbanded in 2003, Anselmo formed a New Orleans supergroup called Down. The band quickly signed with Elektra records and released their debut album NOLA in 2005.
Abbott is one of the most celebrated metal guitarists of all time. Guitar World
magazine ranked his solo on "Floods
" #15 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time.
James Niggemeyer, the Columbus, Ohio police officer who entered a local nightclub and took out Dimebag Darrell's killer, was so affected by the incident he had to give up his career due to PTSD and severe anxiety disorder.