United States
Music group
This Texas, USA-based heavy metal quartet was formed in 1981, and initially comprised Terry Glaze (guitar/vocals), Darrell Abbott (b. 20 August 1966, Dallas, Texas, USA; guitar), Vincent Abbott (b. 11 March 1964, Dallas, Texas, USA; drums) and Rex Rocker (b. Rex Brown, 27 July 1964, Graham, Texas, USA; bass).

Drawing musical inspiration from Kiss, Aerosmith and Deep Purple, they debuted with 1983's Metal Magic. This well-received set led to prestigious support slots to Dokken, Stryper and Quiet Riot. Projects In The Jungle indicated that the band were evolving quickly and starting to build a sound of their own. The Kiss nuances had disappeared and they sounded, at times, similar to early Def Leppard, with cuts such as "Heavy Metal Rules" and "Out For Blood' leading the charge.

The membership altered their names at this juncture, with Glaze becoming Terence Lee, Darrell Abbott switching to Diamond (later Dimebag) Darrell and brother Vince emerging as Vinnie Paul.

Phil Anselmo (b. 30 June 1968, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) was the new lead vocalist on 1988's Power Metal, which saw the band beginning to make the conversion to the heavy thrash sound that would become their trademark. (The band have subsequently attempted to sweep any sign of their early career under the carpet).

Diamond Darrell turned down the offer to join Megadeth at this point, in order to concentrate on new Pantera material. The decision proved crucial, as a return to form was made with 1990's Cowboys From Hell, their debut for Atco Records. This was an inspired collection of infectious hard rock, played with unabashed fervour, with Anselmo, who would later set up his own side-project Down, growing as a creative and visual force.

Vulgar Display Of Power, meanwhile, belied half of its title by invoking a sense of genuine songwriting prowess to augment the bone-crushing arrangements of live favourites such as "Fucking Hostile". Establishing a fierce reputation, it surprised few of the band's supporters when Far Beyond Driven was a huge transatlantic success in 1994. Rock music had found powerful new ambassadors in their brutally honest and savagely executed thrash metal.

The key word here is "loud', as both The Great Southern Trendkill and Official Live: 101 Proof demonstrate without a doubt. Their influence on the new wave of alternative metal bands that emerged in the late 90s, such as Korn and Fear Factory, should also be noted.

Anselmo indulged his love of black metal in the side project, Viking Crown, debuting with 1999's Unorthodox Steps Of Ritual.

After Pantera disbanded in 2003, some ex-members - including drummer Vinnie Paul - showed up in a band called Damageplan. Early 2004 Damageplan released their official full length debut album.
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