parodies by nacrowe
theres been talk of a PANTERA "reunion" as the METAL band's stature and legend has ballooned in the intervening years since guitarist DIMEBAG DARRELL's SENSELESS and SHOCKING on-stage murder in OHIO in 2004. you look at all the major bands that have come to prominence in their wake (GOJIRA, LAMB OF GOD, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, MASTODON, POWERTRIP, etc.) and seemingly all of them have a deep sense of GROOVE at the core of their sound, which for me was DARRELL's major contribution eve given his celebrated technical lead guitar heroics. for me PANTERA sonically was ZZ TOP on steroids.
like a lot of die-hard fans, im pretty AMBIVALENT about the upcoming "reunion" of PANTERA as a global touring entity. PANTERA drummer (and older brother to DIMEBAG) VINNIE PAUL was against the idea wholesale during his life (he passed away in 2018 from cardiac arrest) in no small part to how the band ended in 2001. essentially singer PHIL ANSELMO and bassist REX BROWN became incommunicado after their tour dates on behalf of REINVENTING THE STEEL (EAST WEST, 2000) stalled in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. the pair instead focused on SLUDGE METAL supergroup DOWN's debut and in the case of ANSELMO, numerous OBSCURE side projects that allowed him to explore his passion of early BLACK METAL and DEATH METAL. which is all well and good if they needed a break from PANTERA, but they left DIMEBAG and VINNIE PAUL absolutely hanging with no heads up whatsoever, which is pretty LAME.
and it still is.
the fact that the ABBOTT BROTHERS are no longer around to participate for what was a project that they alone SWEAT, BLED and FOUGHT for is a pretty bitter pill to swallow. the fact that the two surviving members that effectively abandoned the project at its peak, ANSELMO and BROWN, are the ones carrying it forward just feels wrong on some level. the saving grace is that ZAKK WYLDE of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY / OZZY OSBOURNE is set to take on guitar duties and CHARLIE BENANTE of ANTHRAX is drumming for the revamped project. both were close friends of PANTERA and especially the ABBOTT BROTHERS. in spite of whatever moniker this project will be billed as on global festival marquees, this "reunion" for WYLDE and BENANTE is a largely a CELEBRATION of their friends and a means of reintroducing the music of PANTERA to a new generation that was denied access to this seminal group.
and for me, despite my reservations about ANSELMO and BROWN, i believe that this outing will be a NET POSITIVE for the legacy of the band. much as WYLDE has kept the legacy of fall guitar god RANDY RHOADS alive and relevant with his live work supporting OZZY OSBOURNE, i can only see the same being done on behalf of his former drinking buddy DIMEBAG. almost 20 years later its really a quite touching act of LOVE and MUTUAL RESPECT that will no doubt have a new generation of musicians go back and listen to those records and wow over DIMEBAG's genius much as i did as a teenager.
it really is a gift. that is how im choosing to see this, especially since the estates of both DIMEBAG and VINNIE PAUL have cosigned this "reunion." if i can score tickets im there since i only got to see the band once way back on OZZFEST 2000. much like with OASIS, i just want to hear those songs played on that scale again in a big venue. should be AMAZING.
below is a DEER GOD RADIO episode from the summer of 2021 celebrating the music of PANTERA on nonprofit radio station MAKER PARK RADIO. enjoy!