Pantera Controversy: Is It Really Necessary to Avoid the Pantera Reunion?

The news that the two remaining Pantera members, Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown, will go on a “reunion” tour in 2023 is perhaps one of the biggest headlines the metal community will encounter this year.

The vocalist and bassist of the renowned groove metal band are represented by Dennis Arfa and Peter Pappalardo, and Artist Group International has signed a contract to plan their North American tour dates. According to the latter company, “We are pleased to be partnering with such a legendary band and bringing their music back to the fans.”

Anselmo and Brown travel back in time and perform a number of their songs

Unquestionably, a lot of individuals are thrilled about the possibility of getting to see Anselmo and Brown travel back in time and perform a number of their songs, which will surely feature songs like “Walk” and “Cowboys from Hell,” which are among the most significant in metal. Anselmo Brown, the famed guitarist “Dimebag” Darell Abbott, and his brother and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott made up the band’s iconic lineup in 1987 after it had through a series of lineup changes since its 1981 founding.

pantera controversy

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The Arlington, Texas-based band rose to new heights over the course of the following year with albums like 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power and 1994’s Far Beyond Driven after first being well-known with their fifth album, 1990’s Cowboys from Hell. The band’s key components included guitarist Dimebag and his Dean ML, whose powerful sound contributed to the creation of the groove metal subgenre.

This characteristic, which was frequently enhanced by a flanger

This characteristic, which was frequently enhanced by a flanger, allowed them to differentiate themselves from their contemporaries and offer something fresh to the metal scene. Without Dimebag, you could say goodbye to the music of bands like Korn, Slipknot, and many more.

The band split up in 2003 due to internal strife, with Reinventing the Steel, their ninth album from 2000, serving as their final release. Anselmo worked on a variety of different projects, including the supergroup Down, after Pantera, while Darrell, Vinnie, and others formed Damageplan. Brown not only performed with performers like Jerry Cantrell and Crowbar, but he also temporarily joined the band Down.

Even though there was still hostility between Anselmo and the Abbotts, until tragedy struck in December 2004, the post-Pantera world seemed to be progressing fairly smoothly. At the opening of Damageplan’s performance on December 8 at Columbus, Ohio’s Alrosa Villa, a disturbed fan named Nathan Gale attacked the stage and shot Dimebag numerous times. He was declared deceased there at the age of only 38.

pantera controversy

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Of course, the metal scene was destroyed. They misplaced one of their favorite characters. Along with hundreds of admirers, his homage was attended by many notable members of the community, including Zakk Wylde, Corey Taylor, and Jerry Cantrell. The renowned black-and-yellow “Bumblebee” guitar that Eddie Van Halen memorably donated was also in the coffin. He claimed that Dime was an original and that only an original is deserving of an original burial.

We begin with this. Because he was so distinctive, Dimebag Darrell was Pantera in many ways. Without him, these wouldn’t have occurred. If he were to be replaced by another well-known guitarist, such as Zakk Wylde, who is rumored to be taking his position for Anselmo and Brown’s 2023 tour, it simply wouldn’t be the same.

They differed because of him. Without Kurt Cobain or Jimmy Page, it is almost impossible to envision Led Zeppelin or Nirvana.

The fact that Vinnie Paul isn’t on the 2023 tour, despite his passing in 2018, adds to the strong feeling that Pantera isn’t on it. He strengthened the group’s rhythm by providing equally intense drumming to counterbalance his brother’s powerful riffs, giving Pantera their now-iconic sound.

Despite everything, there is one more reason to dislike Anselmo and Brown’s decision to get back together, and that is the former’s earlier, inevitable comments on race. The controversial Pantera concert that took place in Montreal in 1995 must be our first point of attention. In this comment, Anselmo said that Pantera had friends “of all races and all varieties” and that they were “not a racist band.” However, Anselmo added a caveat, saying he had a problem with Black rappers “pissing all over white culture.”

He argued that white people should be more enthused about their history

Anselmo allegedly continued by saying that it was appropriate to kill white people despite the African-American community’s calls to cease “Black on Black violence.” He argued that white people should be more enthused about their history. It’s a white thing tonight, he declared.

Due to the justified criticism, Anselmo received for his outburst, coupled with other murmurs, they became specters that followed him throughout his life and career.

As a result, Anselmo ultimately apologized for making “harmful comments that may have racially insulted our audience.”

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Anselmo’s outburst further polarized the vocalist, who was already divided, as some forgave and forgot it while others did not. But in January 2016, after the usual “Dimebash” tribute to the late Dimebag, a video of the Pantera vocalist surfaced on YouTube.

Following his performance, Anselmo was seen on film doing the Nazi salute and shouting “white power” at the crowd. Anselmo caused a never-before-seen fury by stating he was joking about drinking “white wine,” which he claimed was some type of backstage internal joke among the musicians.

The “internal joke of the night” was that we were drinking fucking white wine

pantera controversy

The “internal joke of the night” was that we were drinking fucking white wine, he admitted in a comment on the original YouTube clip. “OK guys, I’ll own this one, but dammit, I was kidding,” he wrote.

You need to develop thicker skin in some of you. There are many jerks to pick on whose objectives are more sensible. I genuinely love everybody, and I really hate everybody. I’ll not apologize.