Pantera's beginnings date back to the early '80s when the Texas-based band began releasing albums for the Metal Magic label. Originally, the band featured then-teenaged brothers Darrell (aka Dimebag Darrell and, for a short while, Diamond Darrell) and Vinnie Paul Abbott (aka Vinnie Paul), as well as Rex Brown (aka Rex Rocker) and Terrence Lee (aka Terry Glaze). They debuted in 1983 with Metal Magic, followed by Projects in the Jungle in 1984 and I Am the Night in 1985. Singer Phil Anselmo then replaced Glaze, and the group went on to record Power Metal, an album released in 1988 that eventually scored the group a deal with East West. While these '80s albums are no doubt curious to hear, it's fairly evident that this was a much different Pantera. For the most part, fans and surely the band treat Cowboys From Hell as Pantera's "official" debut album featuring the group's longtime lineup: Anselmo (vocals), Dimebag Darrell (guitar), Vinnie Paul (drums), and Rex Brown (bass). This album put Pantera on the national metal map, particularly thanks to songs like "Cemetery Gates" and the title track.
|Two years later, Pantera
returned with Vulgar Display of Power and solidified their status as an
up-and-coming metal band with a unique sound. It took a while, but Vulgar
Display of Power began to make serious waves among metalheads. MTV
certainly played a role, putting the band's videos into relatively heavy
rotation, but more than anything, positive word of mouth and explosive
live performances did wonders for Pantera, who had a very unique sound for
the time. When Far Beyond Driven hit the streets in 1994, Pantera had
become the most popular band in the metal land. The album debuted atop the
Billboard album charts -- quite a feat for such extreme
music -- and the
band continued its seemingly never-ending
string of tours, packing sports arenas across America.
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Dimebag Darrell Guitars