Pantera was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas, formed by the Abbott brothers, Vinnie Paul Abbott (drums) and "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott (guitar) in 1981. Bassist Rex Brown would join in 1982 with vocalist Terry Glaze. In 1987 Phil Anselmo would become the group's lead vocalist, completing the band's successful lineup that would remain together for 16 years.
The band became a key formulator of the post-thrash metal subgenre, groove metal. It would not be until nine years after forming that the band saw its first piece of commercial success in its 1990 major label debut, Cowboys from Hell. From there, Pantera became one of the most celebrated heavy metal bands of the 1990s. Despite the generally negative reception of the band's first four albums from the 1980s, critics lauded Pantera's style thereafter; Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic.com stated "there was no greater metal band during the early to mid-1990s than Pantera." The band has received accolades such as ranking 45th on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" and fifth on MTV's "Top 10 Greatest Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time."
Pantera began to suffer from mounting tensions between the band members in the mid-1990s, largely due to Phil Anselmo's drug abuse. Anselmo had had a back injury for several years, and instead of getting proper treatment, began using heroin as a painkiller. As a result his behavior became erratic and volatile, his performances suffered and he began to distance himself from his bandmates, who were initially unaware of his addiction.
In 2001, the band went on hiatus and was never able reunite, with the Abbott brothers unable to communicate with Anselmo, who was immersed in several side-projects, chiefly Down and Superjoint Ritual. Pantera officially disbanded in 2003 and a war of words ensued, with Phil and Vinnie Paul trading inflammatory comments and blaming one another for the break-up of Pantera via the media. Any hope of the band members ever reconciling their differences and possibly reuniting was lost in 2004, when "Dimebag" Darrell was shot and killed on-stage at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio by gunman Nathan Gale while performing with his new band, Damageplan.
- Phil Anselmo – lead vocals (1987–2003)
- Dimebag Darrell – guitar, backing vocals (1981–2003)
- Rex Brown – bass, backing vocals (1982–2003)
- Vinnie Paul Abbott – drums, percussion (1981–2003)
- Terry Glaze – rhythm guitar (1981–1982), lead vocals (1982–1986)
- Kerry King (Slayer) – outro guitar on Goddamn Electric from Reinventing the Steel (2000)
- Seth Putnam (Anal Cunt) – voices on The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)
- Marc Ferrari – backing vocals, rhythm guitar on Power Metal (1988)
- Metal Magic (1983)
- Projects in the Jungle (1984)
- I Am the Night (1985)
- Power Metal (1988)
- Cowboys From Hell (1990)
- Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
- Far Beyond Driven (1994)
- The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)
- Reinventing the Steel (2000)
- Official Live: 101 Proof (1997)
- The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits! (2003)
- 1990-2000: A Decade Of Domination (2003)