PANTERA
Groove Metal / Glam Metal / Traditional heavy metal • United States

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Pantera was an extremely popular metal band from Arlington, Texas, formed in 1981. Specifically, some fans consider them power metal, groove metal, or an amalgamation of both (so called "power groove", a term the band devised themselves). Emerging alongside influential classic thrash metal acts such as Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax, Pantera was a key formulator of the post-thrash subgenre of heavy metal music.

At the start of the career the style of Pantera's image and sound was heavily influenced by bands like KISS & Van Halen. At certain stages, Pantera drew more on the popular LA glam scene. The extent to how far Pantera took the glam image is one of many disputes among fans of heavy metal and those who discredit the band's popularity to the 90s; however most of the material on the albums themselves were a contrast to typical glam metal formula. They released three
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Cowboys From HellCowboys From Hell
Atlantic 1990
Audio CD$3.65
$0.77 (used)
Vulgar Display of PowerVulgar Display of Power
Explicit Lyrics
Atlantic 1992
Audio CD$3.49
$0.39 (used)
The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboy's Vulgar HitsThe Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboy's Vulgar Hits
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$7.01
$2.49 (used)
Far Beyond Driven (20th Anniversary Edition)Far Beyond Driven (20th Anniversary Edition)
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$7.43
$6.41 (used)
Great Southern TrendkillGreat Southern Trendkill
Explicit Lyrics
Atlantic 1996
Audio CD$2.45
$0.41 (used)
The Complete Studio Albums 1990-2000 (5 CD)The Complete Studio Albums 1990-2000 (5 CD)
Box set · Remastered
Atlantic Catalog Group 2015
Audio CD$20.36
$25.63 (used)
Official LiveOfficial Live
Explicit Lyrics
Atlantic 1997
Audio CD$2.45
$0.31 (used)
Reinventing the SteelReinventing the Steel
Explicit Lyrics
Atlantic 2000
Audio CD$3.08
$0.32 (used)
Pantera - Original Album Series: 5CD SETPantera - Original Album Series: 5CD SET
Box set · Import
WARNER BROS UK 2012
Audio CD$54.83
$22.72 (used)
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PANTERA Discography

PANTERA albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.20 | 10 ratings
Metal Magic
Glam Metal 1983
.. Album Cover 2.68 | 12 ratings
Projects in the Jungle
Glam Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 3.05 | 11 ratings
I Am the Night
Glam Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 17 ratings
Power Metal
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 4.44 | 93 ratings
Cowboys From Hell
Groove Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.26 | 59 ratings
Vulgar Display of Power
Groove Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.44 | 40 ratings
Far Beyond Driven
Groove Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.09 | 36 ratings
The Great Southern Trendkill
Groove Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.78 | 27 ratings
Reinventing the Steel
Groove Metal 2000

PANTERA EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hostile Mixes
Groove Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Walk
Groove Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hostile Moments
Groove Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Planet Caravan
Groove Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alive and Hostile
Groove Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I'm Broken
Groove Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nosatsu Live
Groove Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cemetery Gates (Demon Knight Edit)
Groove Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Extreme Steel Plus
Groove Metal 2001

PANTERA live albums

.. Album Cover 4.36 | 12 ratings
Official Live: 101 Proof
Groove Metal 1997

PANTERA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cowboys from Hell demos
Groove Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cemetery Gates
Groove Metal 1990

PANTERA boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Driven Downunder Tour '94: Souvenir Collection
Groove Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Singles 1991-1996
Groove Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Unofficial Hits
Groove Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits!
Groove Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Reinventing Hell: The Best of Pantera
Groove Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Hellbound
Groove Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
1990-2000: A Decade of Domination
Groove Metal 2010

PANTERA singles (3)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cowboys from Hell
Groove Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
5 Minutes Alone / The Badge
Groove Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Revolution Is My Name
Groove Metal 2001

PANTERA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Hot 'n Heavy Home Vid
Glam Metal 1985
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
For Those About To Rock: Monsters In Moscow
Groove Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
1.36 | 4 ratings
3 Vulgar Videos From Hell
Groove Metal 1999

PANTERA Reviews

PANTERA Cowboys From Hell

Album · 1990 · Groove Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
A gateway drug to groove metal with this one since it was really not only the first but is perhaps the best the sub has to offer as well. As with many a metal lover out there, i too took this to be the debut album by PANTERA but OMG!!!! NO! It was the fifth album to be exact. I cannot think of a more dramatic change in all of music history and style shift that PANTERA exhibited on COWBOYS FROM HELL from their excruciatingly LAAAAAAME albums that came before and i even like glam metal. After becoming quite the PANTERA fan in the 90s i was absolutely flabbergasted by the fact that they put out albums before this one although the real reason (of my not knowing) is that they themselves disowned their very existence. So in short they evolved from mindless teenage dumbery with songs like “Ride My Rocket” and “Hot And Heavy” to full-on groovilicious thrash romping cuts like “Primal Concrete Sledge,” “Psycho Holiday” and “Message In Blood.”

Right from the beginning of this groove thrash classic we hear a totally original sounding intro that leads to some of the most addictive whiskey-fueled guitar riffin’ laid down to tape. Dimebag Darrell shows no mercy with down-tuned chuggin’ on his guitar while conjuring up the tastiest solos that metal has to offer along with a doomier sound that really allows Rex Brown’s bass to break through the treble wars and in cahoots with Vinnie Paul’s drums and Phil Anselmo’s power meets thrash vocal acrobatics is enough to blow the lid off the Houston Astrodome! I would cite PANTERA as the band that invented groove metal and at this stage on COWBOYS FROM HELL we encounter a perfect amalgamation and intermediary step of their career from the traditional glam metal that got a little too happy in mom’s make up cabinet to the harder edged seriously nihilistic heavier metal of the late 80s and early 90s. The result of which is one of my absolute favorite metal albums of all times for the magic that is unleashed on this album is nothing less than a lightning bolt that strikes a virgin under a rainbow and gives birth to dolphins with endorphin guns that make me feel oooooh sooooo goooood :-P

One other mistaken concept for me was that this was the debut of Phil Anselmo but lo and behold he was on the previous album, which sucks! Anywayz, it doesn’t get better for a serious headbangin’ fool such as myself with a whole menu of diverse tracks that all kick ass but in seriously different ways. The title track sets the stage but the second track “Primal Concrete Sludge” introduces a hypnotic single chord riff that alternates with excellently timed chorus riffs and even an unlikely solo. Acoustic guitar intros are no mystery to metal but how PANTERA handles these on “Cemetery Gates” and “The Sleep” is nothing less than phenomenal as they set up the song ratcheting emotional response that PANTERA excelled at and what about that doom thrash outro on “Domination” with the lightning fast solo adding a layer of tension to it? Damn, this is one of those desert isle picks for me. Never get tired of hearing it and one of the most influential metal albums ever that gave the cheesier side of the genre a serious kick in the arse exactly when it needed it and allowed countless others to join the party.

PANTERA The Great Southern Trendkill

Album · 1996 · Groove Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Necrotica
If there's anything I'd say right off the bat, it's that I've never heard a record quite like The Great Southern Trendkill.

Ever since 1990, Pantera had been working to perfect the groove metal sound, making it sound angrier and heavier with each passing album. Forsaking their glam metal roots and finding their place in the metal landscape, they followed in the footsteps of Metallica's initial 80s thrash sound (primarily because they were dismayed at the band's self-titled 1991 record) and made things heavier and more distorted... and of course groovier. No matter if you were/are a fan of the band or not, there should at least be respect for their tight unified sound with classics like Cowboys From Hell and Vulgar Display of Power. What I mean by that is that the band had a specific focus; they knew exactly what they set out to do: to make disgustingly heavy and pummeling metal music that was aggressive as hell. However, things changed by the time 1995 came around; singer Phil Anselmo started taking heroin and proceeded to distance himself away from the other band members. The chemistry of the band was being altered, and it seemed fitting that they'd take some interesting risks with The Great Southern Trendkill; well, the result still wasn't anything like I thought it'd be.

The music is not only possibly their angriest, but easily the most grim and downright hellish. Fast thrash/groove metal collides with downtrodden acoustic numbers and unusually sludgy guitar work; whether it's the raging anti-tabloid anthem "War Nerve" or the haunting power ballads "10's" and "Floods," there's a distinctly hollow vibe throughout the entire experience. Obviously Pantera's darker side is nothing new; Vulgar Display of Power gave us "Hollow," and Cowboys From Hell gave us songs like "Cemetery Gates" and "The Sleep." Far Beyond Driven certainly had its moments as well, but this album marks the first time that almost the entire record is dominated by such a depressing atmosphere. That's not to say that there aren't the typical Pantera staples, however; for instance, the title track is a pummeling opener that benefits from an extended Dimebag solo and one of Anal Cunt vocalist Seth Putnam's guest screaming performances. This song and the two that come after it form a great opening punch that mixes varied songwriting with the band's typically angry attitude. Performance-wise, the rhythm-section musicians have considerably less time to shine; Dimebag and Phil pretty much run the show as bassist Rex Brown and drummer Vinnie Paul just seem to be the backbone of the experience and not much more. It's really a shame because Rex and Vinnie brought out a lot of creativity in previous records, particularly with Vinnie's rapid fills during the band's faster numbers. When you get down to it, Phil's vocals and the overall atmosphere are really what make this whole thing so fascinating.

This is one of those albums in which the "bigger picture" matters a great deal in how effective it is. When you look at the album's individual parts like the members' performances or specific songs, the experience does seem a bit lackluster compared to previous records. However, it's the way everything's presented as one collective experience that elevates The Great Southern Trendkill a great deal. The way sullen vulnerability and raw anger collide with each other makes for an experience unlike any I've ever heard, and while there are filler tracks like the generic thrasher "Living Through Me" or the plodding groove of "13 Steps to Nowhere," the flaws ironically make the record even more effective. Just as the status of the band was unstable and beginning to fall apart, it's expected that an album based around this fact would indeed be rough around the edges. But aside from that, let's talk about those two other things that makes it so memorable: that grim atmosphere and the vocals. Between the hollow acoustic numbers like "Floods" and "Suicide Note Pt. 1," as well a sludgier number like "10's," it's clear that some odd experimentation was done to the Pantera sound this time around. These songs are arguably more effective than the aggressive tracks, particularly because of Phil's vocal diversity. For the longest time, Pantera fans associated Phil's style as dominated primarily by macho posturing and extremely frequent screams; while these traits definitely get featured in this album as well, his more tender and depressing moments displayed in the ballads prove him (and the band, for that matter) as more than just one-dimensional. On "Suicide Note Pt. 1," for instance, he avoids yelling or screaming and instead opts for a low, brooding vocal performance that depicts the sorrow of the song's lyrics. And that's perhaps what's so great about this record: the atmosphere, as well as the separated nature of the band by this point, created a completely unique Pantera album that combined the group's past fury with an extremely grim atmosphere. As I said before though, this record is best listened to as an entire experience rather than for its individual songs. It truly is a fascinating portrait of a band broken by inner tensions.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

PANTERA Far Beyond Driven

Album · 1994 · Groove Metal
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Vim Fuego
This album is considered a classic. Can someone explain why?

The riffs are excellent, the drumming intense, the vocals brutal. Problem is, Pantera forgot to write any songs. Most of this album is just a few riffs thrown together at random, the odd sub-death metal growl over things, continue for four or five minutes, then do it again. Most of this album is "brutal for brutal's sake", and forget playing music.

Case in point, "Becoming". There is just no flow to the song whatsoever, sounding like someone with Attention Deficit Disorder put it together. Vinnie Paul has the strangest kickdrum sound this side of an old Dismember album. Dimebag's riffs do not run into each other. Phil Anselmo growls monotonously. Rex's bass is there somewhere, and it just gets frustrating, because it should be better.

Dimebag Darrell's guitars are the high point of the album, and also a disappointment. He was a one-of-a-kind player, but seemed intent in showing off. The guitar sound has a killer, crunching tone to it, but almost every song featured a clipped, almost staccato riff in it somewhere.

Phil Anselmo must be one of the worst singers in metal. He has the vocal range of a rutting stag. His vocals are one dimensional, and many of the lyrics incredibly juvenile. `Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills' has to be a contender for one of the worst songs to ever make it to record, so inane are the lyrics.

There are none of the classic headbangers on this album, like "Fucking Hostile" or "Primal Concrete Sledge" or "Domination". `Vulgar Display Of Power' suffered a little of the disjointed song writing too, yet the other albums either side of this pair are excellent.

Pantera seemed to be doing everything they could to distance themselves their early career `Glamtera' days by being as brutal as possible. They were also trying to distance themselves from the days when they were compared to Metallica. So they copied Exhorder's sound instead, note perfect but without the songs to back it up. Before being reissued, Exhorder's albums sold second hand for many times the original price. At the same time, `Far Beyond Driven' turned up in the bargain bin.

This is simply just not good music

PANTERA The Singles 1991-1996

Boxset / Compilation · 1996 · Groove Metal
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Vim Fuego
Usually when a band puts together a singles collection, it's a post-career cash in. Not Pantera. Usually when a band puts together a singles collection, several sub-standard covers get jammed onto the album next to boring alternate mixes of the band's originals. Not Pantera.

Nope, this definitely isn't the average singles collection at all. It was released in 1996, near the band's creative peak, and they were still at the top of their game as a live unit too. Instead of being a bunch of ropey covers, it's mostly live tracks with a couple of alternate mixes thrown in. And best of all, this release is six of the band's singles, the full versions in their original state, on six separate discs.

The A-sides are mostly reasonably well done. "I'm Broken" is a staccato stomping headbanger which Pantera used to do so well, while "Five Minutes Alone" continues the band's distinctive tight stop/start sound. "Mouth For War" is Pantera at their very best. There is nothing subtle about the song whatsoever. Phil Anselmo spits out spiteful lyrics, while Vinnie Paul comes to the fore with some powerhouse drumming. "Walk" lurches along drunkenly, oddly one of Pantera's worst songs, but also one of their best loved. Anselmo's vocals are strong, but the rest of the song seems poorly thought through. The uncompromising nature of Pantera's own music made their very faithful cover of Black Sabbath's weed fuelled "Planet Caravan" a highly unexpected addition to `Far Beyond Driven'. Pantera was so taken by the song that it released two versions of the single. Anselmo nailed Ozzy Osbourne's dreamy vocals with apparent ease.

However, in any collection of this nature, it's the B-sides which tell the tale. As expected, there are some dud tracks, but by and large, this is a strong compilation. The studio tracks here are a good cross section of Pantera's material. The vicious "Rise" is powerful, and about as close as Pantera ever came to full on thrash, while in contrast, "Cemetery Gates" is a sensitive yet hard hitting power ballad. Thankfully, it is the full version, and not the criminally edited "radio" version. Also included are the ripping "Slaughtered", "Primal Concrete Sledge" and "By Demons Be Driven", as well as the previously mentioned "Walk" and the ill-conceived "A New Level".

The other cover besides "Planet Caravan" is a rocking romp through Poison Idea's "The Badge", which appeared on `The Crow' soundtrack.

Industrial wizard Jim Thirwell remixed "Walk", but inexplicably, did so very badly. "Walk (Cervical Dub Extended)" is a pretty poor cut up of the song with a few electronic beats added. The same marching tempo has been retained, and some of the effects used are irritating. "Walk (Cervical Edit)" is even worse, basically keeping the song intact but running the vocals through a harmonizer and adding some background noises. However, Justin Broaderick's "By Demons Be Driven (Biochemical Mix)" adds a demonic menace to an already aggressive song, building up the bottom end and emphasising the piledriver beat.

The live tracks are where this collection really shines. The two live tracks, "Cowboys From Hell" and Heresy" backing “Mouth For War" are real gems, in that they come from `Cowboys From Hell' and were recorded in 1990, when the band was finding it's feet as a heavy metal band, leaving behind it’s earlier glam metal stylings. Much of the bluster of later live recordings is missing, but it's obvious the band is giving it everything. The intro to "Heresy" is particularly impressive, with some fine guitar work from Dimebag, and the tempo kicked up a few notches. Both tracks can be compared to versions recorded in 1992, showing a tighter and clearer but no less aggressive sound. Live versions of "Domination" and "Primal Concrete Sledge" came from the legendary 1991 Freedom Concert in Moscow, where in support of AC/DC, Metallica and the Black Crowes, Pantera played to an estimated crowd of more than 500,000 people. The crushing final riff and a ripping Dimebag solo from "Domination" went down a treat live.

This collection is a nice collector’s item, bound in a double sized double gatefold digipak. While it could be seen as a bit of a cash in, there is almost two hours of music here, and it would be very difficult to track down all six singles individually.

PANTERA Reinventing the Steel

Album · 2000 · Groove Metal
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UMUR
"Reinventing the Steel" is the 9th full-length studio album by US groove/thrash metal act Pantera. The album was released through East West Records in March 2000. It would be the last studio album by Pantera as disagrements between lead vocalist Phil Anselmo and guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul led to the band breaking up in 2003. There were at the time several rumours of a reunion but those were effectively stopped when Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed onstage in December 2004 while performing with his brother and their new act Damageplan. The disagreements had started much earlier though and things hadn´t been well in the Pantera camp for a while. Most sources say they started as early as 1995 when Anselmo´s heroin habit took form. But while the vocalist and the rest of the band had recorded their parts at different locations when recording "The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)", they recorded "Reinventing the Steel" together.

After releasing what is arguably their most "experimental" album in "The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)", the band have returned to a more groove oriented and accessible style on "Reinventing the Steel". Dimebag Darrell still utilize odd ideas in his playing such as the use of pitchshifter, but ultimately "Reinventing the Steel" is a groove based metal album that´ll make your head bang hard and your body move in spastic jerks. Every track on the album features quality groovy riffs, rythmic drumming (at times rather complex) and Phil Anselmo´s raw yet melodic vocals. The clear and powerful sound production is perfect for the band´s music and helps further emphasise what a well playing band Pantera were. Tracks like "Hellbound", "Death Rattle" and "You´ve got to Belong to It" are sharp and beyond aggressive, but the band also excel in great memorable melodies which are heard in tracks like "Goddamn Electric", "Yesterday Don´t Mean Shit" and "Revolution is My Name".

Upon release I remember I wasn´t too fond of "Reinventing the Steel" and I´ll admit I haven´t listened much to the album over the years. It was like it just never really clicked with me. Fortunately some albums grow on you given the right amount of time, and after listening to "Reinventing the Steel" before writing this review, it struck me how great this album actually is. It´s not Pantera´s most groundbreaking or adventurous release, but it packs a ton of punch and combines that with memorable songwriting to great effect. The quality does drop towards the end of the album and tracks like "It Makes Them Disappear" and "I'll Cast a Shadow" last too long, lack memorable hooks and are just generally below the usual standard of the band, but still a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is warranted.

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