If I was to make a list of the top 10 most important metal bands there is no doubt in my mind that Pantera would make that list. Not because I’m one of the biggest fans in the world but because of the contribution to metal they brought. I discovered Pantera at about the same time as most people did with the release of Vulgar Display of Power. Please don’t contradict me and say that Cowboys from Hell was the big launch point for the band because quite frankly that album didn’t pick up steam until Vulgar was released. But here you have this little band from Texas that came out in the wake of the Seattle, San Fran, and L.A. scene that woke up the world out of the malaise that metal was in at the time. All of the infamous heavy bands were mellowing out or on an extended break at the time, grunge was winding down, the legends were having key personnel changes and it just seemed like metal in general was dying a slow death. But with a lethal mix of hardcore,thrash,groove, and a dash of southern style Pantera quickly became the heaviest band on the planet by the time the Great Southern Trendkill was released.
And with all of that comes the ton of bands that were influenced by Pantera. Lamb of God, Sign of the Southern Cross, Slipknot, and Five Finger Death Punch to name a few. Suddenly there was this whole new breed of bands that were putting the aggression back into metal and revitalizing the hardcore scene. If it wasn’t for Pantera bridging the gap between the thrash era and modern metal post 2000 it’s quite possible that metal would have gone even further underground then it did in the 90’s. And the biggest reason for this I believe was the playing of Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Dimebag’s unique style with tone and riffs made the band what it was and though there have been quite a few imitators none of have come close to the original and in quite a few cases fall completely short. To close this entry out here is the song that I think fully encapsulates what grabbed me about Pantera and what truly made them great.