Category Archives: Pantera

Link to watch the live stream of Metal Masters 5 tomorrow (Wednesday).

Watch the live stream of Metal Masters 5 tomorrow (Wednesday). The Metal Masters 5 lineup is loaded with a star-studded cast of metal musicians. As in years past, the show will start with a brief clinic offering some tips and tricks, and will end with an all-star jam session of metal cover songs. Confirmed guests include:

– Philip Anselmo (Pantera/Down)
– Kerry King (Slayer)
– Gary Holt (Slayer/Exodus)
– Charlie Benante (Anthrax)
– Frank Bello (Anthrax)
– Scott Ian (Anthrax)
– David Ellefson (Megadeth)
– Chris Broderick (Megadeth)
– Billy Sheehan (Winery Dogs)
– Mike Portnoy (Winery Dogs)
– Rex Brown (Pantera/Kill Devil Hill).
– Chuck Billy (Testament)
+ special guests TBA!

Decible magazine: That Time Monte Pittman Taught Madonna a Pantera Riff

We all knew Dime’s influence went beyond metal. Check out this article, it’s a better read than you think.

By Jeanne Fury

Some time around 2008, the internet became flooded with YouTube clips of Madonna playing a Pantera song on guitar on her Sticky & Sweet tour. Naturally, portions of the human population became severely butt-hurt and decided such a false display of metal was blasphemous, so they took to the comments section of metal websites to air their many grievances. That’ll show Madonna! Meanwhile, the earth continued to spin on its axis, and the butt-hurt people went about being butt-hurt about many other things.

Not surprisingly, nobody was interested in why Madonna was playing Pantera. Well, Madonna’s guitar teacher Monte Pittman is the man with the answer. Pittman has a metal pedigree, having played alongside Tommy Victor in Prong, and the guy grew up near Dallas, so he was pretty familiar with Pantera’s repertoire. Oh, also, Dimebag had something to do with it.

You’ll read more about Pittman in an upcoming issue of Decibel, but for now, here’s the story, as told by the man himself:

There are so many little details that led to it. It wasn’t like one thing that happened. That goes back to me playing in Prong. There was a Prong show we played in Dallas. That’s the closest place to where I’m from that we played. Dimebag came to the show. He came early, around sound check to say hi to everybody. Tommy Victor was introducing me to Dimebag. It’s just me, Tommy, and Dime backstage at the Galaxy. Tommy’s saying, “This is the new guy; he’s playing guitar with us.” Dime kind of knew about me from the area because I had a band there, [longtime Pantera producer] Sterling Winfield did our last album, so there was a little bit of a familiarity. And Dime was saying, “Do you guys do ‘Cut Rate’?” And we’re like, “Yep.” He’s like, “That’s one of my favorite Prong songs ever.” And he’s looking at me, like, “You can do the solo, right? You got that part?” And he was kinda singing out how the solo went. And I said, “Yeah, that’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to play because the song does not let up.” And we played it faster than how it was on the album. He said, “You gotta stay on top of that string!” And I’m like, “Yep, I know, yep.”

Fast forward years later, I’m playing bass with Prong. We were playing in Oklahoma City and we’re exhausted, doing a lot of traveling and playing every day. And we played that song, and I had to play that on the bass, which is even harder [than playing it on guitar]. And I’m thinking, “How did Paul Raven do that?!” Then this voice went off in my head: You gotta stay on top of that string. And I realized what Dime had been saying to me. When you play fast, your pick naturally goes away from the string, but it doesn’t need to go far away from the string. And so I kind of realized what he was saying, and that changed my right-hand technique forever.

Now fast forward again, we’re getting ready for a Madonna tour [Sticky & Sweet]. She and I go back and forth [practicing the guitar]. We work on some left-hand things, then we work on some right-hand things. I said, “Let’s work on your right hand. Here are some techniques.” Then I told her the story about how Dime told me, “You gotta stay on top of that string.” That kinda led to me filling her in on the whole story of Pantera and how that relates to me. They weren’t just a band that I found out about—that was our hometown heroes.

The next day, she comes back, and on the guitar I could tell she had been practicing what I told her. She was just chugga chugga chugga on the guitar. I was like, “Wow! That’s so much better! That’s a huge difference.” She said, “Yep. You gotta stay on top of that string.”

And so at the same time, she had gotten a new musical director. He wanted to do her song “Hung Up” with her playing guitar. But it’s in D minor. That would be a great segue to me showing her drop D tuning on the guitar. So I was showing her the song, and I was like, “You know what, I gotta teach you some Pantera.” So I showed her the riff to “A New Level” because I thought it would be easy to remember how the notes just move up chromatically, one at a time. She loved that. She kept playing that all the time.

When we were in band rehearsals doing “Hung Up,” once we ended the song, she would start going into that Pantera riff. The rest of Madonna’s band, they’re not really familiar with that music, so they just started playing what she was playing. Every day in rehearsal when we would end that song, we would just start playing that riff. I thought, “Oh that’s cool, that’s fun.”

But then all of a sudden, you would start to see, like, some runners bring water in to stock the refrigerator. And the tour manager just happens to walk in, doing something. All of these people just started showing up at rehearsals who are there working, but just kinda popping their head in the door, like, “Hey I wanna see Madonna play that Pantera part again.”

And it stayed [and became part of the live show]. I was surprised that it stayed. Of course, I’m not gonna say no. When else am I gonna get to play Pantera on a stage in a stadium? But it stayed, and that’s where that story came from.

Here’s Madonna and Pittman performing “Hung Up” and getting their Pantera on beginning at the 4:27 mark.


Sterling Winfield: (Pantera) had the ability to not only talk the talk, but they could walk the walk, and they could walk it all over your fucking face. They had raw power.

(Pantera) had the ability to not only talk the talk, but they could walk the walk, and they could walk it all over your fucking face. They had raw power. That’s what they were all about, just unforgiving. Pantera were the forefathers. They could assault your senses and have you beg for more. They had this energy, and they not only delivered these cutting-edge albums, but each one broke the last one’s mold. Engineer Sterling Winfield on Recording Vangough and Working with Pantera. Read it here:

Dimebag Darrell spoke to Guitar World in May 2002 about the Pantera song he would most like to be remembered for.

“I think the kind of music we play will stand the test of time for however long. But if I had to pick just one, I’d go with the powerful, off-the-cuff statement that is ‘Fucking Hostile.’

“When it came out it definitely set the tone and pace for what we were about. I also think our boy Philip [Anselmo, vocals] got it perfectly right lyrically and we got it perfectly right musically.

“So I believe that if somebody heard this song 500 million years from now, they’d go, ‘Goddamn, these motherfuckers knew what they were talking about and sure had their jamming skills down’. Plus, I think people will always be hostile, which is another reason I went with this one.”

-“Dimebag Darrell Abbott

ARTISTdirect posted what they believe are the top 10 Dimebag Darrell Pantera riffs.

Every riff Dimebag Darrell recorded for Pantera could be considered legendary. Let’s just get that out of the way first off. The man was one of the greatest to ever pick up a guitar, and he’s responsible for an entire generation of players. So, that said, narrowing down a list to the “Top Ten Dimebag Darrell Pantera Riffs” wasn’t easy…but we did it anyway.

Dime tragically passed away nine years ago on December 8, but his spirit shines through in every note he cut to tape. Once again to honor his memory, editor in chief Rick Florino and co-founder and DevilDriver guitarist Jeff Kendrick and DevilDriver drummer John Boecklin assembled a list of ten. Now, this took a ton of back and forth, but we think we nailed it…

Click here to visit ARTISTdirect and seehear the clips they selected.

Metal Insider’s Top 5: Bands Who Released Three Great Albums In A Row.

From Metal Insider:

While Pantera was a popular regional glam band, when Phil Anselmo joined in 1987, the band started evolving. Power Metal was heavier than anything the other band had joined, evoking the album’s title more than their previous three albums. Yet they got much heavier for their major label debut. Vulgar Display is simply one of the best metal albums ever, and needs no explanation. Yet instead of following that album up with a Vulgar Display part two, Far Beyond Driven was heavier than either of its predecessors in every aspect. In fact, the band’s album-closing cover of Black Sabbaths’ “Planet Caravan” is one of the only times the album lets up.

Click here to visit Metal Insider and see the other bands selected. recalls Pantera’s final concert.

Andy Greene
November 14, 2013 2:50 PM

Pantera were in pretty rough shape by the time their Extreme Steel tour touched down at the Beast Feast in Yokohama, Japan on August 26th, 2001. They’d spent the past couple of months on the road with Slayer, Static-X, Skrape and Morbid Angel and were playing to huge crowds, but long-simmering internal tensions and addiction issues were starting boil over.

“The tour seemed to go on forever,” bassist Rex Brown wrote in his memoir, Official Truth, 101 Proof. “The financial offers were great, but because we felt like we were in a marriage that was going south, that just didn’t matter anymore. Something had to give sooner rather than later.”

Read the entire article here:

Ex-PANTERA Bassist REX BROWN Guests On ‘Talking Metal’ Podcast (Audio)

Former PANTERA and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown was interviewed on episode 444 of the “Talking Metal” podcast (link textweb site). You can now listen to the podcast using the audio player below. (Note: The Brown chat begins around the 27-minute mark.)

KILL DEVIL HILL is the band featuring legendary drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL) alongside Rex Brown, Mark Zavon (RATT, W.A.S.P., 40 CYCLE HUM) on guitar and Jason “Dewey” Bragg (PISSING RAZORS) on vocals.…

‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott Wins Loudwire’s Greatest Metal Guitarist Tournament

As originally posted on here.

In a competition that started out with 32 of metal’s finest axe-slingers and shredders, and featured well over a million votes, late Pantera legend ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott has emerged victorious in Loudwire’s Greatest Metal Guitarist tournament.

The fan-voted competition took some unexpected twists and turns during its one-month run, with early favorites like Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and late virtuoso Randy Rhoads being ousted by the likes of Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates and Tool’s Adam Jones in the bracket-style tournament.

In fact, it was the Tool guitarist who made it all the way to the final round against Dimebag. And with about 12 hours left, the championship match was a virtual tie, with only a few votes separating the two remaining contenders. However, Pantera’s legions of fans came through in the final stretch, leading Dimebag to the ultimate victory.

Dimebag’s path to victory wasn’t an easy one, as he also beat such accomplished musicians as Zakk Wylde and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci along the way. While the debate will continue well beyond our tournament, in many ways it can be argued that Dimebag was the ultimate metal guitarist. He took what he learned from the likes of Iommi, Rhoads and Joe Satriani and made it his own. He then went on to influence a generation of guitarists who came after him.

With all the votes in from you, the fans, Loudwire proudly declares the late great ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott as the Greatest Metal Guitarist. Getcha pull!

Extreme Steel Tour – Pantera, Slayer, Static-X, Skrape, Morbid Angel – June 21st, 2001 – Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum

Read the review in it’s entirety on here.

“Thankfully I have most of Pantera’s discography so I was able to appreciate their set. Perhaps because this is their third tour in support of Reinventing the Steel they only played two songs off of the newest release – “Goddamn Electric” and “Revolution Is My Name.” In front of a huge steel wall of amps and speakers, they played such classics as “Mouths of War,” “Becoming,” “5 Minutes Alone” and “I’m Broken.” Phil, who I heard was much more coherent than he was at the three shows at Hammerstein, took time to talk between most every song in the set. Mentioning those shows, and the turnout this night, he thanked New York for all of the support that the fans have always given the band. He also said that this would be the last time, for a long time, that Pantera would be coming around. After three tours they are going to take some time off. While a friend of mine thought it sounded like a good-bye, perhaps forever, the love that was shown the band by the packed house has got to be enough to keep them together and bring them back. The fans were going nuts screaming along, head banging and moshing throughout the set. Later on, Phil took a time out to thank all of the New York bands that they are friendly with, including Type O Negative, Anthrax and Biohazard. I mention that because both Scott Ian of Anthrax and Evan from Biohazard came up and did guest vocals with the band.

As per usual, Pantera wrapped things up with “Walk,” sending the crowd into a frenzy of singing along and head banging. Dimebag proved yet again that he is one of, if not the, best heavy metal guitarists ever by hitting into every riff hard and accurately, even adding some improvisational notes from time to time. He literally threw out boxes of picks after they finished, giving the now half-deaf hardcore fans up front cool mementoes to go along with the inevitable ringing in their ears.

If my idiot friend is eventually proven right, which I sincerely hope he isn’t, and this was Pantera’s last New York show ever, then the Texas metal gods went out with a bang.

Reviewed by: Scott Olivenbaum”…

abc News: Pantera Lines Up All-Metal Festival

Originally from here.

After two years of Ozzfest excess, Pantera will play leader this year with the upcoming Extreme Steel Tour, the band’s own metal festival, sans the hip or the hop. With Slayer, Static-X, Skrape, and Morbid Angel scheduled as the appetizers and Pantera as the main dish, there’s a distinct absence of Korn or Bizkit additives in the recipe. This trend-defying Texas-based band doesn’t dignify the enormously successful rap-meets-metal scene.

“We will always do our thing no matter what trends go on around us, that’s why we’ve lasted 12 years at this level,” says Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. “We’ve outlasted all bands and phases to this point and fully expect to outlast hip-hop, rap metal.”

For the past decade, Pantera has been doing more than surviving. Born out of a common love for unadulterated, in-your-face metal rock, Philip Anselmo (vocals), Dimebag Darrell (guitar), Rex Brown (bass), and Paul live life like they play music — hard. From their 1990 breakthrough disc Cowboys From Hell to last year’s Reinventing the Steel, the band hasn’t wavered in its commitment to unrelenting heavy grooves and dark, brooding vocals.

Yet, as far as their lifestyle is concerned, Pantera has mellowed to some degree.

“I’d say we’re all lucky not to be dead,” says Paul. This statement takes an even greater significance considering that lead singer Anselmo came as close to death as possible from an overdose of heroin a few years back.

“Four years ago, he got sidetracked and for some reason wanted to go into some heavier stuff,” said Paul. “Everybody knows the story — he wound up OD’ing and he was actually dead for five minutes and it was a hard lesson to learn for everybody, but it was a good lesson to learn. When we party, we party … but it ain’t none of that cocaine and none of that crap. It’s strictly what I would consider recreational where you wake up the next day and you might have a little headache and you continue doing what you do.”

What Pantera does is rock, in the most bare-boned sense of the word. The band is the heir apparent to the pre-MTV Metallica. If today’s Metallica is all about the rags-to-rock-star lifestyle, Pantera is the group’s stubborn bastard child, with an open container and the pedal floored.

The members of Pantera are at a point in their career where redundancy is a constant threat. That is, while the band remains committed to black-and-blue metal, the act must walk a fine line between keeping it real and just keeping it going.

Commenting on an Anselmo quote, “We are the kings of heavy metal,” Paul says, “That is our place in music and we proudly carry the torch high. The only pressure we feel is to not let ourselves or our fans down.” — John Benson

June 20 — New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, Conn.
June 21 — Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
June 22 — First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
June 23 — Centrum, Worcester, Mass.
June 25 — Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario
June 27 — Civic Arena, Huntington, W.Va.
June 29 — Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.
June 30 — Detroit, Mich.
July 1 — CSU Center, Cleveland, Ohio
July 3 — Allstate Arena, Chicago, Ill.
July 5 — Excel Energy Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
July 6 — FargoDome, Fargo, N.D.
July 8 — US Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
July 9 — Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Mo.
July 11 — Denver Coliseum, Denver, Colo.
July 14 — Smirnoff Music Center, Dallas, Texas
July 17 — America West Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
July 18 — Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.
July 19 — Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, Calif.
July 21 — Cox Arena, San Diego, Calif.
July 22 — Centennial Gardens, Bakersfield, Calif.
July 23 — San Jose Arena, San Jose, Calif.
July 25 — Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash.
July 26 — Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia …

Metal-Rules review of Pantera show Feb 8, 2001

As originally posted on here.

I was not sure what to expect from PANTERA. This was my fourth time seeing them, so I’m pretty familiar with the basic features of the show: lots of blistering thrash metal, Phil riling up the crowd with familiar homilies such as, “There you are, the marijuana smokers of ___________!” (fill in current geographical locality), and a generally testosterone-flavored evening. Pantera checked off all the boxes, but instead of merely business-as-usual they gave an excellent and above all fun show. Their set list contained a large number of tracks from their new album, “Reinventing The Steel” (“Goddamn Electric” and “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit,” for instance), but I think this helped their set tremendously. The new tracks, while no one in particular stands out, are all groove-oriented, fun songs, and from this experience I wonder if they weren’t written specifically to be performed in concert. Dimebag Darrell, while hamming it up for Ice Maiden’s camera, approached his material, both new and old, with the competent but light-hearted touch we’ve come to expect from him. (Ice Maiden’s Commentary: Dimebag smiled at me and stuck out his tongue for the camera! I feel so honored! 😉 ). Phil was probably at his best. Gone is the hyperactive, shaven-headed lunatic from the “Vulgar Video” days, and in his old(er) age Mr. Anselmo has actually mellowed a bit without losing his edge. In fact, compared to his appearance and performance the second time I saw Pantera, in December 1997, Phil has improved remarkably. In recent years his voice has tended toward a gravelly, drug-addled moan. Not so at this show: his tones were clear, his vocals strong, and he even managed to find a melody or two. As if announcing the return of his fairly formidable vocal talent, Phil teased the crowd by singing the opening of “Cemetery Gates.” That would have been a treat if he’d have continued! (Ice Maiden’s Commentary: I had heard horror stories about Phil staggering around at shows too drunk to sing. I must say, I was really pleasantly surprised. He didn’t seem that intoxicated, was lucid, and actually sounded good! Bonus. )

Phil AnselmoWhile I’m not usually partial to the between-song soliloquies of frontmen, something Phil said turned out to be the highlight of the show. Apparently he noticed someone toward the front of the crowd wearing an old Venom shirt, and he commented favorably on it. He urged the crowd to go back to the roots of heavy metal and discover the old, classic albums that are the backbone of the genre. Then he snarled, “I’m talking to the kids in the Slipknot T-shirts right now!” which elicited long and sustained applause. While a bit hypocritical (Phil Anselmo is, after all, single-handedly to blame for the introduction of Coal Chamber), I thought this was a brilliant touch, and a perfect middle finger to raise in the direction of Pantera’s growing legions of critics who claim their appeal to young, unsophisticated listeners has somehow magically transformed their meaty thrash metal into mallcore. Pantera are still a metal band, and a damn good one.

Pantera’s emphasis at this show was clearly on giving the crowd a good time, and they succeeded. My only real complaint is the lack of certain older songs. While Pantera seem to acknowledge the obligation to play at least “Cowboys From Hell” and “Fucking Hostile,” their far-and-away best song — “Mouth For War” — was not even attempted here, and some other fine gems from albums past (“Five Minutes Alone,” anyone?) were conspicuously missing. (Ice Maiden’s Commentary: They played “Fucking Hostile.” I was happy. But he certainly could have eliminated about three of the overly-long and tiresome ballads. How many Pantera fans really want to hear Anselmo sing a ballad? Ok, besides Muertos? My personal opinion is that I watch Pantera to hear aggressive music that sounds like it is being spit out in a venomous rage. Don’t be given me any wussy ballads. Also, Phil needs to chill a bit on the rants. One or two good ones is fun. More than that and I start wishing they would play a little music.) However, the lack of old stuff did not significantly detract from the energy or punch of the show as a whole. By the time the encore ended with flames spouting out of an impressive larger-than-life steel Pantera logo, the crowd was very satisfied. There was even something here to titillate fans of Pantera’s infamous home videos (“Watch It Go,” et. al.). Phil and Dime were chucking cups of beer into the crowd, and camcorder addict Bobby Arntberger could be seen recording the mayhem as usual. I did not, however, see “Big Val” as I did the last time Pantera played Portland. Bummer!

For the rest of the review that includes Morbid Angel, Soulfly, and more pics, check out the metal Rules site here.