By now, you sure know that in the night between June 22 and 23 Vinnie Paul, legendary founding member and drummer of Pantera, left us at just 54. More than fourteen years from that tragic December 8, 2004, when a madman killed his brother Dimebag; there won't be anyone from the founding core of the historic Texan band on any stage, neither with Damageplan nor with Hellyeah. Sadly, the metal scene has lost two legends that have influenced many bands and gathered huge crowds at their shows.
Aside from my personal close relationship with Pantera, the band that introduced me to hard sounds when I was sixteen, or from the great records they have created ("Cowboys From Hell" and "Vulgar Display Of Power" are my favorite), I believe that the story of Dimebag and Vinnie deserves a moment of reflection, as it is really human and therefore close to each one of us. Highs and lows, attempts at finding one's own road, interrupted personal relationships, excesses, brotherhood, mourning, and the need to go on have characterized the career of the quartet from Texas, and its following embodiments.
The Abbott brothers went through a long and not amazing period in the hair metal scene, they had received as many as twentythree rejections by labels until 1989, when luck brought Atco Records' Mark Ross from a Tangier show to see Pantera instead at a… birthday party! That beginning was so traumatic that it has completely been removed, in a textbook freudian move: even their official discography on the website completely ignores their glam era! After that, they also had to deal with the genius and folly of a singer coming from New Orleans (Phil Anselmo), which allowed a first qualitative leap with his irreverent and dramatic style. They have lived step by step together with death (and sex, drugs/alcohol, and rock'n'roll), such as that time in '96 when Phil overdosed and was miraculously saved; perhaps nobody would have bet a penny on him surviving to both Dime and Vinnie, back then… Over the years, they have also been accused of giving birth to the ostracized — with good reason, in the 99% of the cases — metalcore. Surely a full life, with joys and pains, chance, highs and lows.
Farewell Cowboys from Hell, raving Texan braggarts, badass Southern metallers, we will always be immensely grateful of the music you gave us.
Convocation – Scars Across [2018: death metal, doom metal]
Pavillon Rouge – Dynasteïa Klub [2018: black metal, electronic, industrial metal, new wave]