Pantera

Season 1 Ep 2005/11/2006

In the early 1990s, when hair metal was being sheered from the charts by grunge and earnest hard-rockers like Guns N Roses, Pantera, righteously flew the hard-edged heavy metal flag, almost single-handedly saving the genre from extinction.Formed in 1981 by brothers "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and Vinnie Paul Abbott while still in high school, Pantera quickly developed a rabid following as hard-drinking, hard rockers in the Southwest triangle of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana while issuing four independent albums throughout the `80s.National success would elude them, however, until vocalist Phil Anselmo joined the party in 1988. Signed to Atlantic in 1990, Pantera's major label debut Cowboys From Hell, put the thrashy petal to the metal, earning guitarist Dimebag Darrell recognition as one of heavy rock's true innovators.On the road, Pantera's traveling show was legendary for its debauchery. Vinnie Paul and Dimebag were known to imbibe a cocktail or ten before, during and after gigs. By the mid-90s, vocalist Phil Anselmo developed a nasty heroin habit. He overdosed in 1996 after a Pantera gig in Dallas. The singer hid his drug use from the band, and became increasingly estranged from his bandmates, spending more time on side projects like Down and Superjoint Ritual.Pantera formally disbanded in 2003, though they hadn't recorded together since 2000's "Reinventing the Steel," a platinum seller that culminated with another Grammy nomination. Then, on December 8, 2004, the ultimate rock and roll tragedy struck. Shortly after his new band Damageplan hit the stage at a Columbus, Ohio club, Dimebag Darrell was murdered, shot three times at point blank range by former Marine and Pantera fan Nathan Gale. Behind the Music: Pantera uncovers the true story of this resilient, hard rocking band.

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