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Phillip Anselmo

"Diamond" Darrell

Rex Rocker

Vinnie Paul

Pantera was formed in Texas 1983 by brothers Vince Abbott and Darrell Abbot along with Rex Rocker and Terry Glaze. Later that year they released their first album, "Metal Magic". This album was a little raw sounding, but was very impressive, considering the average age of the band was 18. On this album, Pantera drew heavily from bands like Kiss and Van Halen on songs like the hard rockin' "Ride My Rocket" and the power ballad "Biggest Part Of Me".

In 1984, they released the groundbreaking "Projects In The Jungle". This album showed Pantera progressing in a bigger direction. Songs like "All Over Tonight" and "Heavy Metal Rules" put them right up there with the great ones like Def Leppard, while the emotional "In Over My Head" and "Takin' My Life" showed a totally more "sensitive" side of Pantera. The icing on the cake is the Eddie Van Halen-esque guitar solo by "Diamond" Darrell "Blue Lite Turnin' Red". Other name changes included Terrence Lee and Vinnie Paul.

1985 brought the release of the third album, "I Am The Night" with it's ominous, eerie cover art. The band's skills were definately improving as they moved more towards a speed-metal approach. Songs like the title track showed a definate Judas Priest influence.

Between 1985 and 1988 Pantera took some well deserved time off and decided to part ways with Terrence. Their sound was getting much heavier and they needed someone who could fit this change. They recruited "The original circus freak", Philip Anslemo. Anselmo's Halford-esque high pitched wails and low-end growls fit Pantera perfectly on the classic 1988 release, "Power Metal". While Phillip did not contribute at all to the songwriting, his incredible vocals made this album the best Pantera album ever with songs like the metal anthem "Rock The World", the incredibly heavy "Over And Out", the speed metal title track, and the heartfelt "We'll Meet Again" and "Hard Ride". This album was so impressive that Dave Mustaine asked Darrell to join Megadeth, but he declined.

This was the last I heard of Pantera. Maybe when that other band got a record deal, the real Pantera was forced to change their name. If anyone knows what happened to the original Pantera, please let me know.