Pantera are a metal band, prominent in the early to mid ‘90s, seemingly putting to rest any remnants of the ‘80s metal scene. The Texas foursome were fairly unsuccessful, until the addition of vocalist Phil Ansemlo, aand the key turning point was the band's major-label debut, Cowboys from Hell (1990).
Pantera's mainstream breakthrough came next with Vulgar Display of Power (1992), their second major-label album, which thrust the band to the forefront of the metal scene, alongside such veteran bands as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. By the time Pantera unleashed Far Beyond Driven (1994), after two long years of touring, they were the most popular metal band in the land.
At the height of their popularity, Pantera began to self-destruct. Less than two months after the release of The Great Southern Trendkill (1996), Anselmo overdosed on heroin and as tensions rose between him and his fellow bandmembers, he began engaging with a growing list of side projects that kept him away from Pantera. A live album, Official Live: 101 Proof (1997), was compiled for release when it became evident that no new studio album was forthcoming any time soon.
One final studio album did result, Reinventing the Steel (2000), but that was more or less it for the briefly reunited Pantera. The bandmembers once again went their sperate ways, forming such bands as Damageplan, Down, and Superjoint Ritual.
The end of Pantera then became official on December 8, 2004, when guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered on-stage by a deranged fan.
Anselmo is now the frontman in popular metal band 'Down'.
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