There exists two versions of Pantera: the glam power metal boys of the 1980s and the band that saved 1990s metal. Through riffs, groove and sheer aggression, Pantera are one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and their run of Cowboys from Hell (1990), Vulgar Display of Power (1992), Far Beyond Driven (1994), The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) and Reinventing the Steel (2000) is excellent. Had they not split up and were legendary Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell not murdered in 2004, they’d probably have gone on to write yet another classic.
With each release in this run, Pantera got harder, riffier and nastier: they wanted a fight and they proved it with their instruments. The band were ready to stomp on anyone that disagreed with them and whether it was through vocalist Phil Anselmo’s rioting viciousness or Dimebag’s insane solos and ability to write bone crunching riffs, Pantera turned their groove metal into something that still inspires most heavy bands to this day.
Pantera embody what makes straight ahead aggro metal great, and the genre would be a vastly different and deprived place without their impact.