Pantera () was an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas, formed in 1981. The group's best-known lineup consisted of the Abbott brothers—drummer Vinnie Paul and guitarist Dimebag Darrell—along with vocalist Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown. In addition to their development and popularization of the groove metal subgenre, Pantera is credited (along with others, such as Testament, Sepultura and Machine Head) for being part of the second wave of thrash metal scene from the late 1980s to early-to-mid 1990s. Pantera is regarded as one of the most successful and influential bands in heavy metal history, having sold around 40 million records worldwide, and being nominated four times at the Grammy's.Having started as a glam metal band, Pantera released three albums in the mid-1980s with lead vocalist Terry Glaze. Looking for a new and heavier sound, Pantera hired Anselmo in late 1986 and released Power Metal in 1988. They secured a record deal with major label Atco the following year. Their fifth album, 1990's Cowboys from Hell, popularized the groove metal genre, while its 1992 follow-up Vulgar Display of Power achieved an even heavier sound. Far Beyond Driven (1994) debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.Tensions began to surface among the band members when Anselmo became addicted to heroin in 1995; he almost died from an overdose in 1996. These tensions resulted in the recording sessions for The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) being held separately. The ongoing tension lasted for another seven years, during which only one studio album, Reinventing the Steel (2000), was recorded. Pantera went on hiatus in 2001 but was disbanded by the Abbott brothers in 2003 amid communication problems and their conclusion that Anselmo would not return to the band.
The Abbott brothers went on to form Damageplan while Anselmo continued to work on several side projects, including Down, which Brown joined as well. On December 8, 2004, Darrell was shot and killed on stage by a mentally unstable fan during a Damageplan concert in Columbus, Ohio. Vinnie Paul went on to form Hellyeah after his brother's death, and died of heart failure in 2018, leaving Brown and Anselmo as the only surviving members of the band's best-known lineup.