Style, influences and legacy

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Posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 4:58pm
by Angie Spray

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While being a heavy metal band, Pantera's style was frequenting between groove metal, thrash metal and alternative metal, and their early material has been described as glam metal. They also have been influential to the development of nu metal, metalcore, and several other movements. They have also been called one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Popmatters has claimed that, "Darrell Abbott's influence on the entire genre of heavy metal is massive; after Cowboys From Hell and Vulgar Display of Power, every notable young American metal band since has, in some way or another, copied their guitar style from those records: Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Hatebreed, Lamb of God, Shadows Fall... the list is endless."

Pantera toured on Ozzfest as main stage acts twice; the band played at the second annual Ozzfest in 1997 and the fifth Ozzfest in 2000. Over the course of their career, Pantera's members became known for their excessive partying and debauchery, even acquiring an official drink called the "Black Tooth Grin". The "Black Tooth Grin" ("Black Tooth", "The Grin", or "BTG", alternatively), named after lyrics from Megadeth's "Sweating Bullets", is a mixture of Crown Royal or Seagram 7 whisky (or both) and Coca-Cola.

Pantera also adopted a self-described "take no shit" attitude, epitomized in its song "5 Minutes Alone" from the album Far Beyond Driven. According to Vinnie Paul, the song originated when, during a show in San Diego, California, Anselmo was annoyed by a heckler and encouraged the crowd to "jump [his] ass and beat the shit out of him on the spot." Consequently, the band was sued; the man's father took action and called Pantera's manager, saying, "You just give me five minutes alone with that Phil Anselmo guy and I'll show him who's big daddy around here", to which Anselmo responded, "You just give me five minutes alone with that cat's dad and I'll whoop his ass."

Despite being a standard glam metal band early in their career, the band members perceive themselves to have had an uncompromising career in which they never "sold out" or gave into trends. This is most noticeably highlighted in the themes and title of The Great Southern Trendkill. On Pantera's official website, Anselmo puts it in his own words:

We've survived every fucking trend—heavy metal, "grunge metal", funk metal, rap metal—and we're still here. We put everyone on notice that we don't fuck around. Our fans know we're true right down to the fucking core.

Similarly, the die-hard attitude of "We'll Grind That Axe For a Long Time" (from Reinventing the Steel) is, according to Anselmo, "in a way, our motto."

Aside from their post-glam, thrash metal influences, the band members cite heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath as one of their favorite bands. As a tribute, Pantera has recorded three different covers of Black Sabbath songs (all from the Ozzy Osbourne era). The first was "Planet Caravan", a slower, quieter song planned for the first Sabbath tribute album, Nativity in Black, that eventually became the final track on Far Beyond Driven. The band performed Sabbath's "Electric Funeral" on the second Nativity in Black. A previously unreleased cover of Sabbath's "Hole in the Sky" was included on the band's 2003 compilation album, The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits! Pantera's affinity for Black Sabbath is also shown through the lyrics, "Your trust is in whiskey and weed and Black Sabbath", in "Goddamn Electric". The same song also mentions Slayer, one of the band's thrash metal influences. Pantera's musical style was also heavily influenced by the bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal such as Motörhead, Iron Maiden, and Venom.

Pantera has come under some criticism within the fringes of the heavy metal community in relation to the New Orleans band Exhorder. Although the music, lyrics and song titles are entirely different works, some fans have accused Pantera of stealing the "style" of their groove metal sound from Exhorder. While Pantera's style change on Cowboys from Hell was released just before Exhorder's debut, Slaughter in the Vatican, Exhorder self-released two demos in the late 1980s (around the time that Pantera was still playing glam metal) that a number of fans believe to be the real birth of the musical style Pantera is often credited for inventing.

Allmusic points to several elements of Exhorder's debut that could potentially explain its lack of success in relation to Pantera. In disagreement with the opinion that Exhorder is "Pantera minus the good songs", AMG's review of Slaughter in the Vatican expresses that "perhaps a more accurate billing would be to call them Pantera without the major label backing." They also point to the fact that the title of Exhorder's debut, along with the unsubtle album cover, "certainly didn't help [its] cause any."

However, some fans and critics dispute any notion that Pantera "stole" Exhorder's sound. Brian Davis, a contributor to Internet radio station KNAC, addresses the issue as follows:

Exhorder's main "claim to fame" is the common opinion that they're the band that Pantera stole their sound from. That's total bullshit. There are minor similarities in guitar style, and on occasion, vocalist Kyle Thomas spits out a line or scream that will bring Pantera to mind, but to go so far as to say that Pantera is an Exhorder clone is ludicrous.

Despite originally decrying Pantera as a rip-off to their sound, lead vocalist of Exhorder, Kyle Thomas, has stated that he does not care about any of the criticism and is sick of seeing Exhorder's name tied to Pantera's. He also stated that he and the members of Pantera were great friends who used to tour together, and that he mourns the loss of Dimebag Darrell.

 

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Pantera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panterahttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/...