From the minute that it was announced that Pantera would have a reunion tour, there were already a few metal fans tugging at their collar a little bit.
Even though the past few years of Pantera discourse were already a bit contentious to say the least, not having Dimebag Darrell or Vinnie Paul present isn’t going to be lost on the fans. If you ask Frank Bello of Anthrax though, the future looks a lot brighter with Pantera coming back to life.
When talking about the new reunion in a recent interview, Frank dropped a different perspective on what the reunion is about, saying: “you have to understand, we were very, very, very close with Pantera. We were family; that’s our family.
So if there’s one guy in the world to play drums and pay tribute to this thing, it’s Charlie Benante — right off the bat. He was very close with Dime, very close with Vinnie. We all were; we all were. So that’s family to us.”
It’s not like he’s wrong either, especially since guitarist Zakk Wylde was one of Dime’s closest friends and will be playing his leads during the reunion tour as well. While most fans might consider this a little bit sacrilege, Frank is looking at it more as a celebration of Pantera’s legacy, saying:
“This is a tribute to this great thing that Pantera was. So I just think it’s very positive, there’s no negativity at all. It’s very positive that these songs that these guys made are gonna be celebrated now.”
Back when he was alive though, Vinnie did have his doubts about a reunion, saying: “it’s unfortunate that people go, ‘Oh, wow, man, they can get Zakk Wylde to jump up there on stage and it’s Pantera again.’ It’s not that simple. I mean, it’s really selfish for people to think that, and it’s stupid. It’s not right at all.”
We’re well past the days of bad blood though, and Frank sees this whole thing as a positive experience, saying “Dime and Vinnie, rest their souls but they would be happy, I think, seeing this, because Charlie and Zakk were family to those guys. So I think it’s a big celebration.
I’ll be there watching it. I can’t wait. I think it’s a great thing. Can you imagine the people that haven’t seen this are gonna see these songs live? That’s a great thing. So I think it’s great for metal. I think it’s great to pay tribute to Dime and Vinnie. I’m looking forward to it.”
For all of the questionable motives behind this reunion though, this is more than just guys looking to make a cheap cash grab. This is going to be like a metal family reunion, and from the beginning, Pantera were always about family.