There has been virtually no in-between opinions when it comes to the latest reunion of Pantera.
Either fans have been over the moon to hear songs off of Cowboys from Hell and Vulgar Display of Power, or people think that a Pantera that doesn’t include Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul isn’t a true reunion
. From what we got from the first show at Hell and Heaven Fest in Mexico though, this feels like the kind of celebration that this band really deserves.
Although the idea of Zakk Wylde subbing in for Dime might have felt wrong to some diehards, he has those trademark squeals down to a tee, especially when they launch into ‘Cowboys From Hell’ for the first time.
Charlie Benante is certainly holding his own as well, laying real back in the groove and locking in with Zakk exactly how Dime and Vinnie would have done back in the day.
Since Anthrax was always known for their frantic drum patterns, hearing Charlie drum like this tells you that he understands the assignment. From the moment that he kicks into the opening fills on ‘Mouth For War,’ Charlie clearly knows that he’s there to serve Vinnie’s playing instead of making the whole thing just a showcase for what he can do.
One of the major switchups though is the tuning of some of these songs, being a few steps lower than what we were used to hearing on the record. Even though it might not be the same pitch as what Dime was used to doing, the crowd absolutely loves it as well, the band sounding more leathery with age and getting more out of the licks from ‘Cowboys.’
After years of playing in different outfits, Phil Anselmo hasn’t lost a shred of his vocal prowess over time either, having the same kind of psychotic scream that he had back in the day when tearing through ‘Walk.’
All things considered, this is exactly what we were hoping for with this reunion and more.
Watch some of our favorite clips below.
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