Pantera was an American metal band from Arlington, Texas. It was formed in 1981 by the Abbott brothers – drummer Vinnie Paul and guitarist Dimebag Darrell – along with vocalist Terry Glaze. Bassist Rex Brown joined the band the next year. Looking for a new and heavier sound, Pantera replaced Glaze in 1987 with Phil Anselmo as the new vocalist. Having started as a glam metal band, Pantera released four albums during the 1980s. For their fifth album, 1990's Cowboys from Hell, Pantera introduced a heavier groove metal sound. Their sixth album, 1992's Vulgar Display of Power, revealed a heavier sound still. Their 1994 release of Far Beyond Driven debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200.
Tensions began to surface amongst the band members when Phil Anselmo became addicted to heroin in 1995, which led to 1996 seeing an overdose involving his effective death and resuscitation. These tensions resulted in the recording sessions for The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) to be held separately. The ongoing tension lasted for another seven years, in 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 began work on several side projects, including Down in which Rex Brown joined as well. On December 8, 2004, Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on stage by a deranged fan during a Damageplan concert in Columbus, Ohio.