The music world still has a Texas-sized hole in its heart following the death of Vinne Paul Abbott in his Las Vegas home in 2018. He was only 54 years old. The drumming legend most famous for his time as a founder of Pantera, Damageplan, Rebel Meets Rebel, and Hellyeah was taken from us too young due to “dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease.” We have mourned his loss hard as Vinnie was a beloved as a figure in recent metal history for his outgoing personality, his giving spirit, and his incredible talent. Last year Hellyeah released their final album with Vinnie, Welcome Home, and completed a short tour, paying their respects nightly. You can read a comprehensive memorial piece we published about Vinnie at the time of his passing and watch these highlights from his career below. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe it but it has been a year since Vinne Paul Abbott died in his sleep in his Las Vegas home. He was only 54 years old. The drumming legend most famous for his time as a founder of Pantera, Damageplan, Rebel Meets Rebel, and Hellyeah was taken from us too young due to “dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease.” We have mourned his loss hard as Vinnie was a beloved as a figure in recent metal history for his outgoing personality, his giving spirit, and his incredible talent. You can read a comprehensive memorial piece we published about Vinnie at the time of his passing and watch these highlights from his career below. Continue reading
The world lost an amazing drummer and by all accounts a great person when Vinnie Paul Abbott passed away on 6/22/2018 at age 54. As the drummer of Pantera, he formed the battery of the band that would put the metal genre on their backs in the 1990s. Often imitated and never duplicated, Vinnie was heavy influenced by legends from his childhood like Black Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and KISS. However, what he put down behind the kit for more than 30 years was a major source of inspiration for a legion of drummers that followed.Continue reading
Terrible news has come down as Vinnie Paul, best know as the drummer for Pantera, Hellyeah, and Damageplan has passed away. No cause of death is known at this time, and Vinnie’s family has asked for privacy and respect for now. The announcement came as a post on Pantera’s official Facebook page, which you can see below. We’ll continue to track this story as more details become available. We are naturally devastated by this news, and we send out condolences to Vinnie’s family, friends and fans worldwide at this time. Continue reading
While he’s been largely silent over the years, it’s hard to argue with the either quality or the diversity of Rex Brown‘s output. From Pantera’s transition from glam to thrash to pure groove, to the swampy sludge of Down and Crowbar, to borderline country music with Rebel Meets Rebel, the bassist has done it all.Continue reading
For many metalheads, and for this writer personally, December 8th 2004 is the day the music died. Maybe not completely, but a little piece of all of us fans of this thing we call metal music felt a loss at the news that Dimebag Darrell, beloved Pantera guitarist extraordinaire had been murdered on stage in Ohio. We are not going to use this space to recount what happened that fateful day since the story has been told enough already. Like many others, I remember where I was when I got the devastating news. I remember my time going to Pantera concerts like some people talk about religious experiences. I have lived and loved, made friends and lovers all around Pantera events and happenings, played their songs in my own bands on stages big and small, and hated every single cover of ‘Walk’, ever. Being a fan definitely made my life in metal better, and Dime was obviously part of that. I recall The Great Southern Trendkill (EastWest) getting leaked on WSOU in New Jersey and running a bell wire out of my projects window to try and get the station in clearer, just to record terrible sounding versions of those new songs. But Dime has passed away, and he’s not coming back, and neither is the band, no matter what people want to think about that topic. Rather than sulk in our collective misery about our lost hero, we want to revel in the greatness that Darrell gave out in life. What we will do is show some love for our fallen brother, as his light has certainly shone brighter than ever since his passing.
While much has been talked of Pantera’s blatant hair metal days and glammy bleached roots, (those records are actually really good in spots) one undeniable factor from the early days of Dimebag (or Diamond as he was then called) was that life was about having fun. Whether it was on stage in front of ten people or tens of thousands’, this guy lived to laugh and make others around him happy. It showed in his personal style if you ever met him, and it came up in his music over and over again. Fun. Fun is not a word that comes easily to the black garbed scowling-faced, long-haired, fist-banging mania of metalheads, but it is an element about this man that stands out to me. Fun! Dime was having fun and wanted the world to join in on the joke, at all times. Pantera followed Darrell and embodied this spirit, not just back-stage, but musically too. When metal was taking itself too seriously, there was this bunch of guys from the American south hamming up like you couldn’t believe, no matter how hardcore the music was.
Of course Dimebag was a master musician and it bled through from his writing and arranging down to his killer solos. Known as a great soloist, Dime’s lead guitar work both on record and in concert was the gold standard of the early-to-mid 90s in metal. As much as people still worship those Pantera albums, Dime has some other terrific performances worthy checking out. Dime was known for his many guest solos, including several prominent Anthrax albums (Stomp 442, Volume 8: The Threat is Real, & We’ve Come For You All). Even if you are not a fan of country music, I highly recommend checking out the Rebel Meets Rebel (Big Vin Records) album made with Pantera (minus Phil Anselmo) and outlaw country legend David Allen Coe. It is an album of surprising quality songs, hilarious topics, and many great guitar moments. Of course more people are acquainted with Dimebag’s post-Pantera band, Damageplan which was solid, but ultimately had songs more conducive to a live environment.
Naturally the wonderful personality that emanated from Darrell only made the devastation of senseless death that more hurtful and confusing to us all. All we can do on this date every year is celebrate the life he had and the music and laughs he left behind. Ghost Cult is honored and humbled to have photographer Evil Robb Noxious of Evil Robb Photography, a friend of Darrell and frequent Pantera photographer contribute some exclusive, never before seen pictures of Dimebag from his personal collection to this piece. Thanks for sharing these Robb!
Hail Dimebag! Forever in our hearts!
Buy photos from Evil Robb Photography on his site
KEITH (KEEFY) CHACHKES