Yesterday, the estate of the late drummer Vinnie Paul of Pantera issued a statement regarding the upcoming Pantera shows featuring singer Phil Anselmo, bassist Rex Brown, and guests Zakk Wylde on guitar and drummer Charlie Benante of Anthrax. Since the announcement of a regrouped Pantera broke this summer, there's been much debate about whether it is technically a reunion. The Abbott Estate, however, seems to have all the clarity they need on the subject.
"There can never be a Pantera reunion without Vinnie and Dime," the statement read. "However, there is no better way to celebrate and honor Vinnie and Dime's legacy, than to bring the music of Pantera directly to the fans. We are honored that Charlie and Zakk, their very close friends and musical brothers, will share the stage with Philip and Rex, to unleash the power of Pantera live around the world."
The timing of the statement is curious, at best. This week, Pantera were announced as support for Metallica on their upcoming M72 World Tour. And while Billboard reported the estates of both Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell had given their blessing for the upcoming shows—they would have absolutely had to for any of this to happen—this is the first time they've made such a direct statement, something Pantera producer, Sterling Winfield—also supposedly a member of Paul's estate management team—curiously felt the need to point out in his own post to social media.
"Here's the press release that the 'media' said we had already done six months ago," the post began. "It was just posted about five minutes ago for the first time EVER. Don't believe everything the media tells you. Choose for yourselves. Enjoy it with open arms, minds & hearts. Or don't. The choice is yours. But don't make that choice for someone else."
Why the Abbott estate felt the need to make these statements now is beyond anyone's guess. Also, blaming "the media" is super-schlocky. But, if you read between the lines a little, it appears to me like the Vinnie Paul estate, at least, is trying to temper fan's expectations for anything beyond what has already been announced for Pantera. It also suggests that while the show goes on, the bad blood that has existed for decades in the Pantera camp is far from water under the bridge.
Regardless, none of this should matter to the fans. These shows are going to be out of sight and should be enjoyed for what they are: a celebration of music. Dates for Pantera's South American shows as well as dates with Metallica are below.
12/2/22 – Toluca, Mexico – Hell & Heaven Metal Fest
12/6/22 – Monterrey, Mexico – Monterrey Metal Fest
12/9/22 – Bogotá, Colombia – Knotfest Colombia
12/11/22 – Santiago, Chile – Knotfest Chile
12/12/22 – Santiago, Chile – Movistar Arena
12/15/22 – São Paulo, Brazil – Vibra São Paulo (with JUDAS PRIEST)
12/18/22 – São Paulo, Brazil – Knotfest Brazil
6/2-4/23 – Nürburgring, Germany – Rock Am Ring
6/2-4/23 – Nürnberg, Germany – Rock Im Park
6/10/23 – Sölvesborg, Sweden – Sweden Rock Festival
6/22-24/23 – Oslo, Norway – Tons Of Rock
8/4/23 – East Rutherford NJ – MetLife Stadium [Tickets]
8/11/23 – Montreal QC – Stade Olympique [Tickets]
8/18/23 – Arlington TX – AT&T Stadium [Tickets]
8/25/23 – Inglewood CA – SoFi Stadium [Tickets]
9/1/23 – Glendale AZ – State Farm Stadium [Tickets]
10/3/23 – St. Louis MO – The Dome at America’s Center [Tickets]
10/10/23 – Detroit MI – Ford Field [Tickets]
5/24/24 – Munich DE – Olympiastadion
6/7/24 – Helsinki FI – Olympic Stadium
6/14/24 – Copenhagen DK – Parken Stadium
7/5/24 – Warsaw PL – PGE Narodowy
7/12/24 – Madrid ES – Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano
8/2/24 – Foxborough MA – Gillette Stadium [Tickets]
8/9/24 – Chicago IL – Soldier Field [Tickets]
8/16/24 – Minneapolis MN – US Bank Stadium [Tickets]
8/23/24 – Edmonton AB – Commonwealth Stadium
8/30/24 – Seattle WA – Lumen Field [Tickets]