The 50 best Pantera songs ever

40) No Good (Attack The Radical) (Vulgar Display Of Power, 1992)

As radical as their sound seemed in 1992, there was still a strong edge of accessibility in Pantera’s revitalised sound. brought Dime’s ingenious riffs together with a chorus hook so big you could catch Moby Dick with it.

39) Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks (Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

A cautionary tale about painkiller abuse from Far Beyond Driven that would later seem somewhat ironic in light of Phil Anselmo’s drug problems, this monstrous, seven-minute howl of pain remains one of Pantera’s most emotionally gruelling songs. 

38) Message In Blood (Cowboys From Hell, 1990)

Taking Pantera into the darkest of territories, Phil Anselmo’s venomous, harrowing lyrics were a major factor in the band’s ability to unite metalheads of all stripes. This twisted tale from Cowboys From Hell of bloody revenge placed his verbal madness centre stage.

37) Use My Third Arm (Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

Sabbath covers aside, Far Beyond Driven is a remorselessly brutal affair and Use My Third Arm perfectly encapsulates that unforgiving approach. Frankly, the giant, atonal riffs on this thing are fucking ridiculous and the ending sounds like full-on Armageddon.

36) Piss (Vulgar Display Of Power 20th anniversary reissue, 2012)

A long-lost outtake from the Vulgar… sessions that finally emerged on a 20th anniversary reissue in 2012, Piss contains a large chunk of what would become Use My Third Arm on Far Beyond Driven two years later. Regardless, this rips and you can’t knock that title.

35) 13 Steps To Nowhere (The Great Southern Trendkill, 1996)

A lolloping groove, a hellish, two-note riff and the sound of Phil Anselmo bringing up something nasty: 13 Steps To Nowhere is instantly recognisable as Pantera at their most wilfully grotesque. “The wolf poked with the stick” in musical form, basically.

34) Rise (Vulgar Display Of Power, 1992)

Delivered at an insane pace, Vulgar Display highlight Rise served to reaffirm what a truly devastating team Dime, Rex and Vinnie could be. As Philip Anselmo bellows one of his most thrilling, incendiary diatribes, Pantera just get their heads down and fuckin’ slay. 

33) 10’s (The Great Southern Trendkill, 1996)

Often overshadowed by Floods, ...Trendkill’s other moody, slow one, 10’s is very nearly that anthem’s equal. Grinding, sinister and blessed with a truly demonic, multi-tracked Anselmo vocal, 10’s was Pantera in full horror mode, ‘colliding slow, like life itself...’

32) War Nerve (The Great Southern Trendkill, 1996)

‘Fuck the world, for all it’s worth / Every inch of Planet Earth…’ On arguably their most ferocious album of all, The Great Southern Trendkill, Phil Anselmo was truly letting rip. Angular, twisted and horribly dark, War Nerve is without doubt one of Pantera’s heaviest songs ever.

31) Planet Caravan (Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

A respectful but subtly distinctive cover of the psychedelic Black Sabbath classic, Far Beyond Driven’s oddly serene finale was a plain and simple tribute to the band that started it all. Full marks to Vinnie Paul for his exemplary bongo-playing, too.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.