The 50 best Pantera songs ever

20) Suicide Note Pt. II (The Great Southern Trendkill, 1996)

In stark contrast to Part I, the second half of Suicide Note sounds like a sustained bombing raid in Hell. Phil has never sounded angrier, his bandmates are locked together in destructive harmony and Anal Cunt’s Seth Putnam turns up to add extra nastiness. Horrible.

19) The Great Southern Trendkill (The Great Southern Trendkill, 1996)

Pantera marched on to their eighth studio album in an uncompromising mood. The opening title track, replete with backing vocals from Anal Cunt frontman Seth Putnam (again), was a fast and furious statement of total defiance.

18) Drag The Waters (The Great Southern Trendkill, 1996)

Released as a single ahead of The Great Southern Trendkill, this fairly traditional but hugely potent Pantera stomper is notable for the rare sound of Vinnie Paul playing a cowbell. Looking back, it’s hard not to wish he did it more often.

17) Strength Beyond Strength (Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

Metal’s hottest new band, Pantera became ever more extreme and uncompromising on Far Beyond Driven. The Number One album kicked off with this remorseless barrage of high-velocity thrash and lumbering sludge. ‘Stronger than all’? Yup.

16) Slaughtered (Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

On Far Beyond Driven, more than ever before, Pantera just went for the jugular. Slaughtered is brutish and bereft of light; a swivel-eyed, incensed dismantling of organised religion that drips with contempt and malicious intent. It’s also a kickass metal song, incidentally.

15) Primal Concrete Sledge (Cowboys From Hell, 1990)

Dime’s riffs, Rex’s grinding bass, Phil’s roar, Vinnie’s unstoppable groove… Pantera had transformed into a terrifying machine by 1990, and Primal Concrete Sledge was the ultimate, fearless and brutally direct statement of their supremacy. 

14) Becoming (Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

‘I’m born again with snake’s eyes/Becoming god-size…’ has to rate as one of Pantera’s greatest-ever choruses. It also helps that Far Beyond Driven’s fourth and final single is propelled along on a truly perverse and discordant riff that sounds like R2-D2 being fed through a tree-shredder.

13) Hollow (Vulgar Display Of Power, 1992)

Often mashed into a mid-set medley with Domination, Hollow brought Vulgar Display… to a close with grandiose audacity. Here, melodic subtleties are many but brutality remains an unerring threat.

12) Revolution Is My Name (Reinventing The Steel, 2000)

One of the more overtly positive and inspirational songs in the latter Pantera canon, this straightforward riff monster presented Phil in full Southern-fried bluesy mode, perfectly complementing Dime’s salutes to Sabbath and ZZ Top.

11) A New Level (Vulgar Display Of Power, 1992)

If one song summed up Pantera’s supreme confidence at this point, A New Level is it. A series of visceral, fidgeting riffs gives way to that immortal chorus: ‘A new level of confidence and power…’ It pretty much summed up the whole Vulgar Display… album.

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.