Pantera bassist Rex Brown will miss the remainder of the band's South American tour, it has been confirmed courtesy of the man himself.
Brown didn’t play Pantera's Knotfest show in Chile at the weekend due to unspecified health reasons. His place was taken by Cattle Decapitation bassist Derek Engemann, who also plays with Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo in his solo side project, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals.
Now it has been confirmed that the reason Brown missed the show was because he has caught a "very mild" strain of Covid and, after missing another show in Chile last night (Monday December 12), he will also have to miss Pantera's two remaining South American dates. Both those shows take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on December 15 and December 18 (the latter is another Knotfest show).
Speaking via Pantera's official social media channels, Brown notes: "I caught a very mild strain of Covid, but because of our own protocols, I simply do not wanna risk getting my brothers or the crew sick! I'm feeling better & am on my way to a speedy recovery. Merry Fckn Christmas & see you all next year!"
Pantera's world tour picks up in Europe at the end of May, before heading to the US in August. The 'reunion' has provoked a divided response from metal fans, many of whom are unhappy at the band touring under the 'Pantera' name without the Abbott brothers, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul - the latter of whom was vocally opposed to any kind of Pantera reunion before his death. Many also refuse to support Phil Anselmo in the wake of his white power outburst in 2016.
Earlier this month, Vinnie Paul's estate commented on the Pantera tour, which features Zakk Wylde stepping in for Darrell on guitar and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante stepping in for Paul. They effectively shot down the idea that it could be considered a 'reunion', stating: "There can never be a Pantera reunion without Vinnie and Dime." They did, however, seemingly approve of Wylde and Benante playing Pantera's songs live, adding: "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."
Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed onstage at a Damageplan show in Ohio on December 8 2004. Vinnie Paul passed away on June 22, 2018.