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A Pantera reunion is happening in 2023

Rex Brown and Phil Anselmo on stage in 2016
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Surviving Pantera members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown are reported to be reuniting next year to tour under the Pantera banner.

The tour, believed to be taking place across North America in 2023, would mark the first Pantera live shows of any kind since the band's final gig together in Yokohoma, Japan on August 26, 2001.

In a new report by Billboard, Anselmo and Brown are said to have signed with Artist Group International for the tour. Artist Group International representative Peter Pappalardo has released a statement on the reunion to Billboard, stating: "We are thrilled to be working with such an iconic band and bringing their music back to the fans."

One of the most successful metal bands of the '90s, Pantera were seemingly finished for good after the murder of guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was shot dead on stage at a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2004. Abbott's brother and Pantera/Damageplan bandmate, drummer Vinnie Paul, was vocally opposed to the idea of a Pantera reunion without Dimebag involved.

"They call it a reunion for a reason," Paul told EMP Rock Invasion in 2014. "It's called bringing the original members back to what it was. So there's a lot of these things that they call reunions that aren't really reunions. They've got one dude from the band floating around in them, you know. That's not a true reunion. With Pantera, it'll never be possible."

Vinnie Paul died of dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease in 2018, leaving Anselmo and Brown as the only surviving members of the "classic" Pantera lineup.

Phil Anselmo's presence in the metal scene remains controversial after he was filmed screaming the words "white power" and giving a Nazi salute on stage at a Dimebag Darrell tribute show in January 2016.

While Anselmo initially attempted to shrug the incident off as a joke based on "drinking fucking white whine" at the show, he later posted a statement in which he claimed to be "a thousand percent apologetic."

He commented on the incident later that year in an interview with Decibel, stating: "That apology is there – and no, you won’t get another one ever again," before telling Rolling Stone in December: "To think that I think I’m superior to someone else because I have pale skin when I know in my heart...I think people that look through the lens of race and want to find racism will find it no matter where they’re fucking looking."

Who would replace the Abbott brothers on the 2023 Pantera tour remains to be confirmed.

Merlin Alderslade
Merlin Alderslade

Merlin stepped into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.