Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante have been confirmed as the guitarist and drummer who will join Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown on the forthcoming Pantera reunion tour.
A source close to the group confirmed to Billboard that this will be the line-up who will headline a number of festivals in North America and Europe in addition to playing headline dates. According to a report in Billboard, the line-up has been approved by the estates of the late Vinnie Paul and 'Dimebag Darrell, as well as Rex Brown.
Zakk Wylde has long been considered the only choice to take the place of his close friend Dimebag were some form of official tribute to the murdered guitarist to be held: Wylde had guested at several shows with Dimebag's post-Pantera band Damageplan, and performed a guitar solo on the Damageplan track Reborn.
Avenged Sevenfold singer M Shadows said yesterday (July 14) that Wylde would be the “perfect fit” for the new version of the band.
Asked on Twitter about rumours that Ozzy's long-standing guitarist would stand in for Dimebag, Shadows responded: “I hope so… perfect fit and a friend for Dime. What a great tribute.”
Charlie Benante played drums alongside Rex Brown, his Anthrax bandmate Scott Ian, Slipknot's Corey Taylor and Dave Grohl at the 2019 Dimebash event, held at The Observatory in Santa Ana, California.
Reaction to the news of the forthcoming reunion shows has been mixed. Many have expressed reservations at the thought of a Pantera tour without the Abbott brothers, who passed away in 2004 and 2018 respectively.
Others have raised the memory of frontman Anselmo's 'White Power' outburst in 2016, suggesting that the singer's actions have sullied Pantera's legacy.
Billboard reports that Artist Group International will book Pantera’s North American dates, with Dennis Arfa and Peter Pappalardo as the quartet's agents. The new-look band is managed by Scott McGhee of 1 Degree Music Entertainment.