WOLFGANG VAN HALEN Says New PANTERA Lineup Sounds 'Amazing': 'The Justice To The Material Is There'
August 15, 2023
Wolfgang Van Halen has weighed in on the fact that PANTERA's surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) have united with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.
Anselmo and Brown, along with Wylde and Benante, are headlining a number of major festivals across South America, Asia, North America and Europe and staging some of their own headline concerts. They, along with MAMMOTH WVH and other acts, are also supporting METALLICA on a massive North American stadium tour in 2023 and 2024.
Wolfgang discussed the controversy surrounding PANTERA's comeback in a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station. The former VAN HALEN bassist said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I know there's a lot of arguing over that whole situation. And I think regardless of how you feel about it, they sound amazing. And at the end of the day, that's all that really matters. The justice to the material is there. And they are killing it, man; it sounds so great."
On June 28, Wolfgang, Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, SEPULTURA) and Mike DeLeon (SOULFLY, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS) joined PANTERA on stage at the Evil Live festival at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal to sing backing vocals on the song "Walk". Fan-filmed video of their appearance can be seen below.
The reformed PANTERA kicked off its U.S. headlining tour with LAMB OF GOD on July 28 at The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.
PANTERA's current setlist includes two songs which hadn't been performed live since the band's comeback last year: "Slaughtered", from PANTERA's 1994 album "Far Beyond Driven", widely considered the heaviest metal record to ever reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart; and "Revolution Is My Name" from PANTERA's final studio album, 2000's "Reinventing The Steel".
According to Billboard, the new PANTERA lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, as well as Brown, who in 2021 said Wylde wouldn't tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It's unclear what changed his mind.
Up until his passing, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for Dimebag's death.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
Vinnie passed away on June 22, 2018 at his other home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. He died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn't pump blood as well as a healthy heart.
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