The 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time!

The 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time, #5: Pantera

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The 25 Best Metal Bands of All TimePantera 25 Bands List

MetalSucks recently polled more than a hundred of metal’s most revered musicians, critics, journalists, artists, publicists, and industry insiders to find out which 25 bands represent the very BEST in the history of metal. Today we continue our countdown with Texas’…

Pantera
65 Votes
1,052 Points

Pantera, as much as any metal band, is, for many fans, like a religion. This would be true even if Dimebag wasn’t tragically fated to become metal’s own John Lennon, despite the fact that the band’s inability ever reunite — to ever truly reunite, at least — adds to their ever-growing legend.

No no no, there are five things to which we can attribute Pantera’s place in the history books:

  1. The wrote great songs. I mean, filed this one under “no duh” — it’s true of every band on this list. Which doesn’t lessen the accomplishment: “Cowboys from Hell,” “Cemetery Gates,” “Domination,” “Mouth for War,” “Walk,” “Fucking Hostile,” “5 Minutes Alone,” “I’m Broken”… I mean, fuck, I just named EIGHT songs that every metal fan in the world knows front to back by heart, and I only covered a small fraction of the band’s oeuvre. These dudes didn’t just know how to write hooks, they knew how to write fucking magnetized hooks.
  2. They had great members. All four of them were great musicians — there’s a reason so many people argue for Dime as the greatest metal guitarist of all time — but I actually mean this in terms of personalities: like bands ranging from KISS to Van Halen to Metallica to Slayer, all four of the group’s members were charismatic and memorable, and losing any one of them would felt like a disaster (and pretty did prove to be a disaster, if Damageplan is any indication). This wasn’t a situation akin
  3. They ACTUALLY got heavier as time progressed. Because let’s be real: EVERY metal band claims that their new album is or is going to be “our heaviest yet,” and for the most part, that’s a crock of shit. This is especially true of bands who experience some level of commercial success — it’s unlikely that Slipknot will ever release another Iowa, or that James Hetfield will ever cut the miserable singing shit out and go back to growl-screaming. But Pantera really did get heavier with each subsequent release, despite the fact that they might very well have made more money just writing variations “Walk” over and over and over again (remember, they existed in an era when people still paid for music recordings).
  4. They never chased trends. Although “real” metal wasn’t as dead in the 90s as people say it was, it did, for the most part, go deep underground: radio and MTV may never have gotten behind metal the way they’ve gotten behind so many other genres, but in the span of just a few short years, they stopped playing almost anything even remotely resembling good metal in favor of an endless parade of Nirvana acolytes and Korn klones, and even the larger-scale metal bands that managed to retain some of the spotlight, like Metallica and Slayer, were kinda useless, because they were stuck in creative valleys, not atop creative peaks. And so Pantera very much became the face of metal to the general public… and anyone with half a brain was just fine with that. It’s little wonder that they basically ended up becoming THE gateway band for a whole generation of fans, and that by the time they broke-up, seemingly every young band on the planet was liberally “borrowing” from them. Along with At the Gates, they basically co-authored the New Wave of American Heavy Metal.
  5. DAT GROOVE! Okay, okay, so, yeah, Exhorder did it first. Pantera did it better. Sorry, bruh.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost ten years since Dime was killed, hard to believe that we’re getting a Coal Chamber reunion but will never see these four musicians share the stage ever again. But at least Pantera’s legacy will live on and on and on, for as long as metal exists. Get your pull!

THE LIST SO FAR:

#6 — Judas Priest (61 Votes, 997 Points)
#7 — Megadeth (64 Votes, 913 Points)
#8 — Death (57 Votes, 778 Points)
#9  — Motorhead (42 Votes, 622 Points)
#10 – Carcass (42 Votes, 516 Points)

#11 – Cannibal Corpse (40 Votes, 510 Points)
#12 – Anthrax (42 Votes, 497 Points)
#13 – Sepultura (41 Votes, 444 Points)
#14 – Dio (33 Votes, 433 Points)
#15 – Mercyful Fate (31 Votes, 419 Points)
#16 – Morbid Angel (33 Votes, 406 Points)
#17 – Meshuggah (32 Votes, 377 Points)

#18 – Opeth (30 Votes, 364 Points)
#19 – Testament (33 Votes, 347 Points)
#20 – At The Gates (28 Votes, 331 Points)
#21 – AC/DC (17 Votes, 313 Points)

#22 – Celtic Frost (24 Votes, 310 Points)
#23 – Ozzy Osbourne (21 Votes, 290 Points)
#24 – Napalm Death (22 Votes, 278 Points)
#25 – Lamb of God (29 Votes, 277 Points)

THE ILLUSTRIOUS PANEL OF VOTERS:

Chris Alfano – East of the Wall, Gear Gods
Paul Allender – White Empress, ex-Cradle of Filth
Rob Arnold – The Elite, ex-Chimaira, ex-Six Feet Under
Alan Averill (aka A.A. Nemtheanga) – Primordial
Chuck B.B. – Artist
Matt Bachand – Shadows Fall
Micke Berg – Below
Chuck Billy – Testament
Randy Blythe – Lamb of God
Paul Booth – Last Rites Tattoo and Art Gallery
Jake Bowen – Periphery
Terry Butler – Obituary
Liz Ciavarella-Brenner – Publicist, Earsplit PR
Blake Charlton – Ramming Speed
Richard Christy – Charred Walls of the Damned, ex-Death, ex-Iced Earth, ex-Control Denied, The Howard Stern Show
Monte Conner – President, Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Bruce Corbitt – Rigor Mortis, Warbeast
Doc Coyle – ex-God Forbid
Sergeant D. – MetalSucks, Stuff You Will Hate
Topon Das – Fuck the Facts, Merdarahta
Anso DF – MetalSucks
Peter Dolving – Rosvo, ex-The Haunted
Ryan J. DowneySuperhero Artist Management
Sacha Dunable – Intronaut, Bereft, Dunable Guitars
Vince Edwards – Head of Publicity, Metal Blade Records
Excretakano – MetalSucks
Exmortus
Extreme Management Group
D.X. Ferris – Slayer ScholarMetalSucks
Ryan Fleming – Black Table
Jon Freeman – Publicist, Freeman Promotions
Matthew Friesen – Culted
Ville Friman – Insomnium
Mike Gitter – Senior Director of A&R, Razor & Tie
Frank Godla – Metal Injection, Meek is Murder
Mike Greene – Director of Digital Marketing, Razor & Tie
Shane Handel – Set and Setting
Jeff Hodak – Head of Sales, Razor & Tie
Terence Hannum – Locrian
John Hoffman – Weekend Nachos
Mark Hunter – ex-Chimaira
Don JamiesonThat Metal Show
Daniel Jansson – Culted
John Jarvis – Pig Destroyer, Fulgora
Gaz Jennings – Death Penalty, ex-Cathedral
Patrik Jensen – The Haunted
Rick Jimenez – Extinction A.D.
Kassa – Below
Mirai Kawashima – Sigh
“Grim” Kim KellyMetalSucks
Zeena Koda
Erik Kluiber – Gypsyhawk
Eyal LeviUnstoppable Killing Machine, Dååth
Jason Lekberg – IKILLYA
Adam Lindmark – Morbus Chron
Ryan Lipynsky – Serpentine Path, Unearthly Trance, The Howling Wind
Jonah Livingston – Ramming Speed
Bob Lugowe – Director of Promotions/Marketing, Relapse Records, Brutal Panda Records
James Malone – Arsis, Necromancing the Stone
Jose Mangin – Director of Music Programming, Sirius XM Liquid Metal
Bobby Mansfield – 16
Misha Mansoor – Periphery
Morgan McGrath – Live Nation
Mike “Gunface” McKenzie – The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Nightkin
Vince Neilstein – MetalSucks
Eventansvarig Biostaden Nyköping – Below
Chris Ojeda – Byzantine
Casey Orr – Rigor MortisWarbeast
Rob Pasbani – Metal Injection
Anders Persson – Portrait
Chris Pervelis – Internal Bleeding
Karim Peter – Artist Relations, IndieMerchandising
Raphael Pinsker – Booking Agent, 3Thirteen Entertainment Group
Polar
Markus “Rabapagan” – Metsatöll
Josh Rand – Stone Sour
Emperor Rhombus – MetalSucks
Gus Rios – Gruesome
Tobias Rosén – Noctum
Axl Rosenberg – MetalSucks
Travis Ryan – Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct, Nader Sadek
Saturn
Marc Schapiro, Branch Marketing Collective
Zach Shaw – The Syndicate
Patrick Sheridan – Fit For An Autopsy
Alex Skolnick – Testament
Brian Slagel – Chairman/CEO, Metal Blade Records
Mark Solotroff – Anatomy of Habit, Bloodlust!, BLOODYMINDED
Steve “Zetro” Souza – Exodus, Hatriot
Kevin Stewart-Panko – Decibel, MetalSucks
Black String – Vampire
Jason Suecof – Audiohammer Studios
Bram Teitelman – Metal Insider
Nick Tieder – No Jacket Required Marketing, Indegoot
Tone Deaf Touring
Aaron Turner – Old Man Gloom, ex-ISIS, Hydra Head Records
Brody Uttley – Rivers of Nihil
George Vallee – Head of Publicity, Street Smart Marketing
Dirk Verbeuren – Soilwork, Bent Sea, Scarve
Jens Vestergren – Below
Jake Wade – Columns
Kelly Walsh – Publicist, Prosthetic Records
Mike Wohlberg – The Fat Kid Illustration
Wookubus – The PRP
Zodiac

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