Pantera Reunion with Zakk Wylde: So Close, So Close and Yet So Far
Earlier this month, Phil Anselmo performed the Pantera classic “I’m Broken” with Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society, which, needless to say, got people talking yet again about the idea of a Pantera reunion with Wylde filling-in for the late Dimebag Darrell. And then Anselmo and Wylde did it again… only this time with Rex Brown on bass. As you can imagine, that really stoked the fires of this particular wet dream.
I mean, this is one (admittedly very key) piece of the puzzle away from being the Pantera/Wylde reunion (which, for the sake of convenience, shall heretofore be known as Pantwyra). It really feels like these three are testing the waters (some more like never before) before making Pantwyra a really real thing.
Alas, no one should get their hopes up. Vinnie Paul — y’know, that key piece of the puzzle which is missing? — doesn’t want anything to do with it, he tells Revolver:
“If you had an ex-wife, and it was a pretty bitter split, you might not ever want to talk to her again. Who cares if everybody in the family and your friends want you to say hello again? It’s your choice whether you want to do it or not. And I think a lot of people are selfish. They say, ‘Oh, he oughtta just kiss and make up with Phil and everything will be cool. And then they can go get Zakk Wylde and everything’s gonna be great.’ No, everything’s not gonna be great.”
With regards to whether or not Paul wants to squash his beef with Anselmo or not… well, that’s really between the two of them. But even if he were to make-up with Anselmo, it would be hard to blame Paul for not wanting to do Pantwyra. Especially given that not only was it his literal brother that was killed, but that, of these four men, he was the only one present when it happened. I can barely fathom what kind of trauma that must induce, but it’s not surprising that Paul finds the idea of replacing Dime with anyone unappealing (to put it mildly). It’s one thing to sit behind the kit and play “Walk” with the dudes from Avenged Sevenfold, but it’s a whole other thing to commit to playing an entire Pantera set only to keep looking over and seeing your brother’s best friend standing where your brother should be. It would probably takes countless therapy sessions for Paul to even be able to get through that whole show without some form of PTSD kicking in.
Still, it would be pretty amazing if Paul ever changed his mind and gave Pantwyra a shot. I kinda think the idea of trying to replace Dime with anyone is a crazy notion, but eight years ago, I would have said the same thing about trying to replace Layne Staley in Alice in Chains, and look how that worked out. I’d be open — excited, even! — to give Pantwyra a chance.