After spending five years toiling away as a glam band, a hard pivot into heavier territory saw Pantera become one of the most influential metal bands of the 90s. The sound took inspiration from the popular thrash metal of the time but twisted it into something lower and slower – and this led to the birth of groove metal.
Groove metal would help determine the direction of popular metal for another decade and beyond, eventually feeding into the new wave of American heavy metal movement, with bands such as Lamb of God.
While the band would be plagued with infighting and fractured recording sessions, the 5-album run they pulled off from 1990 to 2000 is nothing short of legendary. This is the the catalogue of an era-defining band, and many songs recorded in this period are considered as iconic and influential to metal as it gets this side of a Black Sabbath.
Modern metal’s sound owes a great deal to Pantera, and the reverence is earned.