Founding Member Of Pantera Vinnie Paul Dead At 54

On Friday night it was announced that founding member of Pantera Vinnie Paul passed away at the age of 54

  • The announcement was made through the Pantera Facebook page

  • At this time the cause of death remains unknown

  • In the post on Facebook the family requested their privacy be respected at this time

Friday night dealt a hard blow to the metal community after word spread that legendary drummer and founding member of Pantera Vincent Paul Abbott, more commonly known as ‘Vinnie Paul’, had passed away at the age of 54.

The death was announced through the Pantera Facebook page which has just under 9 million followers. The page posted an image of Paul along with the following caption.

Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away.
Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands
Pantera and Hellyeah.
No further details are available at this time.
The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.

In 1981, Paul formed Pantera with his brother Darrell Lance Abbott, better known as ‘Dimebag Darrell’, and lead vocalist Terry Glaze. A year later Rex Brown would replace the unofficial original bassist Tommy D. Bradford.

Pantera released four albums in the 80’s while pursuing a career in glam metal. In 1986, the band decided they wanted to go for a heavier sound and replaced Glaze with Phil Anselmo and released the album “Power Metal” in 1988.

The band went on to release “Cowboys from Hell” in 1990, “Vulgar Display of Power” in 1992, and Far Beyond Driven in 1994, which debuted number one on the Billboard 200.

The band faced serious problems in 1995 when Anselmo began fighting a nasty heroin addiction. In 1996, Anselmo almost died from an overdose. These inner conflicts resulted in the 1996 album “The Great Southern Trendkill” to be recorded separately.

Despite animosity growing between members of the band, Pantera stuck it out for another seven years but released only one album, “Reinventing the Steel” in 2000, during that time. In 2001 the band went on hiatus but in 2003 the Abbott brothers disbanded Pantera under the conclusion Anselmo would not be returning to the band due to communication issues.

The brothers went on to create the band ‘Damageplan’ with Pat Lachman and bassist Bob Zilla. On February 4, 2010, the band released their first album “New Found Power.” The album was a commercial success—despite some fans saying the band lacked the sound of Pantera—selling more than 44,000 copies in the first week and over 100,000 within the first year.

On December 8, 2004, at a show in Columbus, Ohio, 25-year-old Nathan Gale rushed the stage and fatally shot Darrell not even a minute into their first song. Gale also killed 23-year-old fan Nathan Bray, a 29-year-old employee of the club Erin Halk, and 40-year-old Pantera security official Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson.

Gale wounded Pantera and Damageplan drum technician John “Kat” Brooks and Damageplan tour manager Chris Paluska before being fatally shot by Officer James Niggemeyer of the Columbus Police Department. While it is still not confirmed what led Gale to commit the heinous act, some friends have said he claimed Pantera had stolen songs he wrote.

Following the death of Darrell, Paul went on to create Hellyeah with Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray, former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, guitarist Horace Drondo, bass player Kyle Sanders and guitarist Christian Brady.

The idea for Hellyeah originally surfaced in 2000 during the Tattoo the Earth tour, but conflicting schedules kept the members from coming together. It was not until the summer of 2006 that the band managed to find the time to record their first album.

The album was recorded in roughly one month at Chasin’ Jason studio located in Darrell’s backyard. On April 9, 2007, the self-titled album was released and debuted at 9 on the Billboard 200.

The band went on to release “Band of Brothers” on July 17, 2012, “Blood for Blood” on June 10, 2014, “Unden!able” on June 2, 2016, and in October of 2017 it was announced the band would begin recording their sixth album the following month.

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About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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