Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown React to Vinnie Paul's Death

In his first social media posts since the death of his bandmate Vinnie Paul, former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo shared a photograph of a lit candle on Instagram and Facebook last night.

After initially re-tweeting the statement on Paul’s death posted on Pantera’s official social media account, bassist Rex Brown has offered his first public comments: “The last few days have been very difficult and painful. At this time, I need more time to process my feelings. Thank you for all the love that has been sent. A formal press release will be coming shortly. Rest in Peace Brother Vinnie!”

Anselmo joined Pantera in 1986, five years after they formed and three albums into their recording career. After 1988’s Power Metal, the group dramatically overhauled their sound and completely revitalized metal for the ’90s, beginning with Cowboys From Hell and continuing through Vulgar Display of Power (1992), the chart-topping Far Beyond Driven (1994) and The Great Southern Trendkill (1996). But after 2000’s underrated Reinventing the Steel, conflicts between Anselmo and Paul and his brother, guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, came to a head, and the band broke up in 2003, with Paul and Abbott forming Damageplan.

Bad blood remained between Anselmo and Paul, even after Darrell was killed onstage, right in front of his brother, in 2004. It didn’t help that, only a week before the murder, Anselmo said that Darrell “deserves to be beaten severely.” Anselmo claimed he was joking, but Paul was unconvinced.

“Vinnie Paul’s closed-door policy when it comes to me, that’s something he’s gonna have to ride around on his shoulders the rest of his fucking life,” Anselmo said in 2011. “I know this: My door is always open, and always has been open.” Brown joined Anselmo in the metal supergroup Down in 1999, recording two albums with the group before departing in 2011.

Questions about a Pantera reunion would occasionally come up, with the possibility of Zakk Wylde playing guitar, but Paul refused to mend fences with Anselmo. “He’s done a lot of things that tarnish the image of what Pantera was back then and what it stood for and what it was all about,” he said. “And it’s sad. … I can’t control anything that goes on with that dude. I mean, honestly, I haven’t spoken to him since 2000.”

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