The iconic Pantera drummer was 54
A massive heart attack has been revealed to be the cause of the death of Vinnie Paul, the legendary metal drummer of 90s standard bearers Pantera along with his other groups Damageplan and Hellyeah, upon reports of his passing hitting the Internet on Friday night.
The tributes from all across the music community flooded social media, as friends and fans alike expressed shock and sorrow in the face of yet another tragedy in the Pantera family.
“The last few days have been very difficult & painful,” responded Pantera bassist Rex Brown via Twitter in regards to the loss of his longtime brother in rhythm. “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!”
Phil Anselmo’s record label, Housecore Records, meanwhile, has a simple photo of a remembrance candle on the front page of their website, as the singer has yet to speak on Paul’s death in public at press time.
A visibly shaken Sebastian Bach posted a video on YouTube reacting to the news about Paul. Skid Row famously took Pantera on their first major tour in 1991 when Bach and the boys were on the road in support of their sophomore masterpiece Slave to the Grind.
“So sad to hear about the passing of Vinnie Paul,” Tommy Shaw of Styx wrote on his Facebook page. “We met when JY and I joined him on Eddie Trunk’s ‘That Metal Show’ on March 17, 2012. We were immediately taken by his good nature, humility and sense of humor. There are few stories in Rock that can rival what Vinnie Paul experienced. From mega success to tragedy, he was amazingly unaffected by it all. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with him that day and wish his friends and family comfort as they mourn his loss.”
“Utterly shocked to learn of the passing of Vinnie Paul,” expressed Trunk, who paid homage to his friend on his SiriusXM show Volume. “Had so many great times with him over the decades. Great drummer and great rock fan. This is incredibly tragic… RIP Vin. You will be missed.”
I got to see Pantera twice in my life. Once at Ozzfest, where they inspired a sea of headbangers to jump from the stands of Giants Stadium to rush the stage, and the second time opening for Black Sabbath in 1999 at Nassau Coliseum, where they just damn near blew Geezer and them off the stage with an unrelenting set of ruthless aggression.
We can only take solace in the fact that this incredible and beloved figure in American heavy metal has been reunited with his late brother Dime in Heavy Metal Heaven.
In honor of his life, please enjoy this Spotify playlist featuring some of his best work in Pantnera, Damageplan and Hellyeah.
Peaceful journey, Vin.