Pantera were massive fans of Rob Halford and Judas Priest — just listen to their pre-Cowboys From Hell album Power Metal and try to deny the influence — and when the Texan metal firebrands burst out of the local circuit and onto the wider scene in the early Nineties, Halford returned the favor by proving to be one of their earliest big-name champions, publicly singing their praises and even joining them onstage occasionally. Below, he shares his enthusiasm for the Southern trendkillers and picks his favorite song by them.
It was the first song I ever heard by them and it struck a chord. I saw the video on Much Music TV in Canada when Priest were in full production rehearsals for the Painkiller tour up there. I felt the same way I felt when I heard "Man in a Box" by Alice in Chains: I thought, Here we go. This is a band that is going to change the music landscape around the world. And they did. The complete vibe from they way they sounded, looked, and performed was extraordinary and unique. A new style of metal was created by Pantera.