Later this year, Metallica will be kicking off their highly anticipated M72 World Tour, and the recently re-formed Pantera will be joining them for a handful of shows. Since last summer, when the Texas groove-metal juggernaut — now comprised of core members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown, along with Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde and Anthrax's Charlie Benante — announced they were reigniting as a band, many big-name figures from throughout the metal community have weighed in on Pantera's latest iteration.
Now, talking with Revolver, Lars Ulrich has become the first member of Metallica to publicly share his take on the band's return, which has been described by Wylde and Benante as a tribute to both the fans and the group's late founding brothers, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul.
"I think that the idea that they're out celebrating the music and the magic of Pantera is ... I know there's been a lot of talk in the community about whether people support that or not," Ulrich tells Revolver. "But I'm the type of person, if Glenn Hughes wants to go out and play a Deep Purple set, I'd support that.
"I'm always in favor of people following their musical and creative ambitions; so this Pantera reunion, I think, is good. And obviously having Charlie [Benante] up there is great. I saw a video from one of the Mexico shows that felt like they were in the pocket. It'll be fun to have them out."
Speaking on Metallica's longstanding relationship with Pantera, which dates back to before Anselmo had even joined the band, Ulrich says, "We met the brothers on the Ride the Lightning tour and became friends with them. This was in Dallas in — what — 1622 or something? It was about 400 years ago. We obviously loved both of them, and they had a posse down there, and we would see them whenever we came through Texas. We watched the band evolve over the years from more rock vibes into that creative, unique force that they became. So, we've had a relationship with them for decades and decades."
Metallica's M72 World Tour is set to kick off on April 27th at Amsterdam's Johan Cruijff Arena. Their new album, 72 Seasons, is due out April 14th and available for pre-order on vinyl at Revolver's shop.