The estate of founding Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul (who died in 2018) has weighed in on Pantera's upcoming shows, saying that "there can never be a Pantera reunion without Vinnie and Dime," but giving their blessing to the band's newly-reformed lineup.
Tomorrow (December 2nd), the groove-metal pioneers — now comprised of core members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown joined by longtime friends Charlie Benante (Anthrax) and Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) — will take the stage for the first time in over 20 years at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest, kicking off an increasingly busy tour schedule that's set to traverse South America this winter, and eventually hit Europe and the United States later in 2023.
In a November 30th post on Facebook, Vinnie's estate — which has begun promoting Pantera's upcoming tour over the last few days — gave their first official statement on the band's controversial return to the stage.
"There can never be a Pantera reunion without Vinnie and Dime," the estate wrote on social media. "However, there is no better way to celebrate and honor Vinnie and Dime's legacy, than to bring the music of Pantera directly to the fans.
"We are honored that Charlie and Zakk, their very close friends and musical brothers, will share the stage with Philip and Rex, to unleash the power of Pantera live around the world."
The statement mirrors the language that Benante and Wylde have been using to describe the shows since they were first announced over the summer, specifically avoiding the word "reunion" and instead framing them as a "celebration" and a "tribute" to the music of Pantera.
See the message from Vinnie's estate below.