Pantera drummer and founding member Vinnie Paul died Friday night in Las Vegas. His passing was announced on the Pantera Facebook page, but no cause of death was revealed.
“Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,” Pantera wrote on Facebook. “Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah. No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.”
The passing provoked an outcry among fans of the band, whose raw, groove heavy rock has been a mainstay of the hard music scene for more than 30 years.
Texas-born Paul formed Pantera in 1981 with his brother, guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and bassist Rex Brown. Abbott was shot and killed by a gunman while on stage during a performance with Damageplan on December 8, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio.
After recording three albums with vocalists Donnie Hart and Terry Glaze, the band recruited singer Phil Anselmo in 1987 to form what is considered the band’s best lineup, featuring Anselmo, Abbott, Paul and Brown.
The band made its major label debut in 1990 with the Cowboys From Hell album, and quickly built a following on its groove metal style. Its follow-up, Vulgar Display of Power, is considered a classic of the genre. But the best was yet to come. The next album,1994’s Far Beyond Driven, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts
After 2000’s Reinventing the Steel, Pantera disbanded, as a dispute between the Abbott brothers and Anselmo mushroomed.
There was no immediate word on a memorial service or survivors.
Some reactions to Vinnie Paul’s death: