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Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante to Round Out Pantera Lineup for 2023 Tour: Report

The two metal veterans will join Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown for the surprising Pantera reunion

Zakk Wylde Charlie Benante Pantera
Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante, photos by Amy Harris
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    On Wednesday (July 13th), news broke that surviving members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown would resurrect Pantera for a 2023 tour. According to a new report from Billboard, Zakk Wylde and Anthrax’s Charlie Benante will fill the band’s guitar and drum positions held by late brothers Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul, respectively.

    Billboard cites a source close to the band as confirming that Wylde and Benante are on board, while also revealing that Pantera will headline major North American and European festivals next year, in addition to playing headlining shows. The report further divulges that the estates of Dimebag and Vinnie Paul have given the tour their blessings.

    Wylde, who fronts Black Label Society and is the touring guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, has long been mentioned as a potential candidate should Pantera ever reunite, and has often said it would be an honor to get the call. Last year, Brown seemed to quash the idea, telling eonmusic, “It wouldn’t be Zakk Wylde, I guarantee you that. I’ve just put it out there so we can get on past it.” Apparently, Brown has since had a change of heart.

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    Benante has been a member of Anthrax for nearly 40 years, and is considered one of the best metal drummers of all time. Like Wylde, he had a long-standing friendship with Dimebag and Vinnie Paul.

    Prior to Billboard’s report, Heavy Consequence put together a list of potential candidates on Thursday morning that included Wylde and Benante. Among the other guitarists we mentioned were Kerry King and Gary Holt, while our suggestions for drummers included Mike Portnoy and Gene Hoglan. It was a short-lived list, as the report naming Wylde and Benante surfaced Thursday evening.

    Sadly, Dimebag was slain onstage in 2004 while performing with Damageplan, while his brother Vinnie Paul died in 2018 of heart disease. While he was alive, Vinnie Paul repeatedly indicated that he was not interested in any Pantera reunion, having had a falling out with Anselmo, who had criticized Dimebag in a magazine interview shortly before the guitarist was murdered.

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    Interestingly, Benante and Wylde will be hitting the road together in less than two weeks, when Anthrax and Black Label Society kick off a joint North American tour. Tickets for that trek are available via Ticketmaster. Stay tuned as dates and details are announced for the surprising 2023 Pantera tour.

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