Darrell Lance Abbott (August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004), also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American musician best known for being the founding member of the bands Pantera and Damageplan alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott also contributed to the record Rebel Meets Rebel, a collaboration between Pantera and David Allan Coe. Darrell is considered to be one of the driving forces behind groove metal.
Abbott was slain by a gunman while on stage during a performance with Damageplan on December 8, 2004, at the Alrosa Villa inColumbus, Ohio. He ranked #92 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists and #1 in the UK magazine Metal Hammer.
Abbott formed Pantera in 1981 with his brother Vinnie Paul on drums. The band played with thrash metal acts such as Slayer,Megadeth, Venom, and Metallica, as well as traditional metal bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, and Judas Priest. Pantera subsequently became a key formulator of the post-thrash subgenre of "groove" metal. It would not be until nine years after forming that Pantera saw its first piece of commercial success in its 1990 major label debut, Cowboys from Hell. Pantera’s “groove” style came to fruition in its breakthrough album Vulgar Display of Power, released on February 25, 1992, which saw the replacement of the power metal falsetto vocals with a hardcore-influenced shouted delivery and heavier guitar sound. In 1994, Abbott dropped the nickname “Diamond Darrell” (after original Van Halen lead vocalist “Diamond” David Lee Roth,) and assumed the nickname “Dimebag Darrell.” Pantera began to suffer from mounting tensions between band members in the mid-1990s, largely due to vocalist Phil Anselmo's rampant drug abuse. In 2001 the group went on an extended hiatus but never formally broke up. Anselmo left the band for other projects, such asSuperjoint Ritual and Down.
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