Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante has shared the first pictures of the Pantera lineup who’ll deliver a series of tribute shows starting next month. He admits he needed a drink after two weeks of working together.

Long-term members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown will be joined by Benante in place of late drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, and Zakk Wylde in place of guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. The brothers died in 2018 and 2004 respectively.

After “two weeks in NOLA with these boys,” Benante admits that “it’s been a lot of work but how could it not? So much heart and soul is going into it. This is all about the love for Vinnie and Dime, the fans and the music that these four created. I’m really enjoying playing these songs – they sound great! It’s very emotional and it’s just starting to hit me. … See you soon; I need a drink.”

Benante previously reported that he aimed to replicate Paul’s approach as accurately as possible. “I can’t go do this as the drummer from Anthrax,” he said. “The way I’m gonna do that is if you close your eyes, it's gonna sound like it’s Vinnie, basically. … The sound is gonna sound exactly like him.”

Wylde, however, took the opposite position: “No matter what I do, it’s going to sound like me,” he said. “I can practice all I want and stay as faithful as I want, but I am never going to escape that. It’s like if Randy Rhoads were to play Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Eruption.’ No matter what he did, it would sound like Randy playing, not Eddie. You’re never going to mistake Randy for Eddie or Eddie for Randy, and it’s the same thing here with me playing Dime’s stuff.”

The first Pantera tribute show takes place on Dec. 2 at the Hell & Heaven Metal Fest in Mexico, with dates running until next year's Tons of Rock festival in Norway in June.

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