There are two poignant Pantera anniversaries this calendar year. The band's essential 'Cowboys From Hell' album celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reissue earlier this year. Today also marks the sixth anniversary of the tragic, unexpected shooting death of guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. His death still hurts for the majority of metal fans, his former bandmates and his brother even though over half a decade has passed since the incident.

While most of the music world is reminiscing today about the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's also-senseless murder, the metal community is mourning the loss of one of the greatest guitarists to ever pick up an axe.

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Noisecreep spoke to both Phil Anselmo and Vinnie Paul earlier this year about various topics, both Pantera-related and otherwise. Of course the pair separately spoke about how Dimebag's loss still impacts them, especially when curating the reissue of 'Cowboys From Hell' without him.

In our exclusive chat, Anselmo mused about Dime, wistfully admitting, "I will say that with each passing year, it gets harder and harder and harder. This year was really rough ... When I look around today and see what an impact that we made, and where heavy metal is at today, and I think of what could have been? What should have been? It's very hard. It's hard to come to grips with it. However, with that said, I am a man who likes to live in the now. All I can do is -- like everyone else, like you, like any other fans, and anyone walking the streets that has love in their heart for what Pantera has done -- is sit back finally and listen to it as a fan."

Paul also spoke about how it's doubly hard for him, having lost his longtime bandmate and his brother, saying, "Of course it's bittersweet for me. The band was the biggest part of my life for the longest part. We had 14 amazing years, six incredible records and it was great till 1996, when things went sideways with certain people and it got real difficult. The beautiful thing was Dime loved the music he made and he will always live on through the music. It was his heart and soul, from the CFH logo to T-shirts that were his design."

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