Metal legends mourn the loss of Pantera's Vinnie Paul

Vinnie Paul.
Vinnie Paul. Photo credit: Pantera/Twitter

Vinnie Paul Abbott, drummer for Pantera and brother of the late 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott, has died.

The Texas-born musician was 54. Details of how he died have not yet been released.

He formed Pantera in the early 1980s with Dimebag. They hit the bigtime in the early 1990s after switching from glam metal to a harder-edged sound.

After Pantera split in 2003, Paul and Dimebag formed Damageplan. Dimebag was shot dead on stage at a gig in Ohio in December 2004.

Tributes for Paul have flowed in from other hard rock and metal acts.

"Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing," rock band Papa Roach tweeted. "Vinnie Paul showed us nothing but love. We'll miss you Vinnie."

"Rock in peace Vinnie Paul," wrote singer Sebastian Bach. "Say hi to brother Dime from all of us."

"Super sad to learn of the passing of my pal," guitarist Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote on Instagram. "Say hello to your brother, man!"

"Another metal hero taken too soon," said Megadeth's Dave Mustaine. "Say hello to Daryl for me."

Pantera's albums Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill all went platinum in the US.