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–Pantera: Reinventing the Steel  (2000, Retro Review)

–PANTERA: Reinventing the Steel (2000, Retro Review)

(This review was originally published in the Grand Rapids Press in June of 2000). 

The screaming chorus of opener “Hellbound” hits you with the subtlety of a diesel train careening into a big diesel truck. That’s the way Pantera likes it. 

Pantera’s fifth album is called “Reinventing the Steel,” and the title’s irony is obvious once its abrasive style of rock kicks into gear. Pantera is not reworking an old genre with this release. This is the same style of old-school heavy metal that bands like Metallica and Megadeth cultivated in the 1980s, only this is played even louder and with more aggression. 

The difference between Pantera and their contemporaries is that their music remains extremely heavy despite continued commercial success. 

Longtime Pantera fanatics will cherish the abrasive sound that dominates “Reinventing the Steel.” Guitarist Dimebag Darrell’s trademark brutal guitar riffs and singer Phil Anselmo’s guttural screams still paralyze, whiledrummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex’s intricate rhythms propel songs like the powerful first single “Revolution is My Name.” Pantera still knows how to shock, too, earning in spades its explicit lyrics sticker through an irreverent attitude and enough profanity to humble most new acts. 

This album will not likely convert new listeners to metal or Pantera, but die-hards will bang their heads with joy. ***–Jonathan Kollnot 

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~ by jonnyboyrocker on September 1, 2017.

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