Review of the Album "Reinventing the Steel" By Texas Thrash Metal Band Pantera
Did Pantera Really Reinvent Themselves?
Texas groove thrash band Pantera really took a dive down to its lowest level with the terrible album called The Great Southern Trendkill. In 2000, they released the album called Reinventing the Steel what was to be this band’s final studio album. The question that I kept on asking myself was “let’s see how bad this album’s going to be.” I did not have high expectations for this one but how good is this album?
Reinventing The Steel Back of the Album Cover
Reinventing The Steel Songs 1-4
Immediately with the first song called Hellbound, the riffs are heavy, angry, and the song actually has a useful message in it. The song’s message is to so what you can to get rid of the so-called “life decline.” Once we overcome our fears we will know that we have won a victory. Pantera didn’t really reinvent themselves with this album. What they did do is make themselves less worse musically. The band is trying to inform and educate the world about not wasting the time that we do have and to embrace this time instead. By doing this, we will get to know ourselves on a deeper level. The first three songs on this album are respectable but then, the band falls into the routine of including this messy feedback kind of sound on the song You’ve Got to Belong to It. Then it is followed by an average riff and Phil Anselmo’s angry vocals. But we also have to give credit where it is due. This means that I will say that Phil Anselmo does a fine job on the vocals in the song "Hellbound." There is also a decent solo in the song called God**** Electric. Pantera must have had a lot of rage in them and maybe that's why they came up with song titles such as this. Whatever their motivations for such songs, they ended their career in sub-par fashion.
Reinventing The Steel: Songs Revolution is My Name and Death Rattle
The same muffled, guitar sound continues into the song called Revolution Is My Name. The song is about someone that was born in 1968 and was growing up during the 1970’s but he was confused and had an identity crisis. He knows that the time to change is now and if things stay the same, he won’t be able to grow. Once again, the band does too much to sound creative and it fails for them. The song Death Rattle suffers from the same musical problem the previous song does. It is heavy but with no real substance, creativity, or brilliance that we heard back in 1992 with this band.
Even With Its Varied Influences the Album Still Is Not Very Good
With the song called We’ll Grind That Axe for a Long Time, there actually is some decent groove in it. Phil starts to sound like Henrik Klingenberg with that rough and hoarse vocal style that we would hear in 2005. The song It Makes Them Disappear is a messy sounding slower groove song about trying to get revenge on people that we feel have wronged us in some way. The style is similar to the band Mental Care Foundation however the guitar is messier. I also hear a sort of later Judas Priest influenced style songwriting. A few examples of this kind of influence are in the albums Jugulator and Demolition. The blues solo by guitarist Dimebag Darrell however is just average thus taking the score of this song down a little bit. Even with this album, Pantera does not do a good enough job to take this album out of the mediocre category. The strongest songs in the album are Hellbound, Goddamn Electric, and Yesterday Don’t Mean **** which was the first song that I heard from this album. In the second song, the lyrical theme is about a young teenager that leads a rebellious life as he turns to drugs, alcohol, and sometimes money. Some people will do anything just to try and earn a little bit of money.
Final Thoughts About Reinventing The Steel
If Pantera’s goal was to go out (finish up their career) in a blaze of glory, they did not exactly do that. Pantera was once of the elite American metal bands that became a shadow of its former self. The best songs in the album Reinventing the Steel are Hellbound, God**** Electric, and the third song.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian