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3.55 | 39 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2000

Filed under Groove Metal


1. Hellbound (2:40)
2. Goddamn Electric (4:56)
3. Yesterday Don't Mean Shit (4:19)
4. You've Got to Belong to It (4:13)
5. Revolution Is My Name (5:15)
6. Death Rattle (3:17)
7. We'll Grind That Axe for a Long Time (3:44)
8. Uplift (3:45)
9. It Makes Them Disappear (6:21)
10. I'll Cast a Shadow (5:24)

Total Time: 44:00


- Phil Anselmo / lead vocals
- Dimebag Darrell / guitar, backing vocals
- Rex Brown / bass, backing vocals
- Vinnie Paul / drums

Guest Musicians:

- Kerry King / Outro guitar on "Goddamn Electric"

About this release

Elektra Records/East West Records, March 27th, 2000

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

‘Reinventing the Steel’ is the ninth and final studio album by groove metal band Pantera. Released in 2000, the band members would fall out big-time shortly after, and would end up disbanding a few years later. So with this release bringing their career to an end, all I can do is look back on this and wonder, “what the hell am I missing?!”...

Pantera are so highly revered and beloved by metal fans that I easily fell into the hype, going only by their hit singles from the early 90’s. Sure, ‘Cowboys from Hell’, ‘Walk’, ‘Mouth For War’ and ‘Domination’ are all metal classics which had me anxiously awaiting really digging into their albums, but honestly, that literally was the best the band had to offer. The rest really was just hype.

While their main output was mostly mediocre albums with a couple of decent hits, I really hoped that ‘Reinventing...’ would give the band one final hoorah. But alas, nope, it’s just another generic album. Although there are a couple of moments of goodness, most of the songs sound average and uninteresting. It’s almost as if the band were just going through the motions by this point.

The album is well produced, however, giving the music a solid punch, and like on previous releases, when the band are good, they’re really damn good! But as always, this is very rarely the case. ‘Revolution is My Name’ is an absolute banger, and ‘Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit’ and ‘Goddamn Electric’ are alright, though not quite as memorable. But otherwise, the rest is pretty mundane, by-the-numbers tracks, with jarring riffs that make the album seem disjointed most of the time.

I fell into the Pantera hype for a good fifteen or so years before actually taking the time to really listen to their albums properly, and I’ve got to say, what a huge disappointment this has been. Sure, they’re heavy as hell, and there’s no denying how influential they were in the 90’s, but truthfully, their entire back catalogue just gets a huge “meh” from me.

I think it’s safe for me to ignore this album, and all of their albums for that matter, and just stick to their ‘Reinventing Hell’ greatest hits compilation, which is pretty much all their decent tracks right there.
"Reinventing the Steel" is the 9th full-length studio album by US groove/thrash metal act Pantera. The album was released through East West Records in March 2000. It would be the last studio album by Pantera as disagrements between lead vocalist Phil Anselmo and guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul led to the band breaking up in 2003. There were at the time several rumours of a reunion but those were effectively stopped when Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed onstage in December 2004 while performing with his brother and their new act Damageplan. The disagreements had started much earlier though and things hadn´t been well in the Pantera camp for a while. Most sources say they started as early as 1995 when Anselmo´s heroin habit took form. But while the vocalist and the rest of the band had recorded their parts at different locations when recording "The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)", they recorded "Reinventing the Steel" together.

After releasing what is arguably their most "experimental" album in "The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)", the band have returned to a more groove oriented and accessible style on "Reinventing the Steel". Dimebag Darrell still utilize odd ideas in his playing such as the use of pitchshifter, but ultimately "Reinventing the Steel" is a groove based metal album that´ll make your head bang hard and your body move in spastic jerks. Every track on the album features quality groovy riffs, rythmic drumming (at times rather complex) and Phil Anselmo´s raw yet melodic vocals. The clear and powerful sound production is perfect for the band´s music and helps further emphasise what a well playing band Pantera were. Tracks like "Hellbound", "Death Rattle" and "You´ve got to Belong to It" are sharp and beyond aggressive, but the band also excel in great memorable melodies which are heard in tracks like "Goddamn Electric", "Yesterday Don´t Mean Shit" and "Revolution is My Name".

Upon release I remember I wasn´t too fond of "Reinventing the Steel" and I´ll admit I haven´t listened much to the album over the years. It was like it just never really clicked with me. Fortunately some albums grow on you given the right amount of time, and after listening to "Reinventing the Steel" before writing this review, it struck me how great this album actually is. It´s not Pantera´s most groundbreaking or adventurous release, but it packs a ton of punch and combines that with memorable songwriting to great effect. The quality does drop towards the end of the album and tracks like "It Makes Them Disappear" and "I'll Cast a Shadow" last too long, lack memorable hooks and are just generally below the usual standard of the band, but still a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is warranted.
If you like Pantera, all five of their official studio albums are absolutely essential listening. Out of all the official Pantera studio albums however, Reinventing The Steel is perhaps the least popular, and the one that features least often in countdowns of greatest albums, but this doesn’t reflect entirely fairly on the quality of the album as a whole.

While this album isn’t as instantly accessible as Vulgar Display Of Power or as Zeitgeist-grabbingly important to its time as Far Beyond Driven it is still my honest opinion that any serious Pantera fan should own a copy of Reinventing The Steel.

Reinventing The Steel is certainly a grower of an album; the more that you listen to it, the more that you can get out of it. The standard of musicianship on the album is so high, which should bypass any other problems people may imagine the album to have. Sure, the artwork is silly and off-putting and there aren’t as many big hit singles on it as on other Pantera records but the album is tight, well written and consistent which is a lot more important than these superficial issues.

It could be said, whilst trying not to sound pretentious, that Reinventing The Steel is the musician’s Pantera album. The record may be pretty challenging for casual listeners, as tracks like ‘You’ve Got To Belong To It’ and ‘Uplifting’ twist in and out of each other, turning backwards away from momentum in the blink of an eye and are full of unusual guitar noises and little runs that take four or five listens to even understand. This may be off-putting at first, but really adds to the listening experience on repeat listens, picking out all the little touches and enjoying how the tracks defy expectations.

For people who enjoy Dimebag Darrell’s unique guitar style; Reinventing The Steel is perhaps the album on which he was at his most “Dimebag,” farthest away from sounding like his influences or any specific subgenre and just laying down tracks that were uniquely his and solos that sound utterly specific to him.

Highlights include the very catchy singles ‘Revolution Is My Name,’ and ‘Goddamn Electric,’ as well as the spiteful ‘We’ll Grind That Axe For A Long Time,’ and the astounding a emotionally powerful album closer ‘ I’ll Cast A Shadow,’ which features some of Phil’s best ever vocal performances.

That being said I have come to love each and every song on this record, every individual riff, vocal and beat permanently cast in my memory. Each track fits perfectly beside each other, the running order itself is great as is the song structuring and the majority of the lyrics are strong (although some can be a little cheesy as usual)

The production too is great, you can really hear every single note on the Bass Guitar throughout the whole record, every drum beat is clear and distinct with a good mix on the kit overall and Phil’s multi-layered vocals, while an acquired taste, do sound very good.

Overall; While Reinventing The Steel may be the least popular of the five main Pantera studio albums, it is by no means a write-off and I urge listeners to give it an open-minded second chance and for new listeners to give it a try and not be put off by its comparative lack of praise.

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