It’s amazing how Pantera changes on each album but stay very heavy. From the oprah-vocaled melodic Cowboys to their last effort Reinventing the Steel, this band stays very true to the heavy music. I personally rank Reinventing the Steel just under Vulgar Display of Power as their best album. RTS is slower then Southern Trendkill and Far Beyond Driven but more hard-riff orientated. Songs #9 and #10 are absolutely stunning and literally cap off Pantera’s quality career. Phil Anselmo’s vocals are more brutal on this album as opposed to the squeeling screams that dominated Far Beyond Driven. If you want a fundamentally sound, American hard metal album – buy Reinventing the Steel and Vulgar Display of Power. You will not be disappointed.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
After a four year wait, Pantera returns with yet another classic metal album. This album returns to the cleaner guitar/bass sounds remniscent of “FBD” and “Vulgar”, yet with more “Cowboy’s”-esque Dimebag riffs. Phil’s voice is still Phil’s voice, powerful and in your face! The best songs on this CD are: the heavy plodding “——- Electric”, “You’ve Got to Belong to It” which sounds as if it could have almost been on the “Cowboys” album, “Revolution is My Name” where Phil actually SINGS pretty well, “Uplift” which features excellent bass play by Rex, and the album’s closer “I’ll Cast a Shadow”. Any long-time PanterA fan will be more than satisfied with this album. Anyone that’s just getting into the metal scene, here are a few bands that are definitely worth giving a listen to: Drain STH, Sevendust, Puya, Machine Head, Skinlab, and Candiria. Enjoy.
DAMMIT! Goddamn Electric is the BEST Pantera song I’ve heard for a LONG time! But, then there’s Reinventing the Steel and Death Rattle, oh, and about 7 other crunching tracks that take Pantera back to the sound that made them one of the definitive metal bands, ever. If you look below you, you will gradually see more reviews giving full marks to this great record, than before. This is because these people will probably only be seing this record’s true brilliance 5 days after they bought it. This is die hard Pantera and I love them for it. No fillers, no ballads, no real hit singles, just 10 hard-hitting tracks that heavy music needs right now. Pantera may be a number one selling band, but they stick firmly to their roots. They will not change. But, they will continue to make consistently great records that bow to no trend. True Pantera fans now this and as a result will totally love this record, which harks back to the classic vulgar display of power more than any of their other records – only, a lot more aggressive. People who were expecting this god awful ‘nu’ sound shouldn’t be listening to Pantera.
If you’re one of those reviewers that don’t like this album for some reason, I urge you to go back and listen to it a few times. It is really quite an amazing CD. I liked it a lot the first time I heard it, and now, after repeated listenings, I love it. Pantera does not falter here at all. In fact, they sound better than ever. For starters, “Steel” contains two of Pantera’s best songs ever: “We’ll grind that axe for a long time” and “I’ll cast a shadow.” I think these songs hold their own with classics such as “5 minutes alone” and “Drag the waters.” But that’s just the beginning. Every song here rocks. There is not one clinker. “Uplift” kicks my a## every time. “Death rattle” actually scares me, it’s so brutal. “You’ve got to belong to it” is ferocious. I could say the same for every track here, but you get the point. This album doesn’t compromise, doesn’t cop out, doesn’t go soft. It’ll smash your face in.Leave it to Pantera, the hardest band on the planet, to give hard rock fans something to cheer about for once.
It is my theory that Pantera released this album in spite of nu-metal. I think this not only because Phil Anselmo was publicly outspoken against nu-metal, but also because Pantera always went against the grain; they were never been the flavor of the month and they always made music they wanted to make. During a time when bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn were at the height of their career, Pantera release the heaviest album of their career. Just a straight forward, heavy as f*ck metal album that speaks for itself. Love it or hate it, you’ve got to give Pantera props for not jumping on the bandwagon. They didn’t add rap to their metal, and they sure didn’t shave the edges off their sound or go through a more alternative phase (a la Metallica’s “Load” and Megadeth’s “Risk”).
Now, to all you reviewers who said this album was a sell-out: I’m confused. This album doesn’t have a hint of melody to help increase album sales or get radio play. How is that a sell-out?
“Hellbound” is a personal favorite and a great song to listen to when you want to get pumped up. The verses build well, leading into the incredible chorus, which is an absolutely brutal breakdown. The double kick drums and screeching guitar make a “boom-boom” sound, and Phil shrieks like he’s being burned in the fires of Hades. Every time I hear this part of “Hellbound,” I think “Oh, hell yeah!”
“Godd*mn Electric” features lead guitar played by Slayer’s Kerry King. This song also has a galloping beat, with pounding drums and a wailing guitar solo.
“Revolution is My Name” is the single, and probably the catchiest song of the batch. Crunchy guitars, catchy drum rythms, and two winding guitar solos. Phil howls throughout most of this song, but near the end he says one spoken word: “Revolution”.
“Death Rattle” is as brutal as ever before. It has fast, bobbing guitars which grind and throb. It begins like most of the other songs on this record, but ends with grinding guitars that chug and churn. Meanwhile, Phil changes from a guttural howl to a growl. I also enjoy this song because whenever Phil sings “death rattle shakes,” his vocals sizzle, echo, and hiss like a rattlesnake.
“We’ll Grind that Axe for a Long Time” surprisingly doesn’t grind, but it’s still a great headbanger. The song has three speed changes, and the chorus is a skipping beat.
“It Makes them Dissappear” and “I’ll Cast a Shadow” are both pretty good songs, and “It Makes them Dissappear” has a good, long guitar solo (which lasts almost thirty seconds), but both of these songs don’t really go anywhere; they could use a brutal breakdown.
Now, I can understand why you wouldn’t like this album at first, because every track is as hard as the last one, and every track is a kick to the head. Yes, most of these songs do sound the same and yes, this entire C.D. is harmony deficient…it’s supposed to be! Pantera made it this way as part of the “Revolution” against modern popular music. Or maybe it’s just apart of the band’s evolution: Pantera started out as a heavy metal band and got heavier with each release.
This C.D. may take some getting used to, but it is worth it. It’s essential listening for metalheads, but, then again, true metalheads should have all of Pantera’s C.D.s.