Review by MartinDavey87 for Pantera - Reinventing the Steel (2000)
‘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.