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A Terrible Way to End Their Career - 50%

DawnoftheShred, December 10th, 2006

Pantera's legacy is not a pretty one. They began as shitty glam, evolved into some pretty sweet thrash, than degraded into shitty groove (despite the fact that they pretty much innovated that style of metal). Reinventing the Steel is their final futile effort to justify their overrated brand of sludgy groove-core garbage, and it's probably their worst album since their glam metal debut.

Dimebag Darrell is a phenomenal guitar player. His riff-writing on Cowboys from Hell was brilliant in execution and powerful in delivery. So why the fuck did he regress into pumping out shitty downtuned groove riffs? The rhythm guitar here is the spiritual precursor to Darrell's next band, Damageplan, and almost as bad as everything on that band's New Found Power album. His lead work is still good, but his solos encompass a very small part of the songs. The songs generally consist of agonizingly banal mallcore rhythms accompanied by Phil Anselmo's increasingly irritating vocal roars. The lyrics are garbage, plain and simple. The only memorable parts of the album are the guitar solos and a few occasional rhythm/drum collaborations, namely in "Hellbound," "Goddamn Electric," and "You've Got to Belong to It." These moments are few and far between, and their rarity is the primary reason for this album's failure.

Worst of all is the production. Inexcusably shitty. Their fucking glam albums sounded better than this. Perhaps its worth noting that the band produced this album themselves. It certainly shows.

This is a sad way to end the legacy of the same band that brought us the mighty Cowboys from Hell, and even the memorable Vulgar Display of Power. Reinventing the Steel reinvents nothing, only reinforcing the fact that groove metal lacks innovation and sucks major ass. Avoid this atrocity, it's an unfitting final release from an otherwise talented band.