Reinventing The Steel (Elektra)
by Martin Popoff
Like I’ve babbled many times before, when you singularly own a sound this good, why abandon it? So Pantera don’t, reinventing little, tweaking and recalibrating a fine land-speed record jetster and then taking it out to the salt flats for a knuckle-ripping ride. If an overview be ventured, I’d say this lives up to Vinnie’s statements about strength of song, Pantera generally keeping it short, ear to the ground, logical, almost compact and punky, within, that is, the golden-handcuffed confines of the patented tin-foil-on-a-filling Pantera screech. All of this can be viewed within a happy headbanged classic like “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit,” chorus courtesy of the old days, while what the band doesn’t want to return to (sound for noise sake) can be dismayed through “You’ve Got To Belong To It.” Phil does a little more singing here too (“Revolution Is My Name”), a dimension that should surely turn a third of this into anthems given the time necessary for fans to digest this quite note-dense batch of frenetics. A return to old? Not really, although there’s a certain immediacy here, a compression of mind that says let’s get to it before we lose ’em.