PANTERA - Reinventing Hell
The Best Of Pantera

From a few glam-rock slanted early releases in the '80s,
Pantera exploded into one of the most influential Metal acts of the 1990s. Their personally crafted (and much imitated) sound of impacting precision setting them apart from most of the Death Metal and Glam-Rock acts of that rich early '90s era. The Cowboys From Hell's trademark is a combination of mean, chugging, growling guitars by Dimebag Darrell (not shy to throw in fancy lead work), machette chopping defined drumming by his brother Vinnie Paul (with machine gun double bass drums), bottom heavy bass by Rex Brown and invasive, controlled hard vocals by the anger-fuelled Henry Rollins implicative Phil Anselmo. Their old albums scrapped, the band feels they only really started fresh on 1990's Cowboys From Hell. From that album we get the definitive title track, Domination with its excellent pounding closer and the sharp and melodic Cemetery Gates (Phil proving he can do way more than scream & snarl). Vulgar Display Of Power doubled up from where they left off, spawning classics like Mouth For War, Walk, This Love and Fucking Hostile - tracks that simply cannot be left off their combustible live setlist (if you've seen their triple DVD, you'll know what I'm talking about). By 1994, Far Beyond Driven established them as THE act to follow, not just on the basis of their great songs, but because of their grueling touring, fan dedication and Billboard #1 debut! Radio airplay for a band like this is pretty much non-existent and they built an army of followers via pure dedication and living the hard rock lifestyle (as their tattoos and hard drinking party attitude reflects). This pivotal album's tracks include Becoming, I'm Broken, 5 Minutes Alone and the acoustic, subtle Black Sabbath cover Planet Caravan. The Great Southern Trendkill, their fuck-you album (as if any of the others weren't!), kicked against the crossbreed of metal genres jumping up around the mid-'90s, only offer up one track for this collection, Drag The Waters - but it's a track that sums it up perfectly. Being a full-bred live act (more so than a studio band - even though they're masters at both), a live album was inevitable. From the '97 Official Live: 101 Proof, two bonus studio tracks were added for their fans, Where You Come From included here. Their last studio album from 2000, Reinventing The Steel saw them in top form, but again only one track, Revolution Is Mine got selected. This 10-ton retrospective closes with two soundtrack contributions, Immortally Insane from the Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack and The Badge (a cover of the punk band Poison Idea) for the first Crow film. All their albums were recorded in their home state of Texas (Phil originally from new Orleans) and produced by technical master Terry Date (who has laid down some cutting edge modern metal bands since, incl. Deftones and Limp Bizkit). Vinnie systematically became co-producer and engineering, eventually taking over total control, with Dimebag also sharing credit. This is one substantial lesson in Metal, and if you don't know all there is to know about this ass kicking band, liner notes by Don Kaye will give you a bit of a perspective overview.
PS. This release does have one flaw, though - my CD booklet's page order is jumbled up!

6 / A
- PB

6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

Multiple Listening
Deserves Another Spin
Once Should Suffice