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Daniels, Neil: Reinventing Metal-The True Story of Pantera and the Tragically Short Life of Dimebag Darrell

Author Neil Daniels is no stranger to writing books about key bands in the history of heavy metal, in recent years penning tomes on such acts as Judas Priest, Metallica, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, and others. Reinventing Metal-The True Story of Pantera and the Tragically Short Life of Dimebag Darrell is his latest book, and tells the story of one of the 1990's true metal saviors, the Texas band Pantera. At a time when grunge was all the rage, Pantera went from their humble glam-metal beginnings to become one of the biggest bands on the planet, fusing thrash, traditional metal, and hardcore into a sound that was easily the most extreme thing the Billboard charts had ever seen or heard before. Lead singer Phil Anselmo, guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott, drummer Vinnie Paul, and bassist Rex Brown, went from playing small venues all over Texas to become true superstars, with sold out tours all over the world and a handful of chart topping, influential albums such as Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, Far Beyond Driven, The Great Southern Trendkill, and Reinventing Steel. Eventually, egos and drug abuse ripped the band apart, and the tragic murder of Dimebag in 2004 basically forever destroyed this once heavyweight band, but their legacy lives on. Daniels does a fine job here piecing together all the pertinent information on Pantera, with plenty of interview quotes and snippets from those who surrounded the band as well as the members themselves. Though there is just enough 'dirt' in here to keep those who crave tales of 'sex, drugs, and rock & roll' happy, this is by no means a book aimed at digging up every drunken escapade the band were involved in or making an example of Anselmo's deep descent into heroin addiction. Instead, the Abbott brothers love for their band and especially heavy metal in general is the key focus here, as well as dissecting the albums and the influence they still have on the metal world today. Those who followed the band before they became a global sensation will be happy to know that a few chapters are dedicated to those 'glam-metal' years, which will also be of interest for fans who only jumped on board when Cowboys From Hell was released (no, it wasn't their first album folks!) And, the author also paints a fantastic picture of Dimebag the guitar hero, whose tragically short career still didn't overshadow the influential music he created and the legions of players he spawned.

The tours, the music, the fun, the fights, the life, and the death, of one of the best metal acts of the ''s all here. Nice job once again by Mr. Daniels.

Added: October 19th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Backbeat Books
Hits: 2177
Language: english

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Daniels, Neil: Reinventing Metal-The True Story of Pantera and the Tragically Short Life of Dimebag Darrell
Posted by Dean Pedley, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-10-19 00:56:50
My Score:

Another month, another new book from the ever prolific Neil Daniels who started with Judas Priest and over the years has looked at the careers of Metallica, AC/DC, Journey and Robert Plant amongst others aswell as compiling collections of interviews with musicians and rock journalists. As a reader who was very much unaware of Pantera pre-Cowboys From Hell the first few chapters of Reinventing Metal-The True Story of Pantera and the Tragically Short Life of Dimebag Darrell are particularly enlightening. The glam metal years are Pantera's hidden history and this part of the story makes for very interesting reading. The story of how the band broke as a major force on the Metal scene only to subsequently be torn apart by Anselmo's addiction and the events leading up to Columbus will be more familiar. Nevertheless, Daniels covers a lot of new ground by pulling together recollections from those concerned both band members, other musicians and individuals who were around the band at the time. The narrative also reflects on how the Abbott brothers were influenced by rock and metal musicians and in turn how much the legacy of Pantera has influenced and inspired the next generation.

There is lots more to come from Daniels over the next 12 months with UFO and ZZ Top just two of the already announced projects he is currently putting the finishing touches to. In the meantime this is another quality addition to his existing body of work.

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