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Reinventing Metal – The True Story Of Pantera And The Tragically Short Life Of Dimebag Darrell


Available now from Amazon following the link below:

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Book Description:

(US: Backbeat Books, 2013; 272 pages, PB. ISBN: 978-1480341036)

Pantera is widely regarded as one of the most influential and revered American metal bands of the past 20 years. Although its output was relatively short from 1983 to 2000 it released only nine studio albums its impact on the metal scene since the band split up in 2003 is still felt to this day. Guitarist Dimebag Darrell was tragically killed in 2004 but his legacy remains undiminished. Pantera had an enormous influence on nu-metal, groove metal, metalcore, and grindcore and continues to be publicized and written about. Its 1990 breakthrough album Cowboys From Hell is still regarded as one of the greatest metal albums in history, as is Pantera s sixth opus, Vulgar Display Of Power.




"Bassist Rex Brown recently released his autobiography, which was really interesting. I also recommend Reinventing Metal, which gives a wider overview of Pantera. It's a detailed, compelling and well-written history of one of metal's greatest bands."

Chad Bowar – Heavy Metal (


"The terrible climax of the book is of course the retelling of the slaying of Darrell Abbott and three others at a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio. As the anniversary of Dime's death passes; the legion of fans who revere him to this day will greatly enjoy this book."

Kevin Wierzbicki – Anti Music (


"Daniels gets it all down, and what I like about his writing style is the fact that he does not waste time on stuff we do not care about. I have read far too many 'definitive' biographies that spend an inordinate amount of time on such irrelevancies as why the artist got a D in math in the 9th grade. Who gives a shit? Daniels gets right to it, and for that I am grateful. This is a very good book, whether Pantera's music was your cup of tea or not. They were an important band, and from what I can tell, the author covers all aspects of their career."

Greg Barbrick – Blinded By Sound (


"This is an exciting behind the scenes look at the band that changed Metal both musically, and historically. Fans worship the band, while detractors point to how the band morphed from spandex rockers to Metal Heads in order to get gain a record deal. The truth is somewhere in the middle and Daniels does a good job of uncovering the many facets that make up Pantera."

Jeb Wright – Classic Rock Revisited (


"With a wide array of research and many first-hand interviews with those who knew the group well, Reinventing Metal is an unauthorized, first-ever biography that focuses on the entire band – from its Texas high school start to the global mega-success that anchored Pantera as one of the most important metal names ever."

Concert Katie – Concert Katie Blog (


"Reinventing Metal is a quite critical look at the band...The career [of] Pantera is clearly dealt with in different chapters, which are based on the respective releases. For a metal listener these [days], he adds awareness to the band..."

Dominik Irtenkauf – CultUrMag (


"The book answers all the questions about the drugs and the fighting and the rivalries. It wasn't an easy assignment--many would-be interviewees shut the door when Daniels came knocking because they wanted to keep their secrets--but the author knocked it out of the park. Any fan of metal and particularly Pantera needs to read this one."

Steven Rosen – Curled Up With A Good Book (


"Daniels does quite the excellent job of portraying this schism, which as we all know, is unsettled to this day. From the band's management, former roadies, tourmates, and more, Reinventing Metal accurately paints a full Pantera picture, one that will no doubt be told over and over in the coming years. For the first book out of the gate, this is quality reading."

David E. Gehlke – Dead Rhetoric (


"I certainly enjoyed reading it and found it well-researched and well-written. There were countless things about the band, especially in relation to the 80s, that I knew absolutely nothing about beforehand, so the first half of the book was a bit of a revelation to me and overall I found it both moving and informative."
J. Nepper – Eternal Terror (


"Their story is a tragic and complicated one, not only because of the murder of guitarist Dimebag Darrell in 2004, but also because of the bad blood and hostility that continues between the three surviving members. Pantera really were a unique band, innovative and dangerous. Reinventing Metal will tell you why."

Alan W. Petrucelli – Examiner (


"Reinventing Metal is a solid overview of one of rock's most influential acts, a tautly-written tome that connects the dots to produce a clearer historical picture of Pantera without dabbling in so many details that newcomers (or head-bangers playing catch-up) get lost. It's a brisk-but-absorbing read that engrosses as much as it informs—a noble task for any paperback reference."

Peter Roche – Examiner (


"The likelihood of finding another band with the same impact in today's musical climate is slim, which makes a document like this all the more important as the band's story has been told for future generations of music fans to discover."

Nikk Gunns – Get Ready To Rock (


"Daniels details the bands glam rock beginning (they were called Pantera's Metal Magic in 1981) with stories of the writing and recording processes behind the band's first four releases, a quartet of albums long out of the minds of probably just about everyone."

Brian Campbell – Innocent Words (


"a great variety of interview quotes"

Michiel B. – Lords Of Metal (


"In his easy-to-read style, Daniels relates the history of the band from their formation as a five piece called Pantera's Metal Magic in 1981 (the book calls them as a six-piece at the time but only names five players) to their eventual break up twenty-two years later. There's an extended epilogue that focuses on Dimebag's murder, funeral and some discussion about the bad blood that continues to exist between Pantera's surviving members..."

Brian Griffin – Loud Mag (


"The fact that none of the infamous band members contributed to the book except past members is noteworthy, but this is still worth a read, whether you're a fan or not, as these four teenagers came out of Arlington Texas like an out of control chainsaw and carved their name in the anoles of Heavy Metal history. Their music is still revered throughout the Metal community, by both fans and musicians alike even today and Cowboys From Hell is still regarded as classic slice of groove filled metal some 30 years after its first release."

Barry McMinn – The Mayfair Mall Zine (


"Daniels, simple effective prose made this a fun, easy read playing a broad audience of Metal fans as well as enough technical detail about tours and chart placements to satisfy the more die-hard trivia minded reader as well. Daniels is one of the most prolific Metal authors on the scene right now and Reinventing Metal is another feather in his cap. He does a fine job telling a complicated story about a complicated band without primary access and despite a very glowing tone, he truly captured the story of the cowboys from hell."

Joshua Wood – Metal Rules (


"In Reinventing Metal Daniels does an excellent job of presenting an objective history of the band and their influence, leaving me with a much better understanding of the band and their place in Metal history."

C. Eric Banister – Music Tomes (


"Jeff Waters scribes the introduction and Brian Slagel the afterword; Daniels presents a complete discography/videography at the very end of the book and we can wholeheartedly say that "Reinventing Metal" must be the best book on Pantera ever released...we must say, though, that we are eagerly awaiting for Rex Brown's memoir. Vinnie Paul may blame Anselmo for his brother's death but the truth is that without the eccentric frontman, Pantera wouldn't have written such a triumphant yet tragic story..."

Sakis Nikas – Rock Pages (


"There are some tidbits that Pantera fans might find interesting, such as set lists from certain concert runs, and a complete discography, including early albums that the band no longer lists even on their own website, as well as a selective discography of albums released by bands associated with Pantera such as Damageplan, Down, and Superjoint Ritual."

Hilary Mahoney – Screamer Magazine (


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

Pete Pardo – Sea Of Tranquility (


"This in an in depth storytelling of the Pantera history and the drama that surrounded the band during and after their split. Neil Daniels, the author, is an experienced explorer of the rock and metal music so his signature is a must for every book he writes. The writing style is close to the average fan's vocabulary and it leads the reader exactly to the meaning without being boring."

Billy Yfantis – Skylight (



"Daniels is an engaging rock scribe who writers with the easy-reading zeal of an enthusiastic, humble investigator... Reinventing Hell is a very readable, reverential overview of a compelling act..."

Polly Glass – Classic Rock


"...I seriously recommend you this book and read up! As an avid Pantera fan, I have to admit that I would be utterly ashamed not to own a copy of this absolutely sublime book."

Lucas Chapel – Devolution


"The book serves as a good introduction to the band..."

Gillian G. Gaar – Examiner


"Equal measure is given to Pantera's musical output and to the personal trials and tribulations of the band members. The band's rise and collapse is covered comprehensively and brings to life their contribution to music and the claim that they were probably the best live 1990s metal band."

Rob McKenzie - Fireworks


"There is a rollicking story here and the book has a lightness which enables turn of pages very easily. But not an ignorance of interesting facts. Quite a tightrope to walk."

Steve Swift – Powerplay




(Facebook Message)

Hey Neil, just saw you put up a review for the Pantera book and it made me remember; I loved the book, but the one glaring error was something about Marty Friedman playing on "I'm Broken" - that mystified me as I'm pretty sure it never was the case.

Michael Christopher



(Facebook Message)

Neil, I started reading your Pantera book today. So far so good. I was surprised to see you included more of my quotes than I expected you would. I am still waiting for the UFO book to come out on Kindle. I am too old and decrepit to read the small print of paperback books!

Damon Duperre



(Facebook Message)

Just got done reading Reinventing Metal. I am a huge fan of Pantera. The band changed me as a person and saved me in alot of ways. I just have a few things: 1) on page 120, you said that the song "The Badge" was axed from The Crow soundtrack, but everyone that I know, including myself, who own it, can tell you that it's on there, for sure. 2) on page 209 you refer to Pantera playing a song called "Respect". Is this someone else's song? I ask because throughout their whole catalog they never released such a song. And 3) in my own opinion you tended to give your own opinion about "Far Beyond Driven" when you gave the track-by-track description of the album. You actually gave the album and some of the songs a negative review as opposed to the other albums in which you didn't even seem to give any of your own opinion at all. I am not bashing the book what so ever. I actually liked it and am very happy in your potrayal of the band and the way you treated the facts. Just had to say something. Thank you for your time. A True Pantera Fan

Rob Simple


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