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Cowboys from Hell

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  • Could these Texas boys have ever predicted, way back in 1990, what a lasting impact this album would have on the metal scene? So many current guitarists have listed Dimebag Darrell Abbott (RIP) as an influence, and so many other classic metal bands were great friends with Pantera. It’s not hard to understand why on this album… from the killer intro title track, to the groove of “Psycho Holiday”, to the hard-hitting “Domination”, and even the Iron Maiden-ish “Shattered”. This album is metal with a capital M.

    However, the album’s biggest curveball is the beautiful ballad, “Cemetary Gates”. Starts off soft and amazing… who knew Pantera could pull it off? Then it gets harder, with an amazing solo, and great, haunting vocals… this is Pantera’s “Stairway To Heaven”.

    Anyway, if you like hard-hitting, fist-in-your-face metal, this one’s for you.

    However, I also am using this space to pay respect to one of metal’s best guitarists ever, Dimebag Darrell. A week later, I still can’t believe what happened…

    On the morning of December 8, I was walking back to my bedroom for some reason when I overheard on the news about how a tragedy struck at a rock concert. That caught my ear. The newscaster mentioned that it was at a Damageplan concert. I knew that was Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul’s new band, so I went back out to hear more. The newscaster said that they killed two and injured three, and one of them was guitarist Dimebag Darrell. Of course, she then went right into some other stuff, not telling what happened to him, as if it didn’t matter. I frantically went back to my computer, to go on the internet, hoping like crazy that I would read something saying he was allright, in the hospital and expected to make a full recovery… but my stomach dropped when I saw the awful news on the internet… Dimebag Darrell was dead at 38. Truly it was a sad day for metal.

    I was about 15 or 16 when I first got into Pantera. Being angry and loving hard music, it was a natural choice for me. I think I was 16ish when I first heard “Rise”, and it blew me away. I knew I had to have that album (Vulgar Display Of Power)!! So I soon got it, and to this day, it remains one of my favorites. Damn, Dimebag was an awesome guitarist. He soloed and shredded like NO ONE’s business. I still get that same awesome adrenaline rush listening to VDOP, and I always will. Not to mention this one, FBD, Live 101 Proof, et cetera. If those albums don’t make you wanna go punch somebody in the face, ain’t nuthin’ gonna!

    I know I can’t possibly imagine the intense devastation that Vinnie Paul, Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown, and the Abbott family must be going through. Me and every other Pantera/Damageplan fan in the world has their backs 150%. My heart and condolences are with them, along with the families of the security guard that was killed, and the innocent fans that were killed. I was relieved to hear that Vinnie was okay, though.

    So, the metal world mourns a big loss. Rest in peace, Dimebag Darrell, and thanks for the music, memories, and everything in between.

    “Believe the word
    I will unlock my door
    And pass the cemetary gates…”

    Posted on December 4, 2009