The tragic and senseless end to ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbot’s life on December 8, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio has affected not only those that were closest to him, but also the many fans that knew him only through his music in the bands Pantera and Damageplan. It was from the ashes of Pantera that Dimebag and his brother Vinnie founded Damageplan in 2003, and recruited the powerful vocals of Pat Lachman and the talented bassist Bob Zilla (a.k.a. Bob Kakaha). The release of their first album early in 2004, entitled “New Found Power”, is, and will forever be, a testament to Dimebag’s resilience and musical talent as he co-wrote and co-composed the album’s 14 songs (just over 1 hour of music) with brother Vinnie and Pat Lachman:
1. “Wake Up” (5). A soft, but relenting start prepares for the burst of sound from Pat Lachman, Dimebag, Bob and Vinnie and never lets up until the very end.
2. “Breathing New Life” (5+). A no-nonsense start with double-drumming, artful guitar work and Pat’s haunting & very aggressive vocals.
3. “New Found Power” (5). Awesome percussion, guitar & bass accompany Pat’s aggressive vocals.
4. “Pride” (5+). A slower, but no less powerful song featuring Pat’s ballad-like and aggressive vocals. One of my favorite songs on the album.
5. “F*** You” (4.5). No-nonsense, straight to the point thrash. Great lyrics too! Love the speed-up midway.
6. “Reborn” (4). This song features some great guitar & bass work accompanying Pat Lachman’s aggressive singing.
7. “Explode” (4). Relentless percussion and guitars precede Pat Lachman’s deliberate singing.
8. “Save Me” (5+). My personal favorite song on the album. Awesome singing, perfect guitar, bass & percussion.
9. “Cold Blooded” (4.5). Intense guitar & percussion with very aggressive singing that is somewhat reminiscent of Henry Rollins.
10. “Crawl” (4.5). Slightly slower percussion begins, then gives way to Dimebag’s great guitar work before doubling in tempo with Pat’s singing. The tempo then goes back & forth between the two.
11. “Blink of an Eye” (4.5). Singing reminiscent of David Bowie before giving way to a more aggressive style.
12. “Blunt Force Trauma” (5). Good chord progression starts then is joined with percussion and finally, Pat’s aggressive singing. A well devised song that exemplifies Dimebag’s masterful guitar work.
13. “Moment of Truth” (4). A mix of quickly changing tempos, guitar & percussion start this unusual song.
14. “Soul Breed” (5). An acoustic ballad with a rich harmonic chorus. An impressive finale to a great album.
There is no rationalization for the acts of a madman such as the one that took the life of Dimebag and the three other innocent people at the club in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2004. Though Dimebag will not have another opportunity to perform or compose, we can celebrate his life not only through this album and the many albums of Pantera, but also through those that will be inspired by him to compose and perform music of their own. Hence, Dimebag’s musical legacy will live on, and heavy metal will never die. R.I.P. Dimebag.