Thursday, December 09, 2004


So, today didn't start out well, as I have been fighting off whatever it is that has submarined Donna, and that made me extra late getting out of bed this morning. Then I discovered that yet again, Lady Luck did not bless me with winning Powerball numbers. And then when I get into work, Nick emails me this story in a "Can you believe this kind of crazy shit?" kind of email. This only further serves to depress my mood, because "Dimebag" Darrell was the guitarist for one of my all time favorite bands, Pantera.
They had broken up last year after 15 years together, weathering the dark years of exile metal got after Nirvana broke onto the scene and Rap/Hip Hop became ascendant on the charts. But, they soldiered on and turned out some of the hardest, rockingest stuff ever. (They even won a Grammy in 1994 for their "single" Broken off of the album Far Beyond Driven
The best way to describe their sound is if you mashed Master of Puppets/...And Justice For All era Metallica and Lynyrd Skynyrd together. Texas was a big part of Pantera, and you could hear it in their music. Phil Anselmo's drawl was just as clear in his shouting/screaming as it was when he actually sang. And Dimebag Darrell's playing definitely had the southern rock feel, especially in his solos. And his was a unique guitar sound, I haven't heard anyone come close to coaxing the kinds of sounds he managed to get out of his guitar, from wall of sound, in your face crunch to wailing banshee and step on your cat highs.
And that's why I'm saddened, because although he was never regarded as revolutionary guitarist, he was certainly an incredible and individual musician.
In tribute I have been playing Pantera's entire catalog in iTunes on my laptop, all 4.5 hours of it. And the title of this post is also the title of the last song on Vulgar Display of Power. Pantera's sophomore effort and probably one of the greatest albums of all time. Definitely on my "Desert Island" Top 10 Selections. Hollow is about the death of a good friend, and has some of the most moving guitar phrases I've ever heard, and one of the best examples of Dimebag Darrell at his best.
He will be missed.


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