.Editorial - In Memory & Respect Of The Vulgar Cowboy
Metal Reviews

Release year: 0
Reviewed by Aleksie
On August 20th, 1966, a fire was ignited in Dallas, Texas, USA – a fire that would capture the hearts, minds, muscles and neck joints of millions of music fans around the world in the coming years. And on the 8th of December, 2004, the main flame that started a worldwide bonfire among its fans, was brutally extinguished from the circle of the material world. This flame was of course Dimebag Darrell, the guitarist of Pantera/Damageplan and rock star/liqueur-afficionado/fan-lover extraordinaire.

I will not go through any of the unfortunate details of the tragic day of this incident. Neither will I go insightfully into the careers of the bands that Darrell was a major part of in his lifetime. There are several other sources out there in print and on the net that are far better than anything I could say, and for fascinating history lessons and info, I urge everyone to search them out and find some amazing tales. I am here to express how this übermensch of a guitarist - and by a massive number of accounts - of a person in general affected my simple life so far, to respect and acknowledge a huge inspiration.

Given my young age (born in ´85), I was not actively there for the truly golden era of Pantera, as around those times my favourite tunes were still revolving around the likes of Bobby McFerrins Don’t Worry, Be Happy and the MacGyver Theme-jingle. The band arose to my attention about four years ago, when Pantera was making Reinventing The Steel and a friend of mine, a massive Pantera- and Slayer-fan, tried hyping this truly amazing band and this even more awesome disc, Cowboys From Hell, for me. These were still the days when I jammed hours upon hours to Def Leppard & Bon Jovi and the most brutal band I dug was Iron Maiden - my “hair metal daze” as I call them (Yeah, a hair metal maniac in 2000 – just try and guess how many chicks I impressed with THAT during my angsty years). So I wasn’t so keen on the more extreme sides of metal.

Or so it was until the same friend lured CFH into his stereo system when I was at his place and the opening title tune blasted out the speakers. First thing in my mind was “God DAMN, those guitar sounds are killer! That’s like a fucking aural razorblade!” Eventually also the brutally tasty drumming, godly singing and thumping bass caught my ears, but the humongous riffs and searing solos were the first things to really cause stupendous delight for me. I was a beginning guitarist at the time, and hearing someone scorch as good as Eddie Van Halen was mind-bursting and really pushed me to train a LOT harder. I bought Cowboys myself and found out there was not one bad song in the bunch. Through Pantera, my mind started to open up to whole new genres of awesome stuff, from thrash to death and in the last year or so, even hard core. It might be that without Pantera , awesome classics like Death, Morbid Angel, Slayer, Dark Angel and newer killers like Shadows Fall, God Forbid and the like would have not latched on to me half as easily or surely not as soon.

Musical awakening was not the only part. The next paragraph will probably venture into corny roads for some but bare with me here, I couldn’t be more serious. I'm sure everyone knows and has experienced that the puberty years are not the greatest times in life in the sense of self-confidence and courage. I too was a quite reserved person and was afraid to honestly express myself in fear of ridicule from my peers (I mean come on, I even hyped Limp Bizkit for a while just to seem cool for a while, one of the few things I regret in my life). But once I saw some interviews by Axl Rose and the Pantera home videos that my friend also had, I began to rapidly grow self respect and inner power. Especially seeing the 3 Watch It Go-tape that documented the Trendkill-days, I started to see that one could be gigantically happy by being honest to yourself and, in the end, giving absolutely zip about if anyone else liked it or not. These lunatic rednecks were blown-out, pissed out of their minds and defying laws of common sense and morality, and they couldn’t care less if someone thought down on it. They were having a blast and it was the thing that mattered. To the shy boy looking at it, it was eye-opening as all hell. Trends are for the weak and the spineless. Not meaning that anything considered “hip” would automatically deem it shit, but that the reason for liking something, whatever, should come from within ones self, not the state of the majority. The songs, feelings and messages of empowerment I found in Pantera's tunes and the attitude gave some really humongous bursts of energy and confidence that guided me towards a much brighter future, one that is still far, far away ahead of me.

And so, we have met another example about the frailty and importance of life. One minute there on the street, at the edge of a cloud or boiling on brimstone the next. Life should not be taken for granted, but lived to the fullest, every day, every way. This is a way of life that to my mind, Dimebag personified with his entire being. And as for so many before him, Dimebag's message of life and his spirit shall live on in what he left behind. We must never let it go but pass it on, into generations to come.

The way we were The chance to save my soul And my concern is now in vain Believe the word I will unlock my door And pass the Cemetary gates

-Never Forgotten, Always Carrying On In Music & Inspiration. Thank You, Darrell Lance Abbott-

Killing Songs :
Aleksie quoted
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