So many incredible musicians’ birthdays, so little time. Yesterday was also the birthday of Pantera’s dearly departed, legendary guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. For those handful of people that may not be familiar, Pantera are a seminal metal group that bridged the gap between old and new metal: squealing guitar solos that your dad could probably dig, but accompanied by heavy crunching rhythms and the raw and brutal vocals of Phil Anselmo. It’s likely every modern hardcore/metal band you like was influenced by their innovative take on the genre. Take a listen to “Cemetery Gates” from their debut album ‘Cowboys from Hell’ and see why this has been called a “gateway” metal song for those not as interested in metal:
It’s hard to put into words how perfect this song is. It’s got the slow and haunting beginning, the middle ramps up the intensity, and then near the end when Anselmo wails in falsetto “Gaaaaates” it’s hard not to get chills. This song has so much passion. You know it’s about someone dear to the band they lost, yet it holds extra poignancy when thinking of Dimebag’s passing. While performing onstage with his other band, Damageplan, in 2004, he was shot several times by a deranged fan, robbing the world of one of the most talented guitarists of his generation. It may be a day late to honor you, but Happy Birthday just the same Dimebag Darrell, we still miss you.
Jarad Matula | Senior Writer