I’m not going to start this write-up and pretend like I have a solution for grief or that I’ve made peace with the fact that Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder is no longer with us. As of this writing, it’s been nearly a week since his passing and frankly, I’m still trying to process that. Telling myself that it can’t be true since I’ve seen Strnad and his bandmates have seemingly all the fun onstage at least seven times.
In time I’ll accept what has occurred. But let’s take a look back.
With all the excitement The Grammy Awards provide every year, Metal fans are always reminded we matter less than Pop stars. While a great standalone tribe acknowledged Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who passed away at 50 on March 25th, the televised portion of the Grammy Awards ceremony’s “In Memoriam” segment omitted mention of Metal legends Joey Jordison of Slipknot, and Jon Zazula founder of discoverer of Metallica and founder Megaforce Records. Also omitted, Moody Blues co-founder Graeme Edge. The Recording Academy listed those left out ofthe broadcast along with several hundred other musicians and industry leaders that passed away on the Grammy.com web site under the “The Recording Academy Remembers The Music People We’ve Lost: Grammy In Memoriam” section. The 64th Grammy Awards took place Sunday, April 3, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and were broadcast live on CBS, and hosted by Trevor Noah. Watch the special tribute to Taylor Hawkins here:
Hard to believe it, but today marks the 17th anniversary of the murder of Dimebag Darrell Lance Abbott of Pantera and Damageplan while on stage at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio. That venue has now been demolished. We prefer to honor how he lived more than how he perished, but most of all, we can’t overlook his impact as a player, songwriter, and major personality in metal. Jam out to some classic Dimebag and Pantera tracks and raise a glass or smoke (or both) to the legend of legends on guitar! Getcha pull! Continue reading →
Today marks the sixteenth anniversary of the murder of Dimebag Darrell Lance Abbott of Pantera and Damageplan while on stage at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio. Although we are sad at the occasion and we prefer to honor how he lived most of all, we can’t overlook the significance of the loss to the world of metal. Somewhere in the world right now, someone is strapping on a guitar and learning to play those songs, licks, and solos, which is at the very least, a comfort to know. As we do every year, we pay tribute to this fallen hero. Jam out to some classic Dimebag and Pantera tracks and raise a glass or smoke (or both) to the legend of legends on guitar! Getcha pull! Continue reading →
It’s hard to believe it has been a decade since Peter Steele passed away in 2010. His death has left a gaping wound in the soul of the music world that can never be repaired. Peter’s memory lives on in his music and the iconic moments that he created with Type O Negative and Carnivore. We created a detailed memorial post last year, which you can read below. Jam some of Peter’s music today in his honor. Rest in Power Peter! Continue reading →
So far, 2020 has been a cruel mistress as the reaper has claimed several giants of the drumming world. One that hits us particularly hard is the sudden death of Wiliam “Reed” Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity, at the young age of 53. Reed was not only a stellar drummer and musician, but he was also almost universally loved by the Hardcore Punk, Thrash Metal, Doom and Stoner Rock community, which is both amazing and insane. It just goes to show the talent Reed had and the breadth of different styles he helped encompass with C.O.C.Equal to his impact on record and behind the drumkit and the microphone, Mullin impacted a ton of people in the scene with his kindness and sense of humor. Continue reading →
When doom metal legends Cathedral finally called it a day in 2013, there was much sadness but also a great outpouring of gratitude for the music recorded in their twenty-three year career as titans of the doom scene. A thoroughly British institution with a penchant for eccentricities, the quartet would in later years branch into stoner and prog territory, but their birth in 1990, with vocalist LeeDorrian having decided that life in Napalm Death wasn’t for him, came at a time when doom/death was in its infancy; and it was that sound, or rather a more traditional doom one that Cathedral would go for on their first demo In Memoriam. First re-issued in 1999, the time is now right to re-visit this first effort, again via Dorrian’s own Rise Above Records, and, with the benefit of hindsight, appreciate how bloody good Cathedral were.
Opening track ‘Mourning of a New Day’ is slow, ponderous and menacing, demonstrating the power of taking it slowly at a time when the rest of the world wanted to play as fast as possible. The guitar tone is stark and heavy, Lee Dorrian’s vocals are guttural and a tad awkward, and the whole thing seems drenched in a miasma of pain and sorrow with tales of vampire suns and Witchfinder Generals nowhere to be seen. A suitably downbeat cover of Pentagram’s classic ‘All Your Sins’ follows with all the hippie vibe stripped away before a grimly powerful early cut of ‘Ebony Tears’ rears its head. Final track ‘March’, a joyless, militaristic number doesn’t really go anywhere and would have been a better fit for industrial legends Godflesh, also newbies at that stage.
The live tracks, recorded in Europe in 1991 show a young band with a fiercely professional outlook and a tight, devastatingly weighty sound. The first three tracks of the demo are replicated here along with forgotten classic ‘Neophytes for the Serpent’s Eve’ from the band’s second demo and a gut-wrenching version of Forest of Equilibrium (Earache) classic ‘Intro/Commiserating the Celebration.’ Dorrian’s stage banter is polite and to the point and while the muffled cheers from the audience hint at Cathedral’s limited appeal in the early days, their skill and power was never in doubt.
A timely reminder of where it all began, when four miserable lads from Coventry decided to replicate the grimness of their surroundings and in doing so created one of the most important bands in the history of underground music. We are poorer for having lost them but with classic re-issues such as In Memoriam, their legacy will live on forever.