Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Dimebag, Destroyermen, and Declarations

It’s a day late, but four years ago yesterday guitar god Dimebag Darrell Abbot was senselessly gunned down on stage doing what he loved most, playing guitar. I think about it every once and again, when Pantera or Damagepan (or Black Label Society’s In this River) comes up on my iPod or radio and it still pisses me off and saddens me. All Dime wanted to do was jam out, drink, and hang with his pals. So, light a candle, raise your drink and toast to the memory of one of the greatest Metal and Rock guitarists ever. I was lucky enough to see both Pantera and Damageplan live.

In this River by Black Label Society

is probably Pantera’s most famous song, and rightly so. The main riff is so recognizable and just charges you up with adrenaline, it works when you’re in a good mood or when you’re pissed off.

However, Cemetary Gates might be my favorite song from Pantera, it’s got both a great slow side and a hard edge and the way Anselmo’s voice and Dime’s guitar “duel” at the end is just great.

In less somber news, I posted up my latest review last night, the second novel in Taylor Anderson's highly entertaining Destroyermen sequence, Crusade. While the two books haven’t been perfect, they’ve fit the bill as solid entertainment. With that in mind, here’s a brief glimpse of my review:

Once again, Anderson’s background as a military historian informs much of the narrative. Whereas the first novel, this was a bit of a speed bump in the story, Anderson managed to smooth that out and the narrative here in Crusade moved along at a better pace because of it. I was also pleasantly surprised at how well Anderson managed to maintain both the tension and plausibility of the evolving relationship between the Lemurians and Humans. What I hinted at earlier, the men’s anxieties, came to a well-handled head towards the middle of the book. Anderson, in his dedication, mentions Honor as an important thing to him and obviously, to the characters he’s created. This honor helped to keep the Lemurian-human relationship intact in the face of dishonorable human actions.

Over the weekend I finished Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, one of the most powerful and haunting novels I’ve ever read. The thing that amazed me, perhaps the most, about the novel is that the translation manages to hold such beautifully rendered language together. I don’t speak or read Spanish so I can’t compare the translation to the original, but there is a very magical quality to not just the story itself, but in how it was told. I’m going to let this one percolate a bit before I attempt to write a review.

Last but not least, 10 years ago today I asked my wife for her hand in marriage.

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