As a rabid Pantera fan I jumped into this book almost immediately upon receiving it. I had been anticipating its arrival for quite a while and was super stoked to dig in. The book is written by bassist Rex Brown and as I expected, there is a fair amount of insider background and biographical info into one of the most revered metal bands of all-time.
Said info was great and definitely sets the stage, but I was looking for deeper insight into the workings and interactions of the members of the band, especially leading up to and immediately following the tragic death of guitarist Dimebag Darrell. I was not disappointed in the least though, as Brown revisits that fateful day in December 2004 on many occasions and, one might even argue, it is woven into the tapestry of the whole book.
At the heart of it all this is a familiar story of a band that had it all and succumbed to the pressures and excesses of their monstrous success. Brown does a great job bringing the reader behind the scenes into the conversations and scenarios that lead to the band's eventual collapse.
Brown bares everything... warts and all... and the reader is exposed to the extreme highs, the extreme lows, and everything in between. Upon completion of the book I had sort of a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Reading how one of the biggest metal bands in the world not only lost one of its members in a tragic accident, but progressed to a point where the remaining members no longer even speak with each other was jarring. I really enjoyed this book and definitely think fans of the band will absolutely dig it as well!
Written by: Rex Brown Format/Length: Hardcover, 304 pages Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 12, 2013)