(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
If you are any sort of metalhead at least 20 to 25 years of age, then you probably know the story about the short-lived supergroup DAMAGEPLAN.
The band was formed in 2003, by brothers “Dimebag” Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott following the demise of the legendary Pantera. The pair soon recruited Halford/Diesel Machine guitarist Pat Lachman as their vocalist, and former Jerry Cantrell guitarist Shawn Matthews as their bassist, initially. The quartet took the name New Found Power and went to work recording a début album.
The band entered the Abbott Bros. backyard studio, Chasin’ Jason in Arlington, TX, the spot where earlier Pantera records had been laid down. Another connection to those earlier Pantera albums was Sterling Winfield, who handled co-production duties for the work at hand. During the songwriting and recording process, the band underwent a name change to DAMAGEPLAN, opting to title their début “New Found Power“.
The album was released through Elektra Records on February 10, 2004, and sold 44,676 copies in its first week to début at number 38 on the Billboard 200. Very much in the vein of southern groove, melodic metal and power thrash, the album was also bolstered by several guest appearances. Namely, Corey Taylor of Slipknot / Stone Sour, Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains made guest appearances on the tracks “Fuck You“, “Soul Bleed“, and the bonus track “Ashes To Ashes” on the later Japanese version.
After the album’s release, Shawn Matthews was replaced on bass by tattoo artist and current HellYeah member, Bob “Zilla” Kakaha. MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball was quite receptive to the album, as “Breathing New Life” served as the album’s music video début and aired frequently on both Headbangers Ball and Uranium in early 2004. This was followed by videos for “Save Me” and “Explode” as DAMAGEPLAN joined Hatebreed, Drowning Pool, and Unearth on the second installment of the Headbanger’s Ball tour.
Unfortunately, the story of DAMAGEPLAN would turn to tragedy on December 8, 2004, when the band was on a tour stop at Alrosa Villa, a Columbus, Ohio, nightclub. Just moments into the concert, Nathan Gale, a former U.S. Marine, climbed onto the stage and shot Dimebag Darrell multiple times, killing him instantly. The band’s head Of security, Jeffery “Mayhem” Thompson engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Gale, which allowed Vinnie Abbott and other members time to escape; Thompson was also killed.
A fan named Nathan Bray, who attempted to give CPR to Thompson and Darrell, and Erin Halk, a U.S. Marine-turned-roadie who charged at Gale while he was reloading, were also both killed. Police soon arrived and officer James Niggemeyer approached the stage from the side and saw Gale holding a gun to a hostage. Niggemeyer killed him with a single shotgun blast to the head.
These events effectively ended DAMAGEPLAN and worse, robbed the world of the creative force of Dimebag Darrell, along with the other lives lost. Vinnie Paul would eventually go on to join HellYeah where he remains now, while Pat Lachman would join The Mercy Clinic.
Now we have an update to the story of DAMAGEPLAN, as just this week, Music On Vinyl announced DAMAGEPLAN‘s sole 2004 album “New Found Power” will be getting a new gold and solid red mixed vinyl pressing.
The individually numbered release will be limited to 2500 copies and arrive in stores on July 6th. Pre-orders are up now on AMAZON.