Thursday, October 11, 2018

Remembering Vinnie Paul Abbott (1964-2018)

Post #363

Vinnie Paul Abbott, the legendary drummer from Hellyeah, and formerly of Pantera, Damageplan, and Rebel Meets Rebel, passed away in June of 2018. I'm at a loss for words to describe how this loss affects the metal music community. Certainly he was an influential drummer. Any metal fan can tell from the bands alone how significant the music he helped create is, and has been, for heavy metal for decades. Perhaps it would be best for me to just add my perspective as best I can.
I became a metal fan because of the guitars-I won't lie. I was first drawn to the flashy guitar solos of the pop-metal hair bands, then the high-tempo, heavy riffs of thrash metal. My fandom steadily grew more intense: from the hair-metal bands of the 80's, to thrash, metal core, and melodic death metal. I still appreciate the entire spectrum of metal music as evenly as I can. Drums were not what I noticed first about the music, but they are always there, keeping time. But more than just being the backbone of the rhythm section, I feel the best drummers can showcase their skill behind the kit so much so that songs can be instantly recognized by a drum beat, a fill, or even the tone of the percussion. Vinnie's drumming skills were of that variety. Hell, many of Pantera's most famous riffs are ones where the drums and guitar are almost inseparable in the recording. If you're new to Pantera, or any of Vinnie Paul's recordings, just check out the opening riff from Mouth For War and you'll hear what I mean.

Vinnie's drumming may not have been the first drumming style that made me pay attention to the instrument, but in retrospect I find his drumming style to be quite recognizable, and essential to so many of the songs in his recording history. It is with these thoughts in mind that I selected the following playlist (limited to under 80 minutes to fit on a CD ;-). Not only did I try to use the tracks where I felt the drumming was Vinnie's best, but you'll notice I also span nearly his entire discography- starting with a track from Metal Magic, the rare debut album for Pantera, back in 1983, right up to Unden!able, the latest release from Hellyeah. Track these numbers down and give them a listen, and raise a Black Tooth Grin in memory of Vinnie Paul Abbott!

My personal Tribute Playlist for the Legendary Vinnie Paul:
-Widowmaker (Pantera)
-Be Unden!Able (Hellyeah)
-Mouth For War (Pantera)
-War In Me (Hellyeah)
-Save Me (Damageplan)
-Heart Worn Highway (Rebel Meets Rebel)
-Cowboy Way (Hellyeah)
-Primal Concrete Sledge (Pantera)
-Cat Scratch Fever (Pantera)
-The Badge (Pantera)
-Power Metal (Pantera)
-Hellyeah (Hellyeah)
-Use My Third Arm (Pantera)
-Drag the Waters (Pantera)
-Moth (Hellyeah)
-I Can't Hide (Pantera)
-Immortally Insane (Pantera)
-Hellbound (Pantera)
-All Over Tonight (Pantera)
-Love Falls (Hellyeah)

Rest in Peace Big Vin.

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