Picking a favorite Dimebag Darrell riff is pretty damn near impossible. Sick riffs oozed out of the man so hard that we tried to name the best one once but ended up picking 17 when we quickly realized we had set ourselves up for an impossibly stupid task.
And the man’s solos? C’mon. Pretty much unmatched in the full musical canon of the metal genre (and beyond).
Now here’s the thing, though. As much as we celebrate Pantera & Dime’s entire catalogue, we’re actually of the opinion that some of Dime’s best work was on the slower, brooding, more mid-tempo Pantera “ballads.”
Yes, the Pantera solos that sounded like a jackhammer operator just did an 8-ball all night are all fucking sick. But for our money, the “slower” jaunts like Cemetary Gates from “Cowboys From Hell”, Shedding Skin from “Far Beyond Driven”, and the otherworldly Floods from “The Great Southern Trendkill” are where Dime shined the brightest on the axe.
And this video below that isolates Dime’s guitar solos in Floods perfectly peels back the layers on just how brilliant his guitar symphony of destruction was.
Technical as hell yet still filled with sadness, beauty, rage, and all those damn other pesky feelings that make us human, his work on this one will remain among the gold standard for heavy guitar playing for generations to come.
Even Dime himself once acknowledged how different this one was for him in approach. As told to Guitar World Magazine:
“That particular solo was thought-out in a more orchestrated fashion than some of the others I play where I just start ripping right off the bat…
I picked up the idea of doubling from Randy Rhoads. It seemed appropriate to start off in a slow, melodic fashion and then build and build and build to the climax with the big harmonic squeals at the end. I just sat there and fucked with it until it sounded right.” Amen, Dime. Amen.