I think this is going to be a frank and to the point post, so beware.
Zakk Wylde, who I saw play recently at the Warfield, missed a golden opportunity to truly pay tribute to the deceased Dimebag Darrell. Why is this you say? He did after all dedicate “In this river” off of the 2005 “Mafia” (released in march of 05, and Dimebag was murdered in December 8th of 04, by the way). But wait, he dedicated a song, devoid of much of any compelling lyrical content, made of almost entirely of an oddly chosen musical instrument: a piano. Anyone seeing the problem here? Dimebag Darrell was the master shredder on a Washburn guitar, not a Yamaha piano. And let me add that this is not an acoustic guitar that he wailed on, it was an ear-piercingly loud electric guitar powered by Randall Century 200 heads and cabinets packed with Celestion and Jaguar speakers, Furman parametric equalizers, MXR flanger / doublers, Lexicon effect modules, Korg tuners, Rocktron silencers and Digitech Whammy pedals. Not Fur Elise making apparatus at all!
So why did Mr. Wylde choose a mushy, overdubbed, goobery piano song to circumstantially dedicate to one of the greatest guitar shredders who ever lived? I do not know. In every interview that I have read so far, Zakk is quoted as saying that the song symbolizes life and death, and also that “Everything was a celebration of Dime’s life, which was really important for me.” Oh come on. The video is a piece of crap and the song is boring. How is it a celebration? Was there some inside joke going on between Zakk and Dimebag that entailed them making limp-dicked music for giggles and shits?
Anyway, I came about this opinion after a friend of mine asked the initial question, why a piano song for a guitar player? Would Dimebag REALLY have appreciated it? I doubt it. I know this metal lover didn’t. Oh, and Zakk, how about making a good album next time around. “Shot to Hell” should have been called “Shot to Shit” instead.