Saturday, February 28, 2015
Heresy: The Dimebag Desecration
Today, music websites everywhere are reporting that the grave of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell has been vandalized by a tiny band from Fort Wayne, Indiana called Nuclear Hellfrost. Of course, this has just about everyone in the metal community in absolute rage. When you go about disrespecting one of the genre's most iconic musicians-- who a decade after his death still has a massive following-- and causing emotional trauma to that person's loved ones, you are in for a world of hurt.
I understand not being a big fan of the band. Pantera's not my favorite, but I love them and you'd have to be an imbecile to not recognize the impact Dimebag and the gang had on metal music. They practically kept it alive while grunge was tearing it up in the Nineties. But to dump trash on a man's grave is downright stupid. Do you really have to go out of your way to show how much you hate someone? It just makes the dudes in this band come off as awful and spiteful human beings.
I took a look at Nuclear Hellfrost's page. The first thing I came upon was a statement from the band claiming they had nothing to do with the defamation of Dimebag's grave, but rather a former vocalist looking to seek revenge.
I can't help but smell bullshit. The photo came from an Instagram account called "crustyplague" which has since been deactivated. I don't know whether or not this is the band's page as a whole or belongs to a member. If it is the former, then it looks like the band should have changed their password immediately after dumping the vocalist. Another thing that strikes me is that in their post, Nuclear Hellfrost never specify who the member is, though a photo was later posted claiming it was a dude by the name of Reece Eber. He's listed as a current member on Encyclopedia Metallum, so they may have kicked him to the curb AFTER writing that post.
I've also been noticing that Nuclear Hellfrost's Facebook page has been GAINING likes since the incident, which leads me to believe this is some kind of sick publicity stunt. At this moment, they have 1,716 likes, which is miniscule in comparison to Pantera's 9, 378,748. When you're connecting yourself to one of the most beloved metal bands in history, you're receive a massive influx of traffic, though I'm certain that this is going to have the absolute opposite effect of what they want. They are going to receive SO MUCH HATE. I haven't been digging through the comments sections, but I wouldn't be surprised to see at least ten death threats.
So what do you think? Was this the work of a renegade former band member looking to incite anger against his former comrades or was this Nuclear Hellfrost's attempt at putting the spotlight on them? No matter what, I'm absolutely certain this is career suicide for these guys.
UPDATE-- March 2, 2 AM
Reece Eber confirmed he acted alone and has issued an apology via Nuclear Hellfrost's Facebook page. He wanted to do a little prank and it totally fell like a rock. Really? That's your excuse? This was a prank? Really fucked up thing to do, bro. Were the chuckles you had worth it?
I'm still not buying this. Commenters are posting screen caps of other members' comments on Facebook (apparently using pseudonyms) talking about how "Dime had it coming". Doesn't sound like the work of one dude to me.
A lot of commenters are also threatening Eber and the band. While I'm fairly certain these are all bark and no bite, I can't help but feel that this kind of behavior is just as bad. The metalhead stereotype media likes to drum up is one that is closed-minded, angry, and prone to violent behavior. These fans are only perpetuating that stereotype by going to such extremes to avenge Dimebag's honor. Do you think Dime or anyone in Pantera would want someone to go to any of these guys and shoot them or hang them? Absolutely not! Celebrating the man's life by ending another's is illogical. Take the high road, guys.
Also, Nuclear Hellfrost's now up to 2,461 likes.
UPDATE-- March 3, 1 AM
Apparently photos are circulating around of a band supposedly peeing on and flipping off a mural of Dimebag. The band in question is HOD, a Texas band. It was shared with the belief that it was Nuclear Hellfrost. When people recognized the band as HOD, they got tied into the clusterfuck. HOD claimed responsibility for the photo, but (as I surmised) claimed it was in jest and that no actual piss was involved. They photo was taken to express their dislike for Pantera, but without any true maliciousness behind it. They have received death threats and more from the community and would like this to stop, a course of action I agree upon.
Nuclear Hellfrost's fan base continues to expand, now at 3,135.