In high school I listened to thrash metal almost exclusively. I considered Pantera to be the quintessential hardcore band (even overlooking their three pussy metal albums before the big thrash breakthrough Cowboys From Hell). They took hold of my immature teenage mind and led me to believe that punching people in the face was cool, tattooing “Unscarred” on your stomach illustrated that how tough you were and serenading a lady with the song “This Love” was the most efficient way to win her heart.* Back then I would have been downtrodden if Phil Anselmo and the boys broke up, but I doubt I would have dealt with my grief by firing six bullets at point blank range into Dimebag’s head.
* During my sophomore year I made a mix tape that included “This Love” for my girlfriend. I believed that she would enjoy the song and award me originality points for its placement amongst the cacophony of hair band ballads. Our relationship was over by summer’s end (upon my discovery of cheap liquor and loose women) and I assumed the mix tape became a relationship casualty of war. Fast-forward eight years into the future to her wedding. While dancing with her during the traditional dollar dance, she mentions to me that she still has the “This Love” mix tape. Yeah, it is that easy.