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Book Review: “Dark Days” by D. Randall Blythe

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by Lisa Schreiner

As Randy Blythe stated, “Most books end with the subject becoming clean and sober.  This is where mine begins.”  The lamb of god front man faced a terrible ordeal once he departed a plane in Prague in 2012; where he was ready to enjoy a rare, real day off during a summer tour.  He had been promptly arrested and taken into custody for the death of a fan at one of the band’s shows two years earlier.  The overzealous fan had gotten onto the stage and Blythe pushed him off, like anyone concerned with their safety would do.  Unfortunately, the 19-year-old fan sustained a head injury resulting in him falling into a coma and dying from the injury weeks later.  Randy, unaware of the events that had unfolded, continued to tour and make music with lamb of god, up until he was caught–by surprise–by the police waiting for him in Prague.  Going against advice to leave the country and never look back, Randy made the brave decision to stand trial and face whatever consequences that lay ahead, so that the victim’s family could have closure and maybe some answers.

Though this is indeed a serious book for all intents and purposes, Blythe’s incomparable story-telling provide moments of humor, even if it is at the expense of his terrible situation.  Facing 5-10 years in a Czech prison, Randy didn’t necessarily see the doom aspect of it, but rather he calculated how old he would be when he got out and drew mostly from the pro list, instead of the cons.  Alas, his plans for a future in prison were moot as he was eventually acquitted of manslaughter (no spoiler here, his trial is well-known).

In between telling his tale of the justice system abroad, Blythe shows us the 20+ year battle he fought (and continues to fight, even though he has been sober five years) with alcoholism.  Many might assume this is just another story of the glorified rock star persona that often accompanies a front man.  However, D. Randall Blythe is not a rock star, and please don’t call him one.  This is a story of a man who knows the meaning of hard work.  Not just hard work in the world of rock n’ roll, but hard work in general.  He started with lamb of god at 33-years-old, not at 18 like some of his other friends in heavy metal bands.  He’s worked on your roofs, landscaped your yards and cooked your meals.  And when it came time to front a heavy metal band, Blythe applied his hard work ethic that continues to help drive the force that is lamb of god.

You can download or order “Dark Days”, published by Da Capo Press. Or head out to your local book retailer.

D. Randall Blythe is currently on a short book tour:

July 13 @ 7:00 p.m. – The Strand – 828 Broadway, New York, NY
July 14 @ 6:00 p.m. – Bookends – 211 Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood, NJ
July 15 @ 7:00 p.m. – Book Revue – 313 New York Ave., Huntington, NY
July 17 @ 7:00 p.m. – The Fountain – 1312 E. Cary St., Richmond, VA
July 19 @ 4:00 p.m. – Book Soup (co-signing with SLIPKNOT’s Corey Taylor) – 8818 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

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