AUGUST 23rd 2015

Review by: Char Tupper

D. Randall Blythe, a photographer, writer, and infamously known as the vocalist of metal band, Lamb of God, has written his first book, “Dark Days: A Memoir” chronicles his experience in the Czech Republic. The incident that the book portrays to was when he was arrested and charged with manslaughter at a concert back in 2010. The horrifying details and images that flash through your mind while Randy vividly retells the story to myself, the reader, but also telling the world of what an ordeal this was for not only himself, but his band mates, family, and most of all, the fans.

The book opens with the descriptive imagery of Randy and the band anxiously awaiting to land in the Czech Republic for their next tour date on a European tour, running through the motions of what they had planned for a nice day off in the Czech Republic, since they had a full day off before heading to the concert the next day. Each passing word I read, the more I felt almost relaxed and at peace with the guys as if I was sitting on the flight with them. Suddenly, things took a drastic turn for the worse and before you know it, Randy was being arrested by the police with heavily armed forces escorting Randy to the squad car and the haunting tale of an American being arrested over seas, began. I have to say, I was “on the edge of my seat” reading, even knowing the outcome of the memoir that yes, he was exonerated from the charge. The feeling of horror transcribed right into me, and I found myself thinking, “Wow, what the hell would I do if I was in his shoes?”, which, I still after reading this, don’t know if I would have handled it as collected and together as Randy did, and I give him kudos for it.

Consistently throughout the book, Randy tells numerous stories around the dominant story of his experience being arrested, but at the same time, he reflects on previous experiences of being a “rock star,” going through alcohol abuse and past experiences in jail back home in Virginia, USA. Sure, these kind of experiences are just the usual for some people, but for Randy, these incidents in his life are more character shaping events that took part in his life to make him the individual he is today. Countless times in the book he, to this day, still doesn’t claim to be a glamorous rock star, he considers himself a hard-working person who continues to push for his dreams and live the life he wants, instead of younger generations today that expect the world handed to them on a silver platter without lifting a finger, feeling like they “deserve it”. I agree with Randy 100% on this statement. Youth today for the most part, doesn’t respect quality of life nearly as much as generations before them, like earning an honest dollar to keep the roof over your head, instead I find they expect people to give them money from some “money tree” that exists, and they expect everything for nothing, which is sadly the decline of both the world around us as well as the music industry that Randy works in, as well as myself in the music photography business.

The overall experience of this book, I will be honest, I was worried I would be bored since of course, I knew the ending outcome of the story since the incident in the Czech Republic has been resolved and is long done with. That being said, I found myself laughing at the dark humour of Randy’s jokes, or I found myself “white knuckled” in suspense over his prison experience overseas, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The vivid imagery and story-telling of Randy was done exceptionally well, I hope to hear of more books released from this first-time writer, D. Randall Blythe. Let his stories be told and shared around the world for all to enjoy.

If you are interested in buying his book, check out the link below: