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Lamb of god vocalist D. Randall Blythe finally tells the whole incredible story of his arrest, incarceration, trial, and acquittal for manslaughter in the Czech Republic over the tragic and accidental death of a concertgoer in this riveting, gripping, biting, bold, and brave memoir.
On June 27, 2012, the long-running, hard-touring, and world-renowned metal band lamb of god landed in Prague for their first concert there in two years. Vocalist D. Randall "Randy" Blythe was looking forward to a few hours off--a rare break from the touring grind--in which to explore the elegant, old city. However, a surreal scenario worthy of Kafka began to play out at the airport as Blythe was detained, arrested for manslaughter, and taken to PankrÃ¡Prison--a notorious 123-year-old institution where the Nazis' torture units had set up camp during the German occupation of then-Czechoslovakia, and where today hundreds of prisoners are housed, awaiting trial and serving sentences in claustrophobic, sweltering, nightmare-inducing conditions.
Two years prior, a 19-year-old fan died of injuries suffered at a lamb of god show in Prague, allegedly after being pushed off stage by Blythe, who had no vivid recollection of the incident. Stage-crashing and -diving being not uncommon occurrences, as any veteran of hard rock, metal, and punk shows knows, the concert that could have left him imprisoned for years was but a vague blur in Blythe's memory, just one of the hundreds of shows his band had performed over their decades-long career.
At the time of his arrest Blythe had been sober for nearly two years, having finally gained the upper hand over the alcoholism that nearly killed him. But here he faced a new kind of challenge: jailed in a foreign land and facing a prison sentence of up to ten years. Worst of all, a young man was dead, and Blythe was devastated for him and his family, even as the reality of his own situation began to close in behind PankrÃ¡Prison's glowering walls of crumbling concrete and razor wire.
What transpired during Blythe's incarceration, trial, and eventual acquittal is a rock 'n' roll road story unlike any other, one that runs the gamut from tragedy to despair to hope and finally to redemption. While never losing sight of the sad gravity of his situation, Blythe relates the tale of his ordeal with one eye fixed firmly on the absurd (and at times bizarrely hilarious) circumstances he encountered along the way. Blythe is a natural storyteller and his voice drips with cutting humor, endearing empathy, and soulful insight. Much more than a tour diary or a prison memoir, Dark Days is D. Randall Blythe's own story about what went down--before, during, and after--told only as he can.
About the Author
D. Randall Blythe is a writer, photographer, actor, and musician best known for fronting the metal band Lamb of God. He lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife Cindy and their cat, Salad. Dark Days is his first book.
Billboard, This Summer's Music Must-Reads,” 5/30/15
Recounts a horrifying incident and its aftermath.”
Richmond Magazine, July 2015
Dark Days brings readers deeproughly 500 pages deepinto [Blythe's] bout with alcoholism and through the still-surreal story of being arrested, jailed and tried on charges that he caused the death of a teenage fan injured at a 2010 Lamb of God concert.”
Downtown Magazine, 7/7/15
Entirely the opposite of a happy-go-lucky rock star memoir, Dark Days is about Randy's journey, looking back on everything he went through in a land where one is not innocent until proven guilty. One does not have to be a metal fanor even previously aware of Lamb of Godto appreciate Dark Days, as it comes from the perspective of an introspective, good-natured person trying to do the right thing”
Village Voice, 7/10/15
Fluid, literary prose [An] intensely detailed memoir.”
Boston Globe, 7/23/15
An absolutely astounding, brave, and gut-wrenching book If you read one book this year, make it Dark Days.”
South China Morning Post, 9/5/15
[A] moving book Gritty and believable, the book reveals the life of a budget rock star' and what it's like to have a drink problem. It succeeds by sharing insights into common human suffering.”
Publishers Weekly, 11/16/15
Powerful and intelligent A mixture of horror and humor makes this a remarkable memoir.”
A riveting, gripping, biting, bold and brave memoir Much more than a tour diary or a prison memoir, Dark Days is Blythe's own story about what went downbefore, during, and aftertold only as he can.”
Philadelphia Magazine, 1/15/16
Dark Days is extremely candid. It goes to some really raw places of the heart.”
Philadelphia Magazine, 12/17/15
This book is not just for metalheads, but for everyone.”
Asbury Park Press, 1/22/16
Associated Press, 10/22/15
Blythe vividly and descriptively recalls the details of his arrest, incarceration, trial and longtime struggles with alcohol abuse.”
Riveting, bold and brutally honest Dark Days: A Memoir isn't your everyday rock and roll memoir Blythe recounts his experiences in such a way that you almost feel the emotion coming from the words on the pages Dark Days is not just for fans of Lamb of God or heavy metal. The book is a must for anyone interested in a unique story of injustice and the long arduous journey one man took to clear his name.”
Lithium Magazine, 7/31/15
In Dark Days, Blythe takes the reader day by day, through his arrest and incarceration. He speeds things up and slows things down in just the right places, heightening the engagement level for the reader. Lamb of God fans, and metal fans will surely enjoy this book. Music fans and casual readers will ALSO really enjoy this book. Dark Days contains some sardonic wit, razor sharp insights, and a level of honour and integrity that many, if put into the same situation as the author, might not have shown Blythe captures so much emotion within this book hopelessness, anger, frustration, self-questioning (even a bit of loathing) and ultimately an intent to do the right thing no matter the cost An engaging book.”
My Big Honkin Blog, 7/22/15
The book takes on a very authentic feel early on, with reproductions of notes scrawled in a very rough hand They offer a depth of clarity that is amazing in its level-headedness, yet painful in their desperation. [Blythe's] description of the dank, crumbling, 123 year old prison and the dark cell he called home for over a month from shortly after his arrest to his making bail reads like something straight out of a James Bond movie and a villain's lair. Dark Days illustrates Blythe's iron grip on his reality; this guy knows pretty clearly who he is and his place in the world, truly a rarity for a rock star.”
A tremendous read Randy leaves no stone unturned, no detail astray and no emotion unexplored, creating one of the most dense and honest reads you'll ever get from a musician's memoir.”
Engrossing Blythe proves to be a gifted writer as he transports the reader back through those awful days with detailed accounts and often humorous anecdotes Dark Days is a gripping read that not only sheds light on the circumstances of his arrest and trial but on the character of the author himself as his integrity and candor serve as an example to all.”
Advance praise for Dark Days
"Those of us who are familiar with Mr. Blythe's lyrics will be pleased to find that this book is full of all the impassioned, defiant, and bitingly funny writing we've come to expect from him. For those who aren't, I can only say that I'm jealous. You're about to discover a writer whose mind and heart are completely alive on every page. Dark Days is an utterly transfixing story of one man's journey through several hells. Some of these are of the kind fate puts us in. The others are the ones that always seem to burn inside us. It absolutely blew me away."Kevin Powers, National Book Award finalist and author of The Yellow Birds
"Randy Blythe survived an ordeal nobody should ever have to face. Wrongly accused of manslaughter in a foreign country, he bravely chose to go to trial rather than run. This book is a fascinating account about how to do the right thing when everything goes wrong."Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen and Don't Be a Jerk
"Harrowing and funny, bleak and hopeful, intelligent and earthy, and above all just really well-written, Dark Days is as good as rock memoirs get."Michael Azerrad, author of Our Band Could Be Your Life and Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana