10 Best Dimebag Darrell Riffs

10 Best Dimebag Darrell Riffs, Remembering Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell, 8 years after his passing.

Sunday, December 8th, 2013 marks a tragic anniversary; it marks 9 years since the untimely death of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell.

His death ranks among the most shocking in rock and roll; the victim of a crazed mass shooter at a Columbus Ohio gig during his short tenure with band Damage Plan.

But it’s a testament to Darrell’s prowess as a guitarist and larger than life character, that the Pantera axe-slinger still feels omnipresent in the metal community. His stylistic choices and technical skills has inspired countless metal guitarists and will continue to for decades to come.

One thing that makes him so unique, was that he was just as obsessed with creating earth shattering riffs as he was with blazing solos, never sacrificing one for the other.

Keeping this in mind, here’s my pick of  the Top 10 Dimebag guitar riffs from the Pantera catalogue:


10. Drag The Waters

The slow lurching opening figure sounds swampy and soaked with ominous intent.


9. Cowboys From Hell

This southern fried slithering riff is an earliest example of his ability to blend metal rhythm with bluesy flourishes.


8. This Love

You can get lulled into thinking this is one of the band’s mellower tunes…until the sledgehammer outro riff, which is deceptively simple, yet brutal as hell.


7. Becoming

Starting off with a pinch harmonic run through both whammy and wah pedals, Becoming has a majestic militaristic riff with incredible momentum.


6. I’m Broken

Awesome bluesy intro/chorus riff, that’s bended note perfection, punctuated with just enough ‘wrong’ sounding fills to make it a unique Darrell creation.


5. A New Level

A killer slow ascending juggernaut opening riff that acts like a trojan horse to the thrashier verse riff that follows.


4. 5 Minutes Alone

A simple yet very effective swaggering chorus riff that is as catchy as it is brutal.


3. By Demons Be Driven

A jack hammer riff perfectly syncopated with brother Vinnie’s drumming, punctuated by an eerie, ghostly bent note.


2. A Mouth For War

A killer chromatic opening riff that announced to the world that Pantera were going to own the 90’s metal scene.


1. Walk

It sounds simple, but Darrell’s phrasing and rhythm are not easy to duplicate on this lurching bending, opening riff. As heavy as metal gets, but with a unique Texas swing.

So that’s my list of my favorite Dimebag Darrell guitar riffs. What would make your list? I realize mine is entirely Pantera driven. so feel free to suggest any Damageplan or Rebel VS Rebel work.

And if you’d like to own any of these awesome tunes, here’s an iTunes playlist I put together:

R.I.P. Dimebag Darrell Abbot (Aug 20th, 1966-Dec 8th 2004)

You might also enjoy reading my recent interviews with Phil Anselmo and Prong’s Tommy Victor.

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About SLIS

Middle Aged Gen-Exer obsessed with Alternative rock, metal, cult movies, comic books and cable TV.

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