It pays to hang with Rock stars. When in Dallas, guitarist Pat Lachman, a veteran of Rob Halford's band and Diesel Machine, hooked up with guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. They killed time drinking and listening to demos.
Dimebag and his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, were putting together a post-Pantera band. But this would-be supergroup was having trouble finding the right parts. A series of vocalists were auditioned with none making the cut. On top of that, Lachman, having heard what had already been recorded, wanted in. But Dimebag had guitar covered. No problem. Lachman coveted the vocalist slot. Given a track to work with Lachman went to L.A. to lay down the vocals. When he returned the tape Dimebag was impressed. A couple more tracks found their way to Lachman and he added vocals. Score another success. He made the cut.
Born in Hawaii, Bob Kakaha was raised on Sabbath, Deep Purple and Zeppelin. Starting with drums, he quickly moved to bass and worked in his older brother's band. By the time Kakaha was 18 he was in L.A. with bands that covered the stylistic spectrum. But he wanted to play Metal.
Aside from music, Kakaha also developed a reputation as a tattoo artist. That led him to Dimebag and Vinnie Paul, who both have serious ink. During Kakaha's audition Vinnie Paul exclaimed, "sounds like Godzilla comin' outta that rig (bass)!" Kakaha was in and tagged with the name Bob Zilla. Damageplan released their debut "New Found Power" in early '04. Unbelievably, Dimebag Darrell was shot to death during a club appearance in Columbus, OH, later in the year (12/8/04). The deranged gunman was killed by police. Three others also died in the unprovoked attack.
"New Found Power" lets some air into Metal and is better for it. Though Lachman comes across as the standard issue Metal vocalist, Dimebag and Zilla fill the album with industrial strength riffs. "Blunt Force Trauma" has a brilliant opening chord progression while "Reborn" features hook laden riffs. "Explode" is a roaring Rocker and the set's killer song. The title track is fairly typical Metal but the rest of the album has what it takes.