Randy Blythe's new book, Dark Days, details the Lamb of God frontman's incarceration in the Czech Republic and subsequent trial after being charged with manslaughter. The case stemmed from a 2010 incident when a young fan died after falling off the stage at a Lamb of God concert in Prague. Blythe spent 37 days in Pankrác Prison before he stood trial and was acquitted of all charges.
In writing Dark Days, Blythe found he wasn't going to do any healing revisiting the experience.
"Writing this book was not a fun process for me," Blythe tells ABC Radio. "It wasn't cathartic, it wasn't therapeutic. It was what needed to be said, and it was reality. I don't think in any way, shape or form [it] glorifies my experience. It was a really weird experience, and it was very real."
Throughout Dark Days, Blythe does employ a lot of dark humor. The book includes diary entries that he wrote while in prison, including one marked July 4, 2012, which characterized the experience of spending the Fourth of July in a Czech prison as "bizarrely hilarious."
"Keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing served me very well," Blythe says. "While the great overlying feeling surrounding the whole thing is one of sadness to me, I have to laugh at some things, or else it'd just kill me."
Blythe is primarily known as a musician -- Dark Days is his first book -- but he didn't want to write an album about his time in prison. Lamb of God's new album, VII: Sturm und Drang, features just two songs that touch on the subject: "512" and "Still Echoes."
"I didn't think that what I went through was appropriate for a heavy metal record," Blythe explains. "It required something with a little bit more gravity, something that I could handle tactfully and respectfully."
However, that doesn't mean that VII: Sturm und Drang isn't a personal record, as Blythe feels a strong lyrical connection to the album.
"To a degree, this album lyrically is sort of my baby," he tells ABC Radio. "On the last few records Mark [Morton] and I did about 50-50 on the lyric writing, on this one I did about 90 per cent."
Blythe also describes VII: Sturm und Drang as very sonically varied -- the album includes guest spots from Deftones' Chino Moreno and The Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato, and the song "Overlord" is a rare display of Blythe's clean vocals.
"We got Chino, we got Greg, we got a song with me doing clean vocals," Blythe says. "The album just goes a lot of different places."
VII: Sturm und Drang will be released on July 24, the same day Lamb of God goes out on tour with Slipknot, Bullet for My Valentine and Motionless in White. Dark Days is available now.
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