The memoir, which puts emphasis on the past year of Randy's life, is an incredible, harrowing, heartbreaking, and redemptive story told in Blythe's already well-recognized writing style.
Blythe has launched the official blog for "Dark Days: My Tribulation And Trials" at this location. His first blog entry reads as follows: "Obviously (as the name of this blog will lead the more astute amongst you to deduce), this is the official blog of my upcoming book, 'Dark Days', scheduled for publication later in this year of our lord, 2014. I even state that fact in greater detail over in the 'about the author' section (the little box to the left of this post), just in case there is any confusion about what in the hell is going on here. In that box it also says 'PROCESS. PRODUCTION. PUBLICATION.' That is because those are the three phases the life of this book will go through, and the three phases in which this blog will be chronologically updated. More on that shortly.
"First, a brief explanation about myself and the basis of my book for those of you who are unfamiliar with me or the recent events that have occurred in my life during the last year and a half or so.
"My name is D. Randall Blythe, known to most simply as Randy. I make my living singing for the four-time-Grammy-losing international touring heavy metal act LAMB OF GOD
We've been around for almost twenty years now, have several critically acclaimed albums (well, at least by a few critics at a couple of metal magazines), and have played on every continent on earth except Antarctica. It's a good life. I am also a sober alcoholic who hasn't touched a drink or a drug (other than caffeine and nicotine) for well over three years as of this writing.
"For twenty-two years, I drank herculean amounts of alcohol (and drugged on the side just to make sure I was truly screwing myself up) in an attempt to alter reality to the point where I could deal with it. Surprise, surprise — that strategy did not work. That was NOT a good life, and I barely survived it. I'm much better now.
"Everything was going just hunky-dory until about a year and a half ago.
"On June 27, 2012 my band flew from Norway to the Czech Republic to play a show. Upon landing in Prague, we were met at the end of the jetway by five masked and heavily armed large men in body armor, along with four plainclothes detectives. To the immense surprise of my bandmates and myself, I was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter concerning the death of a LAMB OF GOD fan.
"We had played Prague two years previously, and unbeknownst to any of us, a young man had sustained an injury to the head during our show, dying a month later. The police said that I was the cause of that injury. I was promptly incarcerated and spent the next thirty-seven days in a 123-year-old crumbling prison on the outskirts of Prague.
"After a long and complex process during which my band had to borrow almost half a million bucks, I was released on bail and returned to the United States. Instead of hiding like a coward in the U.S., safe from extradition (the U.S. government had refused to cooperate with the Czechs after they requested assistance in investigating me immediately after the young man died. My government also did not deem it necessary to inform me that I was a wanted man in a foreign country. Your tax dollars at work.), I returned to Prague in early 2013 to stand trial. I did this for several reasons, first and foremost being I felt the family of this young man deserved some answers, and I was the only one who could provide them. I felt it unethical to hide from my problems while they grieved the loss of their son. As the father of a dead daughter, I understood their pain in a very visceral way. I had tried to hide from my problems for over twenty years by crawling into a bottle. I do not live that way anymore, so to hide from this would have been intolerable for me. I believe it would have lead me back to the drink, and from there, I would have surely died.
"On March 5, 2013, I was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges. I have remained a free man every since.
"This book will tell that story, the whole story, for the first time ever. I'm the only one who lived it, so I'm the only one capable of telling it. However, the tale of my arrest, incarceration, release, and trial are merely the vehicle I will be using to convey what I feel is an important message in today's fast-paced, high-tech, self-centered world.
"I have something to say, and life has presented me with a tragic way to illustrate my point without being preachy or pedantic.
"I will not moralize or shout from some ludicrous ethical pedestal (I didn't win the Olympics or cure cancer, I went to prison, for Pete's sake) — I just want to relate how I got through a very scary time and came out with my head held high. I think there is a lesson of value in the telling of my story, if only for myself. Therefore I will write it, and I hope some of you will read it."
The rights to Blythe's book were sold to Da Capo executive editor Ben Schafer by Marc Gerald at The Agency Group.
"While I've dreamed of being a published author almost since I began to read, I never imagined my first book would center around such a sad topic," said Blythe. "Sometimes though, life unexpectedly provides you a story that needs to be told. I believe this one does (for several different reasons, not just for the benefit of myself), so I will tell it with the respect and dignity all involved deserve. This will be a good read, I promise you, and I hope some good comes of it."
Added Schafer: "I knew that Randy was a master vocalist and lyricist but it turns out he is a vivid and visceral prose writer as well.
"Regarding his arrest and trial in the Czech Republic, Randy handled a frightening and heartbreaking situation with courage, grace, and humility, and we at Da Capo Press are honored to have the opportunity to have a part in telling his story."