Fri Sep 13 2019
7:30 PM (Doors 6:30 PM)
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KNITTING FACTORY ENTERTAINMENT
Black Label Society,
The Black Dahlia Murder,
Zakk Wylde – Vocals/Guitar
John DeServio – Bass
Dario Lorina – Guitar
Jeff Fabb – Drums
Black Label Society bandleader Zakk Wylde wields his guitar like a Viking weapon, bashing out thick riffage and squeezing out expressive squeals as if the glory of his Berserker brotherhood depends upon every single note, which of course, it does.
Charismatic beast and consummate showman, Wylde puts his massive heart and earnest soul on display with unbridled, unchained, animalistic passion in Black Label Society, whether it’s a crushingly heavy blues-rock barnstormer or a piano-driven ode to a fallen brother. Each Black Label Society album is another opportunity to top the one before it, but like AC/DC or The Rolling Stones, BLS isn’t here to reinvent the wheel. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s a brand we can trust.
Mighty missives like “Damn the Flood,” “In This River,” “Stillborn,” “My Dying Time,” “Queen of Sorrow,” and “Blood is Thicker Than Water” have amassed millions of downloads and streams. They are the soundtracks to sweat soaked revelry, jubilant evenings that descend into bewildering mornings, and adrenaline fueled sports.
Grimmest Hits, the band’s tenth full-length studio album and follow-up to Billboard Top 5 entries Catacombs of the Black Vatican (2014) and Order of the Black (2010), Black Label Society submit new anthems like radio single “Room of Nightmares,” the bluesy “Seasons of Falter,” and Southern-fried “The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away” to the BLS faithful; 12 unstoppable tracks to add to that lifestyle soundtrack.
While members of esteemed rock and metal institutions like Alice In Chains, Metallica, Type O Negative, Clutch, Danzig, and Megadeth have passed through the band’s ranks, Black Label Society has consistently been defined by Wylde’s unmistakable voice and signature guitar sound and the steady rumble of bassist John DeServio. BLS is rounded out, in the studio and onstage, by guitarist Dario Lorina (since 2013) and powerhouse drummer Jeff Fabb (since 2012).
This is as much a band as it is a symbol of strength, honor, commitment, and diehard “society,” as evidenced by the legions of supporters who proudly donned the Black Label Society colors years before motorcycle culture was back in fashion.
Black Label Society are vigilant keepers of the hard rock n’ roll flame, protecting its sonic characteristics and vibe while engaging in reverent study of its chief architects. Given that Wylde’s kids’ are named Hayley Rae, Jesse John Michael (named after his Godfather, John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne), Hendrix Halen, and Sabbath Page, it’s clear that he takes his study of rock n’ roll’s greats very seriously.
To many, Wylde is synonymous with pinch harmonics as much as Chuck Berry dreamt up the duck walk. Zakk’s signature Les Paul Bullseye guitar hangs in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. His infamous leather bellbottoms hang in the Grammy
Museum. His handprints are on Hollywood’s Rock Walk of Fame. He’s performed the National Anthem at major sporting events. He wrote the 2013 Major League Baseball theme for ESPN. He even momentarily joined Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff in Guns N’ Roses. He is a playable character in the Guitar Hero games.
A lifelong disciple of Black Sabbath and the longest serving guitar-shredder for the Ozzman himself, Wylde co-wrote modern Ozzy Osbourne classics like “No More Tears,” “Mama I’m Coming Home,” “Road to Nowhere,” and “Miracle Man.” Together with Ozzy bassist Blasko and drummer Joey Castillo (ex-Queens Of The Stone Age), Wylde pays faithful tribute to the forefathers of metal as frontman for Zakk Sabbath.
Before he graced the cover of every meaningful guitar magazine on the planet, Zakk Wylde was a kid in New Jersey who picked up his instrument before he’d even hit high school. He was still a teenager when he got his demo tape into Ozzy’s hands. Together with the man he affectionately calls “the Boss” (and whose wife and manager, Sharon, he calls “Mom”), Wylde was part of the biggest selling album of the legendary Black Sabbath singer’s solo career, No More Tears, as well as the double-platinum Ozzmosis, and earned a Grammy for the live recording of “I Don’t Want to Change the World.”
One part invading horde and all parts traveling carnival party, Black Label Society traverses the world powered by caffeine and cacophony. BLS engages and inspires audiences everywhere they go, on every radio dial they burn, inviting all comers to join in and participate in their brotherhood and sisterhood of hard rock and vigor.
Now ten studio albums deep, with solo records, Ozzy shows, and Zakk Sabbath tours all kicking ass simultaneously, Black Label Society rides ever forward, fist held high.
Since 2001, the Michigan quintet, The Black Dahlia Murder, have focused their efforts on writing music that embraces all the finest qualities of melodic death metal yet does not shackle them, giving them room to constantly evolve and grow as musicians. With their latest album, Abysmal, the band has once again progressed while retaining the signature sound that has won them their devoted legion of fans, and making it clear that their best is not in their past. "I still love Everblack and everything we achieved when touring it, and in fact going into that record we faced a massive challenge in following up Ritual (2011), which had also been huge for us. Having two records in a row connect with fans in such a way was amazing, but definitely piled on the pressure going into this new one, because we don't want to let them down, and we don't want to let ourselves down. But we learned a lot in making those two records, and we brought that into Abysmal. We know we can take people's heads off playing super-fast, but that doesn't always give listeners something to really chew on. We've learned to focus on creating some drama, interesting dynamics, and most importantly really investing time in thinking about how different parts of songs will make you feel." While crushingly violent, Abysmal is certainly a long way from being a two-dimensional blast-fest. Often evoking potent melancholy or icy unease, tragedy and apocalyptic gloom also insinuate into the songs alongside the all-out fury. For make no mistake, while this record boasts a variety of dark and atmospheric moods the band has perhaps never sounded so downright pissed. The likes of "Re-Faced" and "Threat Level Number Three" are purpose built to incite chaos, and some of the fastest material the band has ever unleashed explodes from the likes of opener "Receipt", "Asylum", and the haunting title track.
At this stage in the game, with typically modest aspirations, vocalist Trevor Strnad is more interested in maintaining their longevity than shifting records, and if the band never gets any bigger than they are right now he will "die happy a hundred times over". However, this does not mean there is anything even vaguely resembling an end in sight. "We're still young at heart and I feel like the evolution of the band still has a long way to go. I don't see a ceiling on what we can do, and there will be no end. It's just going to be a constant ongoing fight to make better music and be a better band, and it's always going to be time to kick ass."
Black Label Society, The Black Dahlia Murder, Alien Weaponry
Fri Sep 13 2019 7:30 PM
(Doors 6:30 PM)