It’s been just over two years since Black Label Society visited the Bay State and the chill in the air certainly didn’t keep the band’s Massachusetts Chapter from reuniting once again for an evening that proved to be an unforgiving and glorious assault on the senses at Worcester’s Palladium on 11/4/21.
The band (Zakk Wylde/guitar/piano/vocals, John DeServio/bass, Jeff Fabb/drums and Dario Lorina/guitar) is currently doom trooping across the US ahead of the release of their new record Doom Crew Inc., set to be released on later this month on the 26th. For their stop in Worcester on November 4, anticipation for the start of the show was brought to a boiling point as the house blasted a monster-mashup of Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and Sabbath’s “War Pigs”. Just after the song wrapped, the stage-wide banner, embossed with the BLS logo, dropped from the rafters to reveal Wylde and company bathed in a bevy of multi-colored lights and digging into their respective instruments, already at full gusto, in front of the fist-pumping berserkers.
BLS wasted no time by tearing into the blistering “Bleed for Me” and “Demise of Sanity”. BLS’ fans ate it up and wanted more. Early highlights in the set included “Overlord” and “This Blessed Hellride”. Fabb kept the train rollin’ with his pummeling double-bass drum blasts, while DeServo devilishly meandered around stage right, holding his bass guitar aloft with a menacing grin. Lorina’s impeccable rhythm chops and flashy-fills weaved themselves in and out of Wylde’s frenetic, wah-laden solos. Halfway through the set with Wylde behind a grand piano, BLS took their fans on an emotional roller coaster with Zakk’s tribute to his late friend Dimebag Darrel Abbott with “In This River”. Though a staple in BLS’ set, the night wouldn’t be complete without it.
The edgy and grinding “Trampled Down Below” and frenzied “Destruction Overdrive” followed. Both were apparent crowd-pleasers, providing additional motivation for a continued stream of crowd surfers to get their ya-yas out. A new song, from the forthcoming Doom Crew Inc., “Set You Free” was warmly welcomed. Wylde seamlessly traded licks with Lorina as Fabb and the Goose kept the train chugging along. “Fire It Up” upped the ante and helped serve up a showcase for a scorching guitar solo, which found Wylde standing center stage on his riser and, like a true god of thunder, holding his axe above his head – drawing much adulation from his fans. “Suicide Messiah” and the bludgeoning “Stillborn” brought the blistering set to its end. Wylde celebrated by beating his chest with both hands and pointing to the heavens. Whether with BLS, Ozzy, or Zakk Sabbath – Wylde had once again impressed and could claim the that he and the band came, saw and conquered!