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Black Label Society "European Invasion - Doom Troopin' Live" DVD

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Sunday, September 3, 2006 @ 7:21 AM


On Eagle Rock Entertainment

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Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society captures the intensity of their live show on their latest DVD, European Invasion - Doom Troopin' Live. Filmed in Paris at Elysee Montmarte and London's Astoria during last year's sold out European Tour, the live double disc DVD contains a special two hour concert gem, power packed with songs that span the early beginning of BLS to "Mafia.” The BLS release contains 2 discs on the DVD and is a must have for all die-hard BLS fans. The second DVD features a special documentary of the special backstage footage of the band traveling in Europe concert performances and days off from their busy tour schedule.

Zakk Wylde takes center stage taking the meaning of guitar shredding to a new dimension in European Invasion - Doom Troopin' Live. From the opening guitar intro in Paris, the intensity and quality of the skull crushing guitar riffs that have become Wylde's trademark never lets up.

The DVD is well produced with special lighting effects that enhance the quality of the performance. The sound is well mixed, as Wylde's guitar solos are crisp, and dominant the concert event. In comparison to the first Black Label Society DVD, "Boozed, Broozed, and Broken Boned, BLS's latest release manages to capture the intensity of their live show flawlessly. It is interesting to see how much the BLS Chapters all over the world have grown in epic proportions over the past year.

Opening with "Stoned and Drunk", Wylde is clearly the Pied Piper whipping the male dominated audience into a frenzied state, and then taming them like a lion with his passionate guitar licks. Highlights of the live concert footage include the "Ironman" Interlude. Zakk showcases his musical roots, to where his career first began with Ozzy.

The two-hour concert Paris concert performance, also features a very special Dimebag Tribute, in which BLS perform, "In This River." On "Mafia" Wylde performs "In This River" on piano. It was refreshing to hear the special guitar version of the song. Wylde sings this special Dime tribute full of emotion, as the magic of the moment is captured live. The audience and BLS prove that Dime's influence remains worldwide and music knows no boundaries.

"Suicide Messiah” demonstrates the strength of the band, with the solid rhythm of Craig Nunemacher on drums and James Lomenzo on bass elevated with blazing guitar riffs. Wylde is on fire, as the guitar master of pinch harmonics, unleashes his powerful fury.

Black Label Society is known for their stellar guitar work, as Pittsburgh's Nick Catanese doubles with Zakk, on "Demise Of Sanity." Catanese’s powerful riffs lay down the driving backbone, to his boss' masterful guitar shredding.

One of my favorite parts of the DVD includes the special acoustic footage. Zakk melts the acoustic nylon with his blues infused acoustic jam on "Mama I'm Coming Home". BLS have also had a special southern rock appeal, as he sings from the heart on the bluesy, "Spoke In The Wheel." It is very rare that you find a rock musician that can tame a ferocious crowd, as the audience hangs on every note of Zakk's powerful acoustic performance. Zakk Wylde proves in the Paris concert footage, that he has the skillful guitar expertise that makes him stands up and be noticed.

The end of the concert has that fired up intensity that is transpired throughout the DVD. As the band whips into "Fire it up", and their first hit, ”Stillborn." The Paris concert ends with BLS favorite "Genocide Junkies" as Zakk dedicates this song to the “Troops."

The DVD also features four songs that were performed at The Astoria in London.

The Astoria London Concert footage:

    1. Been A Long Time
    2. Suicide Messiah
    3. Stillborn Jam
    4. Genocide Junkies
In this European concert footage, Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society prove they are a driving force in metal today.

Wylde told me European footage is action-packed. “There is some funny crap on this one. That tour almost damn near killed everybody.” Wylde continued, “It is like the gayness of comedy. We got it all on film. Some of the shows are slamming, some of the shows we didn't have any electricity. Unbelievable. We have the comedy, all on film.”

I asked Wylde to describe the Dimebag Tribute on the DVD in which BLS plays "In This River." Wylde said, “Yeah! We dedicate that song to Dimebag. I wrote the song before Dime passed away. It is just like I never had a brother, but Dime was my brother. I laid him to rest. It is just like that. Looking at the lyrics, this is his song.”

Track Listing for Disc 1 Live at the Elysee Montmartre in Paris

    l. Intro Jam
    2. Stoned and Drunk
    3. Destruction Overdrive
    4. Been A Long time
    5. Ironman Interlude
    6. Funeral Bell
    7. Suffering Overdue
    8. In This River
    9. Suicide Messiah
    10.Demise Of Sanity
    11.Spread Your Wings
    12.Solo Acoustic Jam
    13.Spoke In The Wheel
    14.Fire It Up
    15.Stillborn
    16 Genocide Junkies
The second disc features 3 BLS videos which include the making of "Suicide Messiah", "In This River", and "Fire It Up." Plus a special 50-minute documentary that includes a special Zakk Wylde interview, backstage footage, and a clip of BLS performance at the Sweden Rock Festival. One of the highlights on the DVD included a special in store signing with Black Label Society, as fans from the European Chapter lined up to get an autograph with their guitar hero.

The second disc also features Zakk in a proud father, son moment, as he warms up for the BLS Tour in his gym, lifting weights with his son Hendrix. Also it was great to see the respect that Black Label Society has garnered in Europe, as Zakk accepted his Metal Hammer Award in Europe. An unscripted moment occurred as Zakk threw the Metal Hammer Award into the audience for his fans to accept. BLS is all about the many BLS Chapters across the country, and performing the best music possible for their audience, as Zakk proved this in this spontaneous action.

The European Invasion - Doom Troopin' captures the intensity of BLS live. It is hard for any band to recreate the vibe that transpires between the audiences in a live concert setting. Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society take the excitement of performing live at a BLS concert and put it on film, as Zakk and company perform with a relentless, driving force that is known as Black Label Society.

*****


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