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blacklabelsociety20Live Music Hall, Cologne, Germany
27th March 2018
Black Label Society - “Grimmest Hits European Tour” 2018 - Special guest: Monolord

The legendary BLACK LABEL SOCIETY were scheduled to play the cozy venue ‘Live Music Hall’ in Cologne, and quite a few members of the German chapter heeded the call.


Monolord

Initially, there was a little confusion whether there would be a support act at all, as there was no information available in the announcements. So I assume the Swedish Doom Metal band MONOLORD jumped the ticket last minute. MONOLORD has been around since 2013, when they released their debut album ‘Empress Rising’. Meanwhile, they have released their fourth studio album ‘Rust’. https://www.facebook.com/monolord / www.monolord.com

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Music & Performance
At 8pm sharp, the band entered the stage of the Live Music Hall and immediately got their thing going. The trio turned out to be an excellent choice as an opener, as they did not fail to impress the audience with down-tuned guitar riffs, mighty drums and an effect-laden voice that gave the set a certain unique feel. Judging from the number of spectators and the level of commotion in the audience, a number of people found MONOLORD very appealing - which means they won over quite a lot of new fans with their 30-minute gig.

Setlist
01. Where Death Meets The Sea
02. We Will Burn
03. Lord of Suffering
04. Died a Million Times
05. Rust
06. Empress Rising

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 7 / 10

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Black Label Society

Dubbed as “the band of OZZY guitarist Zakk Wylde”, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY is so much more than that. Although the singing style of Zakk Wylde is at times pretty reminiscent of the legendary OZZY OSBOURNE, the band has been around for 20 years now, during which they have released 10 albums. This more than warrants them their own place in Rock’n’Roll history. Their most recent release is called ‘Grimmest Hits’, which contains all-new material, despite the title invoking thoughts of a “best of” compilation. www.blacklabelsociety.net / https://www.facebook.com/blacklabelsociety

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Music & Performance
During the stage break, a huge black curtain bearing the characteristic band logo was pulled up. Then, shortly after 9pm, a mash-up track called ‘Whole Lotta Sabbath’ (mix of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘War Pigs’) started blaring from the speakers, which set the tone for the evening. Then the curtain dropped, and with ‘Genocide Junkies’ from the 2002 album ‘1919 Eternal’, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY immediately shifted into gear, causing the audience to cheer. It also became clear that the stage hands probably had worked overtime during the stage break. A total number of 22 4 x 12’’ guitar cabinets were revealed, as well as a large piano, amongst tons of other stuff. The band used the remaining rest of the stage to stir things up, and Zakk certainly liked to show off his amazing guitar skills, as well as his signature guitar gear. The mosh pit really started to kick in for the songs ‘Suicide Messiah’ and ‘Trampled down below’ from the new album.

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After an hour of playtime, the atmosphere took a different turn, when guitarist Dario Lorina switched from guitar to playing the piano during the song ‘Bridge to cross’. After that, Zakk showed that he is not only a master on the guitar, but also on the piano, when he sat down at the piano and played ‘Spoke in the wheel’ and ‘In this River’, a ballad dedicated to late PANTERA guitarist ‘Dimebag Darrell’, whose pictures were displayed on the guitar cabinet walls. With ‘A Love Unreal’ the band picked up the pace again and the frenzy culminated, when - for the song ‘Fire it up’ - dozens of large black air balloons were tossed into the crowd, and later in the song - Zakk went onto one of his legendary soloing sprees. This saw him literally walking into the crowd while playing the guitar, climbing on top of a bar in the back of the venue, and pulling all sorts of tricks, such as him playing the guitar behind his head.

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Eventually after 10 minutes or so he arrived back on stage, finished his solo by playing with his teeth (!), and after around 2 hours of playtime, the crowd got their send-off with ‘Stillborn’.

Setlist
01. Genocide Junkies
02. Funeral Bell
03. Suffering Overdue
04. Bleed for Me
05. Heart of Darkness
06. Suicide Messiah
07. Trampled Down Below
08. All That Once Shined
09. Room of Nightmares
10. Bridge to Cross
11. Spoke in the Wheel
12. In This River
13. The Blessed Hellride
14. A Love Unreal
15. Fire it Up
16. Concrete Jungle
17. Stillborn

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8 / 10

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All Pictures by Markus Felix

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