By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Black Label Society will take over Lapa’s Circo Voador stage on Friday, August 8th as the American metal/heavy rock band fronted by Zakk Wylde returns to Rio for the first stop on their Latin American tour in support of the band’s most recent album, Catacombs of the Black Vatican.
Leading Black Label Society, also know simply as, BLS, through the continent will be guitarist and vocalist Zakk Wylde. Wylde is well known for his blistering solos on guitars featuring bulls-eye designs and for playing with metal legend, Ozzy Osbourne for over a decade.
Black Label Society was last in Rio for a performance at Vivo Rio in 2012. Additionally, the band and Wylde have played in São Paulo multiple times and were last there at the HSBC Brazil arena in November 2012.
When asked by Wikimetal before the 2012 show in São Paulo about his relationship with Brazilian fans Wlyde said; “I think is amazing! You know… Black Label is much bigger than a band, you know what I mean? It´s a mentality, and just… you know… last time we were down there it was with Ozzy, and that was awesome, so, you know… The whole crew and everybody, we can´t wait!”
After the Rio show, BLS will go on to play in São Paulo again at the Via Marquês on August 9th and then will perform in Curitiba at the Curitiba Master Hall on the 10th before moving on to Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 13th.
Wylde formed Black Label Society in 1998 with guitarist Nick Catanese and drummer Phil Ondich. In the sixteen years that followed, the band saw multiple line-up changes with the current tour line-up featuring; Zakk Wylde on vocals and guitar, John DeServio on bass, Jeff Fabb on drums and Dario Lorina on second guitar.
Fabio Figueira De Sousa, a Carioca and front man for local rockers Clashing Clouds, describes his take on Wylde. “This guy had to be the guitar for Ozzy, and basically replaced Randy Rhoads, which is no easy task, since this man was one of the best guitarists of rock history. […] I am a big fan of Randy, but I must confess that the first time I saw Zack play… I wanted to break my guitar. He is a legend.”
During the past sixteen years, BLS toured the world, released two live albums, one EP, and nine full-length studio albums, the most recent of which, Catacombs of the Black Vatican, was released on April 8, 2014.
“I always joke when people ask what the new album’s like. I always just say ‘You know, it’s just like the last nine albums but with new song titles,” Wylde, well known for his sense of humor told Altsounds during an interview held in January earlier this year.
Adding, “I was talking to my buddy, he goes ‘What does the album sound like’ and I go ‘Put it this way, this album is so frigging amazing that after I listened to it I looked at myself in the mirror and I just started making out with myself.'”
The CD, which was the first studio release from the group since 2010’s Order of the Black, features eleven tracks. They range from uptempo heavy rock, like “Damn the Flood” to mid-tempo Classic rock like the album’s lead single “My Dying Time“; to ballads like “Angel of Mercy“. All of the release’s tracks still maintain the overall Black Label Society sounds and Wylde guitar wizardry that fans of the group have come to know and love.
On Friday night, Rio de Janeiro metal band, Statik Majik will open for Black Label Society. Formed in 2002 by drummer Luis Carlos, the group has been well received by critics and audiences alike throughout their career thus far. Gates at Circo Voador will open at 10PM.