August 24, 2006

Music DVD Review: Black Label Society: The European Invasion - Doom Troopin'

Watching this concert disk makes me wish that I kept up with Black Label Society. I really have no excuse for why I haven't. I picked up their debut, Sonic Brew, way back in the day, and I have their previous DVD, Boozed, Broozed & Broken Boned, but for some reason or other I never got any of their other albums. That is now an absolute must.

Anyone who is a fan of face melting solos, bone crushing riffs, and pure attitude, must add this disk to their collection. Zakk Wylde is, hands down, one of the best guitar players in the world. I have never heard anyone else play like he can. He is a true original, and this concert has him at the top of his game.

The centerpiece of this two disk set is a concert filmed in Paris. It begins with a Wylde solo and never lets up. The show runs nearly two hours and had me completely in awe the entire time. This is Wylde and the rest of his band are up there to blow your head off, and they damn near succeed. Driving drums, solid rhythm section and Zakk playing ringleader to the musical mayhem.

This is an experience, something I hope to experience in person. Playing in your face rock and metal, drinking beer and just having an absolute blast. The crowd was into it from start to finish. I am not even sure how to accurately describe how good this show is.

Early on there is a bit of a drinking break where Zakk begins playing "Iron Man" with his fret hand while drinking with the other. A fun interlude. Later, there is an acoustic guitar solo jam. Zakk sits down, cross-legged, and just shreds on the acoustic, even playing some of "Mama, I'm Coming Home," much to the enjoyment of the crowd. There is also a touching performance of "In This River," a song dedicated to the late great, Dimebag Darrell, a song that Zakk says will never leave the Black Label setlist.

The set concludes with "Genocide Junkies" followed by Zakk proceeding to throw the amps and monitors into the crowd, something I have learned to be a regular happening at Black Label shows.

One thing that really impressed me was the use of video effects. Many times I have seen concerts try to use special effects and they just come off as cheesey. This is a different case altogether. The effects and split screens all work perfectly, enhancing the live experience for home viewing.

Also on disk one are four tracks from their show in London. This runs another half an hour, and besides having more screaming guitar driven metal, features the band blowing out the power multiple times, and Zakk waging a battle with all of the equipment in front of him.

Disk two contains three music videos, and a behind the scenes documentary that runs for nearly an hour. The documentary starts off with a interview with Zakk, stitched together from a few different sessions. Learn about Zakk's habit of throwing equipment into the crowd, and about the tour preparations, and his temper. The film literally follows the band during the tour, catching up with them backstage at a number of venues. Watch the band fool around, jam, talk smack. It is well worth watching, especially to see more of Zakk's playing, which is simply amazing.

Bottomline. This set is a must have. The music is incredible, the atmosphere is pure metal. What else need be said? Get it, watch it, and prepare to have your face melted.

Highly Recommended.
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The European Invasion – Doom Troopin' track listing:

Paris Chapter:

01. Stoned and Drunk
02. Destruction Overdrive
03. Been A Long Time
04. Funeral Bell
05. Suffering Overdue
06. In This River
07. Suicide Messiah
08. Demise Of Sanity
09. Spread Your Wings
10. Solo Acoustic Jam
11. Spoke In The Wheel
12. Fire It Up
13. Stillborn
14. Genocide Junkies

London Chapter:

01. Been a Long Time
02. Suicide Messiah
03. Stillborn
04. Genocide Junkies


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