Posted on by Oran

Legendary axe-man Zakk Wylde and his infamous Black Label Society finally get to stretch their legs for a headline show in Ireland’s capital. Cue pinched harmonics and much swishing of hair! 


An impressive line of punters snakes along the top end of  Francis St in anticipation for the long-awaited return of Black Label Society back on Irish soil.

Not content with shredding his six-string around the globe with Ozzy, Zakk Wylde has his fingers in many a pie, but tonight it’s all about bringing a stadium hard rock show to the intimate surroundings of Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre for long sold out audience.

Opening tonight’s show is Irish sludge/doom kingpins, Ten Ton Slug. Their rise from the underground Galway metal scene to winning 2016’s Metal 2 The Masses and beyond has been nothing short of astounding.

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Now with an impressive number of UK tours under their belts, sharing stages with Crowbar, next years addition to Hammer Fest, this year’s booking for Amplified Music Festival and Metal Days, the four-piece are about to launch into the first of three dates with BLS and to say there is a tremendous level of support in the venue tonight for ‘The Slugs‘ would be an understatement.

By the time the guys crack open the first track under a wash of dry ice and slim-green stage lights, the one thing that is instantly evident is that Ten Ton Slug display a confident and impressively focused aural attack, that is, by no question, one of the reasons why they are fast becoming one of Ireland’s most talked about unsigned metal acts.

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As always, vocalist Rónán O ‘hArrachtáin manages to create an atmosphere that is a delicate balance of humour and brutality, all the while his bandmates, go about creating an ungodly, earth-shattering sonic attack that instantly gips your intestines and drags you to the very depths of the darkest sludge-filled swamp imaginable.

With a brief setlist that includes the tracks from ‘Brutal Gluttonous Beast‘ and the more recent ‘Blood and Slime‘, guitarist Sean O’Sullivan lays down the most gut-wrenching riffs, accompanied by his impressive guttural, doom war cry.

Bassist Eoghan Wynne and drummer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, shine through the Tivoli’s PA, providing a formidable tapestry of low-end groove that enhances the likes of ‘Matriarch of Slime‘, making it sound like a mountain of riffs is falling upon the throngs of punters that give their necks a workout throughout the packed theatre.

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Seeing as Ten Ton Slug have another two shows with BLS on this tour, there is no question that they will make a lot of new friends along the way. If you haven’t’ been ingested by their cacophony of doom-drenched presence, then all I can say is, prepare yourself, because once you’ve been slimed, there ain’t no going back. 4/5

So, we find ourselves awaiting the presence of the one and only Zakk Wylde for the bands debut Irish headline show. A BLS branded drape hangs at the lip of the stage before an explosion of lights, smoke cannons and confetti launch the band’s performance.

There is no question that BLS know how to open a show, and with ‘Genocide Junkie‘ followed by ‘Funeral Bell‘ and ‘Suffering Overdue‘, all delivered back to back, the crowd are losing their fucking minds.

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Sporting a green tartan kilt, Wylde is in fighting form tonight and makes use of the risers that line the front of the stage as he holds up his guitar and rips out solo after solo like it’s no big thing.

Bleed for Me‘, ‘Suicide Messiah‘ and ‘Trampled Down Below‘ make their appearance, with bandmates John DeServio (bass), Dario Lorina (guitar) and Jeff Fabb (drums) responsible for keeping the audio architecture in place, while Wylde does ‘his thing’!

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The Tivoli Theatre is most certainly sold out, as it’s damn near impossible to move, but fuck it, who cares. A little crowd pressure gives way during ‘All That Shined Once‘, ‘Bridge to Cross’, ‘Spoke in the Wheel‘ and ‘In this River‘ which saw Wylde on grand piano duty, allowing the bar to get a battering before we are slung back into ‘Fire it Up‘, ‘Concrete Jungle’ to which Wylde took to the main floor and proceeded to lash out a behind the head 10 minute solo as he made his way all the way to the back of the theatre, eventually taking to the stage and launching into ‘Still Born‘. Now that’s impressive. 4.3/5

Coming soon! Overdrive spoke to Zakk Wylde for an exclusive feature where he talks about the upcoming final tour with Ozzy, his memories of Dime (Pantera) and much more! Keep your eyes on in the coming days.

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  1. Genocide Junkie
  2. Funeral Bell
  3. Suffering Overdue
  4. Bleed for Me
  5. Heart of Darkness
  6. Suicide Messiah
  7. Trampled Down Below
  8. All That Once Shined
  9. 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. Sillborn

Black Label Society / Ten Ton Slug – Tivoli Theatre, Dublin 07/04/18 Photo Gallery © Down The Barrel Photography 2018

Oran O’Beirne

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