Once again I had the opportunity to enjoy one of the best benefits of living in metro Atlanta: I got to see a concert by a major metal act. This none was a super tough choice for me, one that I made last minute. As it turns out, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster were playing lees than ten minutes from the Black Label Society show. It was a decision that boiled to the fact that while I love MASTSOD, the BLS show gave the benefit of seeing Kyng, another of my favorites, and I couldn’t give that up.
I’ve already written about the all of the non-musical components of the night earlier today. The music, however, is what made the night. Well, the music AND getting to hangout briefly with Eddie Veliz of Kyng. (Eddie is one of the nicest guys in metal. Fantastic singer and guitarist, funny and personable. A guy that will talk about hitting the gym in one breath and his favorite guitar brand in the next. Should you get to see Kyng live, make your way to the merch table and tell Eddie,”Hello”; you’ll be glad you did).
Kyng opened the night with fun, but short six song set. Being a big fan of the band, I could have listened to Kyng all night. But, being an upcoming band has it’s limits and they got the opening slot. Eddie, Tony and Pepe hit hard and offered up a tasty serving of swampy metal, providing the best guitar tone of the night. Dean Guitars were never my thing (yes, yes, I know Dimebag was a fan of them), but the way Eddie slings that axe makes my head spin. Kicking off the night with “Burning the Serum”, Kyng slapped the slack jaws of a lethargic crowd. Sadly, the none of the five original songs seem to make an impact on a solidly BLS crowd. Only a spot on cover of Van Halen’s “Hot for teacher” caught fire with this beer drenched crowd. I felt genuinely bad for the boys. They are getting great exposure with the BLS tour, but the last two times they have played Atlanta have seemingly fallen short of being great experiences (one bomb scare crowd and one laconic crowd).
Eddie remained upbeat and extremely personable. I snagged a Kyng shirt (the boys do need some new designs; I have all the current choices, including the “Scooby” shirt that is only available online) and a pic with Eddie, talked guitars and amps and went for a Diet Coke.
WovenWar ran me out with the first 30 seconds of their set. They remind me quite a bit of Motionless In White. My wife would probably enjoy them, but they fail to impress me.
BLS hit the stage around 10:15pm. Zakk has a new rhythm guitarist in the band, some sorely needed fresh blood. His bassist is rock solid as his drummer, but this show is all about Zakk. They hit pretty hard. “Funeral Bell”, “In My Dying Time” and “Overlord” all made the playlist, which pleasantly surprised me. The wall of Marshall amps assaulted the crowd like a maniac with a ballbat. Zakk maintains impressive biceps, and a lumberjack beard. It was a bit over the top when he changed guitars with every song, but he kept the town entertained. His signature extended guitar solo lacked imagination, in my opinion. It was simply musical masturbation. What initially was exciting to the crowd ended up boring. “The Blessed Hellride” made an appearance, though I am not a fan of the residual vocal melody changes from the UNBLACKENED shows. My night with BLS ended with a somewhat tired sounding version of “Stillborn” and me heading to my car.
It is almost 48 hours later and my ears are still ringing. I see the show overall as a good thing. Kyng has the potential to hit the top of the metal world. I hope they don’t sour on fickle Atlanta crowds. WovenWar goes on my list of bands I prefer to never see again. I’m sure they’re nice guys, but their music doesn’t move me. As for Zakk and BLS, I’m torn. On one hand they provided the first REAL metal show I have seen in a while. The ‘colors’, the theatrics, the thundering music all add up to a potent combo. Zakk combines classic Southern rock simplicity with modern metal and serves it hot. However, it bores me. I crave more from a live show. Perhaps it’s the crowd (which I already addressed in my earlier blog). Perhaps it’s me. Either way, of the three bands seen, only Kyng remains on my list of bands that I MUST see again. And I will, every chance I get. Talent like that band can’t be ignored.