Anthrax • Black Label Society • Exodus
January/February 2023 Tour
Co-headliners Anthrax and Black Label Society, this time with Special Guest Exodus rounding out the killer bill, will ring in 2023 with Round Two of some of the finest thrash and heavy metal to grace North American stages. The tour, part of Anthrax’s 40th anniversary celebration, kicks off January 17 in Boise, ID, and will visit 24 cities through February 18, where the tour wraps in Oakland, CA.
Photo Credit: Ignacio Galvez
July 18, 2021 marked Anthrax’s 40th anniversary, during which time the band released 11 studio albums, was awarded multiple Gold and Platinum certifications, received six GRAMMY nominations, and a host of other accolades from the media, the music industry, and fans. In 1991, the band helped break down race and genre barriers when they collaborated with Public Enemy on the track “Bring The Noise,” and was the first metal band to have its music heard on Mars when NASA played “Got The Time” to wake up the Mars Rover in 2012. Along with Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth, Anthrax is a card-carrying member of The Big Four, the four bands that defined the speed/thrash/metal genre. Anthrax has also introduced a series of now sold-out signature whiskeys and bourbons and partnered with the Stockholm-based NEZUMI Studios for a high-end, limited-edition Baleine dive watch. Twenty-twenty-one also saw the release of Z2 Comics’ “Among the Living” graphic novel with a track-by-track storyline inspired by Anthrax’s iconic 1987 album, Among The Living. The book pulls together a “who’s who” of names from the worlds of comics and music who created “bubble dialogue” and original artwork to express what the songs meant to them. Taking advantage of COVID-19’s prohibition of concert touring, the band has been hard at work writing the next Anthrax album.
Anthrax is: Scott Ian/guitars, Frank Bello/bass, Charlie Benante/drums, Joey Belladonna/vocals, Jonathan Donias/guitars.
Photo Credit: Justin Reich
About Black Label Society
Everything about Black Label Society begins with the riff. A dedicated disciple of Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Deep Purple, Zakk Wylde looks to the massive guitar hooks in classics like “Whole Lotta Love,” “Into the Void,” and “Smoke On the Water” as guiding lights. “The main ingredient in any Black Label soup is the riff,” says the larger-than-life frontman. Black Label Society builds their music on this simple truth, truth as self-evident on Back in Black as on the dozen songs comprising Doom Crew Inc., the eleventh album from the dependable stalwarts. Doom Crew Inc. is both a tribute to the band’s “first to bleed, last to leave” road crew and a salute to the legion whose support, stretching back to 1998, rivals that of the KISS Army. The Black Label Society biker-style battle vest “kutte” is as ubiquitous at hard rock and metal shows as a black t-shirt.
A charismatic heavy metal marauder recognized worldwide as a living legend, Wylde rose to prominence when Ozzy Osbourne chose him as his loyal axe-man, based on a cassette he mailed in as a teen. Guitar World put him on their cover more than a dozen times in recognition of his work on multi platinum albums by the icon he calls “the Boss” and the two decades of music made by BLS. Doom Crew Inc. sees Zakk trading solos and twin-guitar parts with Dario Lorina, backed by the rumble of longtime bassist John “J.D.” DeServio and powerhouse drummer Jeff Fabb. Like every BLS album since 2010, the band tracked Doom Crew Inc. at Zakk’s home studio, aka the Black Vatican. The beautiful simplicity of BLS bangers owe everything to the lessons Wylde first heard on We Sold Our Soul for Rock N’ Roll. “Less is more with everything,” he says. “Except the guitar solos.”
Black Label Society is Zakk Wylde – Vocals/Lead Guitar, John DeServio – Bass/Backing Vocals, Jeff Fabb – Drums, Dario Lorina – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Photo Credit: Tayva Martinez
All these years and EXODUS still boast a similar writing process to what they started out with. Although technology has made it so that the recording and mixing processes are less time consuming, the main change is really just that “[they] respect what [they] do a lot more,” states Hunting. “We’ve humbled ourselves to the journey and consider ourselves lucky to do what we do, but our creative process is still the same. Basically drums, guitar concepts; those are the starting point. After the music begins to take place we all process it and write together. When we were kids it was about the party. Now that we’re men, we’re in it more for the journey.” “To this day I still write a riff the way I did in the beginning,” explains Holt. “I write to make myself happy and I’m still always looking for that sick, brutal ass riff; it hasn’t changed. I kinda stick with my guns on how I do things.” With Holt just finishing up his world famous final run with SLAYER, the supportive network of friends and musicians that is EXODUS patiently await fully re-submerging themselves into a new record. With new ideas and riffs already in the works, not only can these masters of metal assure us upcoming new music, but an abundance of world-wide touring is inevitable. “I can’t tell you how long it’ll go on,” says Hunting, “the fuse is definitely shorter. We’re obviously closer to where it ends than where it started… but we’ll take it one record at a time. As long as we feel good about what we’re doing, there’s good things happening right now in this genre of music, and we want to be a part of that. A lot of bands want to retire but that’s not us. The potential for our next record could be career defining. We’re taking our time and not rushing any songs.”
Regardless of how us metalheads may see it, Heavy Metal will forever be one of the more niche genres in the music industry. Longevity is the key here; to have reigned for over 40 years and created 10 unique, game changing, full length albums amidst the even smaller bailiwick of Thrash Metal. EXODUS not only remain unwavering in their delivery, but in their strength and progression as a successful and unique sonic endeavour that make your every bone rattle and your blood churn in the best of ways.
EXODUS is : Tom Hunting on Drums, Gary Holt on Guitar, Lee Altus on Guitar, Jack Gibson on Bass, and Steve “Zetro” Souza as lead vocalist.
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Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.