Revolver has teamed with Black Label Society for an exclusive 2LP vinyl edition of Doom Crew Inc. on "grey/black/white tri-color" wax. Grab yours before they're gone!
For over two decades, Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society cohorts have been cranking out rip-roaring heavy metal at a mind-boggling clip. The L.A. group released an album almost every year throughout the 2000s, and although their output has become a bit more sporadic over the last decade, the quality hasn't dipped one bit.
In honor of the band announcing their forthcoming record, Doom Crew Inc, and dropping a shreddy new song called "Set You Free," we asked our readers to choose their favorite Black Label Society song. The top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.
Although most people think of Black Label Society as the perfect soundtrack for bottle-smashing ragers and high-speed excursions, the band have a tender side, as well. "Spoke in the Wheel" is a tearful acoustic ballad from their 1999 debut, Sonic Brew, that sees Wylde singing about being "shattered, cast aside" and stripped of his pride with a felt poignancy.
"Bleed for Me" is 10 tons of steaming groove metal that ended up on BLS' 2002 album, 1919 Eternal, because Ozzy Osbourne rejected the song after Wylde wrote it for Down to Earth. Ozzy's reasoning was that it sounded "too Black Label," and that's not an inaccurate way of framing this hulking machine of drawly hard rock and beastly Southern metal.
"In This River" has a special place in the BLS catalog. The track from their 2005 opus, Mafia, was technically written before the Dimebag Darrell's tragic death in 2004, but Wylde decided it was only fitting to dedicate this mournful piano ballad about a fallen friend to the late Pantera guitarist — and his spirit is immortalized in the sky-scraping solo that Wylde rips in this tune.
"Suicide Messiah," another Mafia standout, exists on the exact opposite side of the BLS spectrum from "In This River." Kicking off with a steam-rolling groove-metal riff, crushing drums and Wylde's proto-metal wail, this is one of the gnarliest and downright badass tracks in the band's repertoire, and by god that solo rules.
Musically, BLS play a distinctly American conglomerate of twangy hard rock and steely groove metal, but vocally, Wylde is quite clearly influenced by the man who launched his career: Ozzy Osborne. On "Stillborn," a cut from the band's 2003 LP, The Blessed Hellride, Wylde invites the Prince of Darkness himself onto the track, and the two singers lock into perfect vocal harmony. Naturally, it's a clear fan favorite.