BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

Heavy Metal / Hard Rock • United States
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Black Label Society is a heavy metal band formed by Ozzy Osbourne/Pride & Glory guitar player Zakk Wylde. They released nine albums to date, seven of which are studio albums. The band, aside from Wylde consists of bassist John "JD" Deservio, drummer Craig Nunenmacher, and fellow guitarist Nick "The Evil Twin" Catanese.

The band is not to be confused with Zakk Wylde's solo project (sometimes known as Book of Shadows after its only album) or with Pride & Glory, Wylde's southern rock band.

History In 1992, Ozzy retired after the No More Tears tour, which led Zakk to form his own solo band Pride & Glory, blending potent bluesy southern rock with heavy metal. In 1994 Ozzy decided to come out of retirement, and the numerous recording sessions for Ozzmosis took place. Around this time, Zakk was also offered the open guitar slot in Guns N' Roses and had a
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BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Discography

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY albums / top albums

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Sonic Brew album cover 3.58 | 8 ratings
Sonic Brew
Heavy Metal 1998
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Stronger Than Death album cover 3.94 | 6 ratings
Stronger Than Death
Heavy Metal 2000
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY 1919 Eternal album cover 3.69 | 5 ratings
1919 Eternal
Heavy Metal 2002
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY The Blessed Hellride album cover 3.94 | 10 ratings
The Blessed Hellride
Heavy Metal 2003
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Hangover Music, Volume VI album cover 3.50 | 6 ratings
Hangover Music, Volume VI
Hard Rock 2004
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Mafia album cover 3.54 | 11 ratings
Mafia
Heavy Metal 2005
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Shot to Hell album cover 3.78 | 8 ratings
Shot to Hell
Heavy Metal 2006
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Order of the Black album cover 4.30 | 6 ratings
Order of the Black
Heavy Metal 2010
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Catacombs of the Black Vatican album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Catacombs of the Black Vatican
Heavy Metal 2014
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Grimmest Hits album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Grimmest Hits
Heavy Metal 2018

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY EPs & splits

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY live albums

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Alcohol Fueled Fuckin' Brewtality Live album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Alcohol Fueled Fuckin' Brewtality Live
Heavy Metal 2001

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY re-issues & compilations

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Kings of Damnation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kings of Damnation
Heavy Metal 2005
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Skullage album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skullage
Heavy Metal 2009
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY The Song Remains Not The Same album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Song Remains Not The Same
Non-Metal 2011

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY singles (0)

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned
Heavy Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
The European Invasion: Doom Troopin' Live
Heavy Metal 2006

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Reviews

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Grimmest Hits

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Black Label Society are very much 'old dependable.' Every album is worth owning. For me I do have to admit prefering their Metal side to their Rock side and consequently thinging the first four albums and also Order Of The Black are the best, but even with that being said, nothing they do it bad.

2018's Grimmest Hits (a studio album, not a greatest hits, in case you didn't know) is their tenth proper Studio album. If it is your first BLS album, then you'll probably love it, if you already own a few, then you'll probably like me enjoy it, but not think it is the best. Like AC/DC or Hatebreed or Motorhead, the band do have album on album variation, but they always sound distinctly themselves and a causaul person may say 'heard one, hear em all.'

Its pretty much the usual fayer here, with a bit more Sabbathy and a bit less Groove Metal than some of their other work, but still very much more of the same. A few great ballads, a mix of fast, slow and mid-tempo Metallic rock songs with increddible guitar solos and vocals that owe a lot to both Layne Stayley and Ozzy Osbourne.

Highlights this time around include 'Seasons Of Faulter,' 'A Love Unreal' and the very catchy southern ballad 'The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away.'

Its the kind of album you have on in the car and listen to over and over again without realizing how much you actually listen to it. You wouldn't call it your favourite ever album but you certainly get your money's worth in the end. Recommended, not a disappointment, but not their greatest. If you are a new fan try something like 1919 Eternal first, move on to this when you're already a fan.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Catacombs of the Black Vatican

Album · 2014 · Heavy Metal
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Necrotica
Let me begin this write-up with sort of an analogy (don't worry, it won't be long). Imagine getting your daily exercise walking down a familiar road; you have lots of friends here, and it's pleasant to watch your surroundings as you get your cardio workout in with the walk. However, with each day, some things are bound to change. Some toys will be in a different location, kids will be playing in a different area than before, etc. Basically, little changes based around a familiar path... and that's exactly the situation that Black Label Society have found themselves in. Zakk Wylde and co. have retained their sound - that is, classic metal with numerous touches of blues, southern rock, and sludge metal influences - for years and rarely break away from their comfort zone. On the flip side, the positive aspect of this resistance to change has been quality consistency; with the possible exception of Shot to Hell, the band have never released a truly bad album because they know exactly which mold they fit in. However, seeing as 2010's Order of the Black was one of the group's best records in years and perhaps a comeback of sorts, Catacombs of the Black Vatican has some pretty high expectations to meet as the successor.

Luckily, while the band don't break a ton of new ground here, they're continuing to refine the direction that Order of the Black set them in. First things first, however: one of the biggest things that fans were anticipating up to this album's release was how ex-Breaking Benjamin drummer Chad Szeliga would fare as the band's newest member to the position. Luckily (and a bit surprisingly), his grooves and overall technique fit perfectly with the band's numerous tempo changes and occasional stylistic shifts. Lead single "My Dying Time" wasn't exactly the best initial representation of the Chad's inception, given the slow and sludgy nature of the song, but a tune like the rhythmically-varied "Damn the Flood" displays things much better. As it constantly alternates between a fast swing-like rhythm and a slow Pantera-esque southern groove, it becomes more apparent how comfortable the man is behind the kit. Speaking of variation, that ends up being one of this record's greatest qualities in the long run. In particular, the ballads are much improved from the last effort. "Angel of Mercy" and "Shades of Gray" are both very solid and heartfelt songs, although in dramatically different ways. The latter in particular is pretty damn interesting for a Black Label Society song, using a clean guitar sound to give off a haunting approach as Zakk's multi-tracked vocal harmonies sound weathered and worn. The whole thing makes for a beautiful atmosphere not usually heard in a song by these guys. The instrumental work is in its usual rock-solid form, the band members adapting to each change with ease and always pounding out solid grooves to the heavier tracks. Of course Zack Wylde is still a great shredder, but he shows quite a bit of restraint as well here. His blues licks are much more fleshed out here with the ballads, and his solos generally sound as though he's making every note count in the grand scheme of things.

That isn't to say that the band have gone soft, however. The sludgy moments from songs like "My Dying Time" and "Empty Promises" are even more apparent than on Order of the Black, making for truly dirty-sounding pieces of music. The former even has a hint of Alice in Chains with the more grungy vocal harmony in the chorus, despite the distortion being way thicker. As instantly revealed by the more doomy opener "Fields of Unforgiveness," a good chunk of this album is quite slow and atmospheric as well, despite said opener having Zakk's signature shredding in the solo (and throughout many of the songs). Basically, when you get down to it, Catacombs of the Black Vatican is caught between a retread of old ideas and hints toward exciting new things. By now people should know what to expect from a Black Label Society record; if you didn't like them before, you probably won't now either. But just give this album a chance... it finally showcases some much-needed variety and diversity despite occasionally sounding more like a refined edition of the previous release.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Shot to Hell

Album · 2006 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Shot To Hell is the seventh full-length studio album by the American Heavy Metal band Black Label Society, the biker-themed band started by ex-Ozzy Osbourne virtuoso guitarist Zack Wylde.

It was their first release on Roadrunner Records, and it was released in 2006, one year after their successful Mafia record. The album was co-produced by band leader Zakk Wylde and Michael Beinhorn (of Korn, Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden and Ozzy Osbourne fame).

The band are purveyors of big meaty riffs, frequent guitar slide and squeals, and Zack’s blistering solos. The mostly guitar based songwriting is accompanied by Grunge-tinged singing, solid uncomplicated rhythms designed for head-banging and fist-pumping and a mixture of fast or mid-paced Metal songs with acoustic numbers (often with a slight Southern Rock hint or the inclusion of piano).

The vocals here have gone from a sort of blend between Neil Fallon and Layne Staley to having a larger Ozzy influence this time around. Other than that, this isn’t one of the band’s most talking-point albums. Not the rawest, the fastest, the doomiest, the most quiet, or anything else. This is just Black Label Society, doing their thing (meaty, simple, enjoyable Metal songs). It could be argued that this is a slightly more commercial effort due to the mostly shorter song durations and frequency of ballads, as well as the inclusion of the MTV friendly hit single “Concrete Jungle.” So; if you aren’t into the bands rawer, doomier side, skip their debut and start here, and vice-versa; if you want the band at their gnarliest start with the early stuff and work forwards.

No matter what direction you prefer from the band however, there are some really killer BLS songs on here; especially towards the end of the record. “Faith Is Blind,” as well as the acoustic-but-bouncy “Blood Is Thicker Than Water,” and especially the speedy “Devil’s Dime” are all particularly strong.

If you are a fan of Clutch, Alice In Chains, Pantera, ‘90s Corrosion Of Conformity, ‘90s Metallica, ‘90s Ozzy Osbourne, or even Soil then Black Label Society are well worth your time checking out. This album, while not boasting any easy descriptive label, is a good addition to the collection. I would also recommend Sonic Brew and Order Of The Black too if you haven’t heard them already.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Mafia

Album · 2005 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Black Label Society’s sixth full-length studio album, Mafia, was released on Artemis records in 2005. It is one of the band’s most popular records to date.

The album contains the famous tracks “Fire It Up” (featured in Guitar Hero), Suicide Messiah (About Scott Weiland’s addiction problems) and the ballad “In This River” (Retroactively made into a tribute to the late Dimebag Darrell afterwards).

It is one of the band’s most straight-forward and easily digestible records, with a very clean production job, mostly shorter track durations, and the emphasis shifted slightly from big dirty riffs and meaty grooves to more of a focus on the cleaner vocals and the guitar tricks. If you have lots of Black Label Society albums already, or really prefer the rawer and heavier sound of their debut then you may want to give this one a miss, but otherwise this is a solid, streamlined, fan-pleasing record which delivers exactly what you would expect from the band and from Zakk.

“Forever Down” is the perfect example of the album’s style. It’s a three-minute track that begins with a piano intro to showcase the band’s cleaner side. A simple stompy beat in an upper-mid-tempo pervades throughout, topped off with a main riff with lots of pinches and vibratos, and is augmented towards the end with nice flashy solo. If you wonder whether or not this album is for you, try out that track.

Highlights include the quicker “Say What You Will,” the moody “Too Tough To Die” and the groovy “Been A Long Time.”

Overall; Black Label Society have heavier albums, lighter albums and more varied albums than this. However, if you want the archetypal Black Label Society sound and the hit singles then this is the obvious place to go. Its slick, comfortable, and a good starting place for new fans. If you can, try and pick up a version with the Lynyrd Skynyrd cover “I Never Dreamed” as a bonus track.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY The Blessed Hellride

Album · 2003 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Black Label Society are an American Heavy Metal band featuring virtuoso guitarist Zack Wylde, who is famous for his work with Ozzy Osbourne. 2003’s The Blessed Hellride was their fourth full-length studio album. It has become one of the fan’s favourite Black Label Society releases, and features many tracks that none of the band’s live shows or compilations should be without.

Most of the album centers around a mixture of sounds that will be familiar to fans of Stoner Rock, traditional Heavy Metal and Hard Rock sounds, and the occasional tiniest hints of Southern Rock and Grunge. Its fun, meaty Heavy Metal for the noughties. The lyrics are mostly steeped in biker culture and alcohol, but there is a bit more scope to explore other areas in a few of the tracks.

That being said, its not a whole album of the one style track over and over, there is a certain touch of variety to be found here. The album’s Title Track, ‘The Blessed Hellride’ is an interesting slightly Southern tinged acoustic number. The single ‘Stillborn’ features guest vocals from Ozzy Osbourne and ‘Dead Meadow’ is a bit of a more somber, semi-ballad.

Highlights include the catchy ‘Suffering Overdue,’ the memorable single ‘Funeral Bell’ and the faster, squeal filled ‘Destruction Overdrive.’

Overall; The Blessed Hellride is a good record for Black Label Society fans, the songs are fairly distinctive and there’s a good mixture of heavier moments and variety.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Movies Reviews

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY The European Invasion: Doom Troopin' Live

Movie · 2006 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Doom Troopin’ Live: The European Invasion is a live concert video from Black Label Society, available on Blu-Ray. It documents the European leg of their touring in support of ‘Mafia.’

The setlist is fairly heavily comprised of material from the ‘Mafia’ and ‘The Blessed Hellride’ albums, with little from the first three records, which may be disappointing if its your only BLS video purchase, but which does result in little crossover with their other DVD ‘Boozed Broozed & Broken Boned.’ A similar idea to Kiss’ Alive II perhaps.

There are 16 tracks in the main Paris concert according to the back of the box but three of those are jamming. They tease the crowd with a bit of ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ for example. Plenty of the time between songs is given over for additional guitar soloing as well.

It’s a decent mix of fast and slow, its mostly heavy but there’s a bit of light in there and it gives a lot of time over to Zack’s guitar talents, without wasting too much time away from actual songs. I think a good balance has been struck of all of Black Label’s constituent parts.

The performance is fairly strong, noticeably so on the ballads. Zack has a good stage presence pumping fists, pointing and striking poses, although some of the spoken crowd interaction is very mumbled and hard to make out. A lot of the songs feel a lot faster, louder and heavier live than they did on record, and feel crunchier and more earthy sounding. The drumming in particular is a lot more impressive live; Craig Nunemacher has a lot of character I hadn’t noticed before seeing this.

I think the sound is very good. Its well mixed, fairly heavy and the songs have bite. It feels ‘live enough’ but it isn’t sloppy. Again, a good balance has been struck, this time between concert-feel and actually good sound.

There was a fair amount of effort put into the stage design too; mic stands made out of chains, skulls on plinths, an impromptu pub made out of amplifiers with beer sat on it, flashing siren lights, BLS banners etc. There’s a professional looking lighting show and the camera work is well done. So in one way, it’s a good looking concert too.

In another way however, the visuals are the only letdown for me as the editing is a bit distracting. A lot of time, especially in the earlier songs, is given over to fancy effects, going black and white momentarily, screen overlays, slow motion, fake film grain etc. which some viewers may find a bit too distracting. Luckily instances of this reduce as the show goes on. It isn’t enough to spoil the concert in my opinion, but if you are picky about that sort of thing I would recommend that you try before you buy it.

I had read negative reviews about this concert stating either that Zack was miming his vocals, that there were very obvious vocal overdubs or that the audio and video were out of synch. Whichever way, if you look at his mouth it doesn’t match the sound of the singing. That would have been a huge letdown for me. I was worried because the same vocal-synching issue had been a fairly big distraction on a Marilyn Manson and a Queensrÿche Blu-Ray I owned and I didn’t want to buy this if it shared the same problem.

I looked on youtube to see footage from the DVD which indeed had the problem, but read reviews that claimed the problem didn’t exist. Luckily when I watch my copy (region 0 Blu-Ray, with the audio set to DTS HD Master Audio) there is no issue at all. All the tom rolls, guitar solos and singing matches what you see on screen. Admittedly, Zack has a lot of effects on his vocals, other members do backing vocals and there are some sections of pre-recorded music like in lots of concerts, that you were never meant to think was live, but that’s about it.

The bonus features include an extra four songs (‘Been A Long Time,’ ‘Suicide Messiah,’ ‘Stillborn’ with massive extended-jam & ‘Genocide Junkies’) from London, three music videos from the Mafia album, a making-of for the ‘Suicide Messiah’ video and a 50-minute documentary feature called ‘Backstage Pass.’

The video is 1080i HD Widescreen 16:9 (1.78:1). The audio options are LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS HD Master Audio

Overall, this is a fairly enjoyable Blu-Ray with a well performed and sounding concert and some interesting extras. I would recommend it if you like the band, as long as you aren’t very picking about over-edited concerts or only like the early material.

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