BLACK LABEL SOCIETY — Mafia (review)

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY — Mafia album cover Album · 2005 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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.
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