Friday, August 20, 2010

Devil Music A-Z: Black Label Society

I've been familiar with Zakk Wylde's work for a long time. I remember when he replaced Jake E. Lee for Ozzy and thinking this guy is a Randy Rhoads fan since he uses a striped Les Paul. He was like a cross between Rhoads and Jake actually especially in the form of pinched harmonics at the end of each riff. I also remember him leaving the band to form Pride and Glory which was a southern rock band and a far cry from what he had been doing and then coming back to Ozzy to lay down the guitars for Ozzmosis.

The first time I heard of Black Label Society was probably in 2000 when Stronger then Death came out. A guy I was working with at the time was a big fan of it and introduced me. At the time metal was being dominated by the nu scene with Slipknot, Godsmack, and Staind ruling the airwaves. So I was blown away to hear Zakk's band add punishing riffs and throaty vocals over straight forward metal to the scene. It was pretty refreshing and I set out to listen to more. It took some listens to actually appreciate the albums in their entirety because as I said in the new Order of the Black review Zakk doesn't really know how to edit. There seemed to be quite a bit of filler in each album but it just took a few listens to appreciate.I also thought that there was too much filler because it seemed that BLS was releasing an album every year and a mad pace plus Zakk was spending time on Ozzy's albums and tours. Incredible amount of work and no time for quality control.

Now it's 2010 and the scene is dominated by alot of different flavors of "core" bands. It's still refreshing to hear straight forward southern metal in the midst of all this and personally Zakk's ride has been more fulfilling to me then when he was with Ozzy.

I now leave this article with some of my favorite tunes and videos by Black Label Society.

Probably my favorite ballad by BLS. Tribute to Dimebag.

Check out who is on bass

First single off the album Order of the Black.

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