More akin to a barrel-aged whiskey than a fine wine, Black Label Society has only gotten better and better over the years. The recent outings especially from Zakk Wylde and his motley crew of Rawkers have been some their best to date in our humble opinion and with their eleventh record, Doom Crew Inc., fast approaching BLS look to have outdone themselves again.
“Set You Free”, initially released in late August, is a telling tune of what’s to follow with pure BLS magic through and through and built off a hulking riff as Wylde’s lush vocals deliver your next favorite BLS jam while “Destroy & Conquer” sounds like the greatest modern Sabbath track ever with the unholy rhythm section of Jeff Fabb on drums and John “J.D.” DeServio and bass holding it all steady while Wylde shreds it up with Dario Lorina all the while providing a bodaciously bluesy vocal melody to boot. “You Made Me Want To Live” is a bold, broad anthem that sees Wylde putting on a vulnerable croon with “Forever and a Day” offering a counterpoint and hearkening back to BLS’ iconic Dimebag tribute, “In This River”, off 2005’s Mafia.
“End of Days” is all meticulously crafted walls of sound from Lorina and Wylde with DeServio and Fabb once again providing a fortifying rhythmic foundation followed by “Ruins” which starts off a little twangy then heads into a righteous Metal Gods romp. “Forsaken” is just crunchy, heavy riffage with beautiful breaks within providing some levity inside the loud, “Gospel of Lies” is sludgy Doom incarnate with Fabb’s subtle take on “War Pigs” accenting the ambiance, and “Shelter Me” and “Gather all my Sins” are two sides of a rollickin’ riff rawkin’ coin.
The aptly-titled “Farewell Ballad” is anything but with scorching solos permeating throughout to bring album number eleven to a close. It’s piano-laden and Bluesy for sure but if we’re going to lean into the “ballad” concept here then think ’80’s era and Ozzy especially with the way that Wylde and crew tackle toned down ditties.
Doom Crew Inc. comes alive on November 26th through eOne Music. Pre-orders are up and about now and can be perused and purchased at your convenience when you head here or here. For more on Black Label Society, check out their socials by clicking here, here, or here.