Black Label Society have a new drummer for 2010’s Order of the Black, but the overall big picture hasn’t changed much for Zakk Wylde’s Southern-fried metalheads: they’re still an unholy cocktail of Skynyrd, Sabbath, and Metallica, all the sounds that fuel a white trash night out. Wylde does have a tendency to growl like Axl Rose when he slows thing down for a piano ballad, but that downshift doesn’t happen that often: Black Label Society are as close as you can get to unapologetic heavy guitar rock in the 21st century, holding true to the power of two guitars, bass, drums, and overwhelming amplification. Songs don’t necessarily stick but riffs do, as do Wylde’s dexterous solos, which pull off a tricky thing -- they’re breakneck but have a bluesy, almost soulful, undertow. The only real affectation the band has is Wylde’s exaggerated growl, something that grows wearisome over the course of an album, but as pure music, Black Label Society remain as effective as they ever were on Order of the Black.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine