Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

black label society

CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Grimmest Hits"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Grimmest Hits, Zall Wylde, News, Hardrock, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Southern Metal, Blues, Spinefarm Records, BLS, Black Label Society

CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Grimmest Hits"

(8/10) One thing directly in the beginning. The title „Grimmest Hits“ is misleading. It transports the idea of a „Best of...“ which is not the case at all. „Grimmest Hits“ features 12 new songs. After having clarified this I must also say that the title fits the longplayer very well, but more in the sense of grim songs that are all hits. „Grimmest Hits“ doesn‘t include any filler. Zakk Wylde, Mr. Riff Power, delights again with his excellent guitar play that‘s embedded in well-done songs, combining metal, rock and blues to a great total. Black Label Society found their own sound and trademarks, all coming back on the new record. 

Wylde‘s guitar opens the album - how could it be different. „Trampled Down Below“ is the name of this excellent opener that also includes a rolling bassline and the typical vocals, all  immediately reminding of Zakk Wylde‘s Ozzy Osbounre days. A mighty solo part completes an well-done opener in the typical Black Label Society fashion. 

Most of the songs are rocking and loud. Regardless if you listen to the bluesy „Seasons of Falter“, the roaring single release „Rooms of Nightmares“ or the doomy „Disbelief“, it‘s all awesome metal songs. 

Next to these songs, each with a lot of riff-power, it‘s the calmer moments that are best when it comes to this longplayer. „The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away“ is such a soulful moment, a song with a Southern rock touch that gives you the shivers. Another tune that shows the more sensitive and emotive side of the Black Label Society is „The Only Words“. For me it‘s this track being the real highlight on the album. Intensity and emotions don‘t need loud sounds. Sometimes it‘s the counterparts that make a difference and „The Only Words“ is one of those.

„Grimmest Hits“ is a excellent album that combines powerful riff energy with a down-to-earth approach. Nothing on this album sounds forced or feels strange. It‘s an album that’s authentic and real, exactly what was expected. Good stuff from one of the most influential contemporary metal guitarist. 





  1. Trampled Down Below
  2. Seasons Of Falter
  3. The Betrayal
  4. All That Once Shined
  5. The Only Words
  6. Room Of Nightmares
  7. The Love Unreal
  8. Disbelief
  9. The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away
  10. Illusions Of Peace
  11. Bury Your Sorrow
  12. Nothing Left To Say


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2018


CD review BLESSED HELLRIDE "Bastards & Outlaws"

Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2016 von Markus W. in Blessed Hellride, Black Label Society, Rock, Heavy Rock, Southern Rock, News, CD Review

(7/10) The first thing that comes to your mind if you hear 'Blessed Hellride' is the Black Label Society album "The Blessed Hellride" from 2003. I don't know if this record was the initial spark for Blessed Hellride to start as a band, but name and sound of this five-piece suggests the assumption.

Blessed Hellride comes from Trier, Germany, a city that is better known for wine and old Roman history. But it seems that also sweaty Southern rock made it to Trier. At least this is the sound the five guys are playing on their debut album "Bastards & Outlaws".

The biggest asset of Blessed Hellride's sound is the energy, embedded in a strong groove. Each of the 12 songs (I don't count the intro) hits bulls-eye. It's mighty guitars riffs that makes songs like "Helldorado" to true headbangers.

And since tough guys have a big heart also this album contains a ballad. "Dead Man's Blues" shows the more silent aspect of Blessed Hellride. This rough powerballad gives a well deserved break on the trackless, but it's also not really rocket science.

Anyhow, Blessed Hellride's mission isn't to build in as much as possible finesse into each of their tracks. These guys want to rock and they want to have a good time, a vibe the got into this album and something they can transfer to the listeners. "Bastard & Outlaws" is no musical revolution, but it can cause severe neck problems due to intense headbanging.





  1. Intro
  2. Helldorado
  3. Devils Ride
  4. Goddamn Hippie
  5. Papa Joe
  6. Blessed Hellride
  7. Blood Red River
  8. Moonshine Saloon
  9. Overdrive Junkies
  10. Dead Man's Blues
  11. Gevatter Tod
  12. Shame on You
  13. Bastards & Outlaws


Label: Rodeostar

Genre: Heavy Rock

Release Date EU: March 18th, 2016

CD review BLESSED HELLRIDE "Bastards & Outlaws"

New ZAKK WYLDE solo album in April

Veröffentlicht am 5. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Zakk Wylde, Ozzy Osbourne, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, Rock, Black Label Society, News

Zakk Wylde will release an new solo album. It will be called "Book of Shadows II" and the announced release date will be April 8th, 2016. The record will be his first solo release in 20 years, following "Book of Shadows" from 1996.

Stay tuned for more....



Photo: Promotion

Photo: Promotion


European tour dates from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY supported by BLACK TUSK and CROBOT

Veröffentlicht am 24. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Black Label Society, Black Tusk, Crobot, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Power Metal, Rock, News, Tour

The mighty Black Label Society will be on tour in Europe in February/March. The support of Zakk Wilde and band will be Black Tusk and Crobot. All in all a very interesting package.

European tour dates from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY supported by BLACK TUSK and CROBOT

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, QUEENSRYCHE... announced for Metal Days festival

Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in Metal Days, Black Label Society, Queensryche, Cannibal Corpse, Hatebreed, Tour, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, News

The line-up of the Metal Days festival in Tolmin, Solvenia is growing again with a few more bands. With the Black Label Society, Cannibal Corpse, Queensryche and Hatebreed the festival could announce some well known metal acts being part of the line-up. See here the overview of the so far announced bands:


BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, QUEENSRYCHE... announced for Metal Days festival


Veröffentlicht am 12. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in Black Label Society, Black Tusk, Crobot, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Doom Metal, Pow, News, Tour

Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society is on tour in Europe in February/March next year. The support is announced as well. It is Black Tusk and Crobot, that will join in. 

Here are the dates:


CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Catacombs of the black vatican"

Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2014 von Markus W. in Black Label Society, CD Review, Heavy Metal, News, Hardrock, Grunge

(8/10) American guitar wizard Zakk Wylde is back with his band Black Label Society. They release their new album called "Catacombs of the black vatican" in these days. It is already the ninth record of the L.A. based metal institution.
I like two things when it comes to this band. First I appreciate the honest and passionated music of the Wylde and his group. Secondly it's the values like loyality and dedication for what you're doing, which are outstanding.
The music of the Black Label Society is like expected - excellent. Changes compared to earlier releases are limited eventhough I can say that the new disc is more rocking again. It's more rocking and less heavy than the predecessor. Wylde and the Black Label Society still sounds unique. It's the mix between Ozzy Osbourne's "No more tears" times, hard rock and grunge which makes it special. Esp. the last mentioned influences seems to get more dominant over time, which is nothing bad at all. Some parallels with the last Alice In Chains release are existing and fits good into the sound of the band. This gives the entire album a kind of melancolic touch.
The grunge parts are coming back in songs like the opener "Fields of unforgiveness". It's a midtempo song with an almost hypnotic beat. Slow and easy the songs finds it's way into your head. The rhyhtm and the guitar in the beginning have even ankind of oriental touch. "My dying time" continues going that way. Since Wylde is one of the guitar heores of these days soli play an important part in each songs. They are fast, they are creative, they are cool and they are always supporting the song. It's not about the six string only. It's about the band performing good songs. 
Speed increases with "Damn the flood". The track is a musical punch with its heaviness and and powerful riffing. Other riff monsters are tunes like "My dying time" and "I've gone away". Yes.
Next to those heavy rockers it is always a pleasure to also listen to the softer songs of the band. If you see Zakk Wylde you might not expect this sensitivity, but it's there. The ballads are often a weak point of many records from other bands, but the guy from New Jersey always managed to also make those tracks outstanding. Songs like "Angel of mercy" and "Scars", which sounds almost a bit like Bruce Springsteen, are empathic and remarkable. They combine emotions and passion by avoiding all the cliches. You can almost hear and see the 'scars' life left - in the good and the bad. This reflects the capabilities and self-confidence of the six stinger and his companions. Another soulful ballad is the final track on the album called "Shades of gray", which is perfect for closing this new chapter of  Black Label Society.
"Catacombs of the black vatican" contains real, honest and true music. It smells like gasoline, leather and beer. Cool music and thumps up again for the Black Label Society 
  1. Fields of unforgiveness
  2. My dying time
  3. Believe
  4. Angel of mercy
  5. Heart of darkness
  6. Beyond the down
  7. Scars
  8. Damn the flood
  9. I've gone away
  10. Empty promises
  11. Shades of gray
Label: Mascot Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Catacombs of the black vatican"

CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Unblackened"

Veröffentlicht am 23. September 2013 von Markus W. in Black Label Society, Zakk Wylde, Heavy Metal, CD Review

The good thing in life is, that you're surprised from time to time. That was also the situation when I listened to the newest release of the Black Label Society - the band of guitar maniac Zakk Wylde. It's a live album (also available as DVD) which was recorded in the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles and is called "Unblackened". I actually haven't expected a lot of the album and thought: OK, another live recording. But I was impressed when I heard it for the first time.

The biggest surprise is that Zakk rearranged the songs and the whole show is based on great songs and Zakk's guitar work combined with a lot of acoustic moments. In some moments the songs get even a kind of grunge touch. The opener "The blessed hellride" is one of those songs. "House of doom" and "Road back home" go in the same direction.

Another highlight is the very fragile piano-based version of "Sweet Jesus". It's not that often that a song carries that much emotion. From the intensity I think it is to compare with Guns'n'Roses" "November rain". And this feeling will continue on "In this river". And it's not only Zakk's great guitar play, it's also the great vocal which give the songs a mix between toughness and warmth. If someone will ever tell you that men have less emotions, just give them this record.

Worth listening to is also "Still born". The song starts very slow and acoustic before another great guitar solo starts and lead you to other dimensions. It sounds really different from the original version and it's excellent arranged.

Not to forget the well interpreted cover from Bill Withers "Ain't no sunshine when she's gone".

But actually it's not fair to just mention some songs, since all songs could be listed.

This is a live album which is authentic, different, has a good sound and is worth listening to. Well done.



  1. Losin' your mind
  2. The blessed hellride
  3. Sold my soul
  4. Road back home
  5. Spoke in the wheel
  6. House of doom
  7. Queen of sorrow
  8. Machine gun man
  9. Sweet Jesus
  10. In this river
  11. Throwing it all away
  12. Takillya (Estyabon)
  13. Won't find it here
  14. Rust
  15. Speedball
  16. I thank you child
  17. Still born
  18. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
  19. Lovin' woman
  20. Queen of sorrow
  21. Song for you
  22. Won't find it here
  23. Yesterday, today, tomorrow

Label: Armoury Records

Genre: Hardrock

CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Unblackened"