Editorials

NEW BLACK LABEL SOCIETY: THE ZAKK ATTAKK IS BAKK

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As I got to the end of Axl’s piece yesterday about the latest Ozzy/Zakk shenanigans, I was fully expecting him to post the new Black Label Society song “Parade of the Dead” and proclaim it a respectable return to form for the Zakkman. I was right that he posted the song, but I was wrong about his thoughts on it: “it sounds exactly like every fucking BLS song you’ve ever heard.”

I politely disagree with my fellow MS Mansion inhabitant, and I was happy to see that the majority of commenters disagreed too. Axl’s not wrong that the song isn’t a major departure for Black Label Society; but I think he is wrong for calling Zakk “crazy” for sticking to his sound — I mean, Zakk’s always gonna sound like Zakk fucking Wylde and that’s why we love the guy.

So if we’re just judging this song on its own merits, how does it fare? Pretty damn well, I think; “Parade of the Dead” is easily the catchiest/best BLS song since “Stillborn” and it smokes anything Ozzy’s done on Black Rain or Soul Sucka Scream. It’s as if Zakk’s been saving up and making deposits into the riff bank for the past several years, only instead of having to sacrifice them to Ozzy and tailor them to Ozzy’s sound he can finally do whatever the fuck he wants with them. Freed from the shackles of Sharon, he no longer has to sacrifice his best riffs to Ozzy only to have them mangled by Ozzy’s limited range and pre-determined style.

I’m definitely a fan of “Parade of the Dead.” It’s got everything you want a Zakk Wylde-penned song to have (big riffs, lotsa squeals, a scorching pentatonic solo) only without all the corny trapping of modern day Ozzy, and best of all the song itself is really good. I’ve already listened to it more than anything on Scream. Bring on the new BLS album; I’m ready.

-VN

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