CD Review: Black Label Society, “Order of the Black”

Dear Mr. Wylde,

It’s easy to see you have an immense amount of talent. Ever since I listened to the Blessed Hellride in 2003 I keep purchasing your new Black Label Society records hoping for something that good. And every time I listen to one of your new records, it turns out to be exactly the same as the last record – which is sadly to say, mediocre.

At this point in your career, I believe we all know that you have a signature guitar sound. That trembling wail that is identified with you is great – the first four times. But is it still necessary to do it 800 times in each song? I complete understand that it’s your style, but there are some traditional solos on this album that are mighty good. How about more of those? “Parade of the Dead” has at least one great solo and two great riffs in it that would be even better if you expanded on them.

Another thing I was wondering – did you listen to Order of the Black when you finished it? Did you not realize that all the hard songs kind of blend into each other? Did you also not realize that the multiple ballads on this disc are sequenced pretty poorly, so that the flow completely gets killed each time one pops up?

On the other hand though, I have never really liked your ballads and there are at least two good ones on this record. In fact, “Darkest Days” may actually be one of the best songs you’ve ever written. It probably should have been the final track on the album though and longer – that would have been epic. The song which does close the album, “January” is beautiful, but way too short for a closer. Me want more.

Did I mention that you have a great amount of talent? I did? Okay, well I wanted to stress that again because you’re still young and it’s impossible that you could have peaked in 2003, right? And now that you don’t have to worry about Ozzy any longer, isn’t it about time you wrote 12 excellent tracks and put them to disc, rather than 4 excellent, 2 bad and 6 mediocre? Take “Black Sunday” for example. That song rocks and if your signature guitar wail is in it, I didn’t notice. Make more of those, please.

If you haven’t realized this yet, I’m not trying to find faults with your music. They really are just painfully easy to detect. I actually want to really like a Black Label Society album because you do rock hard as balls in many cases. Hard. As. Balls. And, Order of the Black is better than Mafia or that one with the nuns on the cover but still not something that’s going to blow my mind. “Riders of the Damned” – like any other BLS song. “Time Waits For No One” – snoozefest.

C’mon, dude. I’m begging you to buckle down and put together even just one really, really great album. Here’s an idea. Record all the songs for your next record. Then take the best five and put them aside. Then record an entirely new record and take the best five and combine them with the first group. It might work. It might not hurt to hire a singer too and just focus on the guitar playing. You’re a must better guitarist than singer. That would change the sound a little bit.

But these are just suggestions from a guy who couldn’t possibly create anything close to the quality on this disc. All I know is that I have just as much desire to listen to the new Hawkwind album as I do Order of the Black and in no way should a new Hawkwind album be able to compete with Black Label Society.


  • Michael Parr

    I’ll just come out and say it: Zakk Wylde is a lazy f*cking waste. Ever since he discovered the pinch harmonic, he has ensured that it occupies every second or third bar of every tune he craps on. Oh, and not just his own! He had to go and incorporate it into Ozzy’s classics, ruining his shows for years. He’s only been emboldened since Dimebag was unjustly mowed down, and somehow believes his shit truly doesn’t stink. Thankfully, he’s not dropping deuces on Ozzy’s records anymore, and is relegated to the BLS releases.

  • mirko

    if you want to listen something different from a black label society’s album you could listen something else. I don’t understand why zakk should change his sound for you. Change yourself man, it’s time.

  • Bigd6038

    I have no idea what this turds are talking about, i thought the new album was as tight and strong as any black label album open your deaf ears!!!!!!!!1 screw ozzy his new album sucks.

  • Penis

    go fuck yourself

  • Zakk (not Wylde)

    Come on man, writing a whole review in first person? That’s just unprofessional. Also, did you actually listen to Order Of The Black? It fucking kills! Mafia and Shot To Hell were admittedly poor but this is a masterpiece. Despite claiming your love for BLS, you dislike of their signature sound shows that maybe you DON’T actually like BLS. How can you like a band but not their signature sound? Were I you, I would firstly go and try this one again, and then try and tighten up that reviewing style.

  • Metal316

    Who the fuck is this steed???u ve got balls to write such a thing man, appreciate it! this motherfucker is being so diplomatic in his review…he is talking shit about BLS and Zakk and also complementing them…plz stop reviewing albums in future, this is the worst review ever…and yeah by the way ,
    ORDER OF THE BLACK Kills!!!! it owns all!!! dont even bother what this fucker has said, u guys listen to it and decide for yourselves…..

  • Gio

    I disagree.
    This album is for sure one of the best i’ve listened to in last years.
    Talking about Bls, it’s way better than “shot to hell” or “mafia” and more similar to the first records (that are way better in my opinion).
    Talking about Zakk’s voice i disagree another time..but…de gustibus non est disputandum!

  • Richardswinick

    zakk a lazy f#ucking waste?Are you out of your mind ASS hole!!!!!BLS RULES ALL!!!!!! Zakk has more talent in his right nut ,then you have in your hole body.zakk wylde has won ever award that is known to man….How many have you won????