Zakk Wylde has been a guitar hero of mine since he first gained the job as Ozzy Osbourne’s right hand man in the late ’80’s. I saw him perform with his own Black Label Society a few times on various Ozzfest tours, but the first album I acquired from them was 2003’s The Blessed Hellride. Oddly enough, on this particular album, every instrument except drums is performed by Wylde himself. I love Zakk’s dedication to the Led Zeppelin recipe of alternating heavy and light songs, unlike many of his heavy metal brethren. This diversity tends to lend extra weight to the bludgeoning power of tracks like Stoned And Drunk, Doomsday Jesus, and Stillborn (featuring guest vocals by Ozzy), and makes the acoustic based songs memorable by their more melodic content. The title song is such a gem…softer, but absolutely powerful all the same. Zakk’s vocals are of the Gregg Allman whisky soaked, rough around the edges style, while his guitar is a blizzard of shredding, face melting insanity when that is required, and soulfully in the groove at just the right spots. For a guy who has written lots of memorable songs for his main boss, Zakk has definitely saved some great tunes for his own band.
Written By Braddon S. Williams