Everything about Black Label Society begins with the riff.
A dedicated disciple of Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Deep Purple, Zakk Wylde looks to the massive guitar hooks in classics like “Whole Lotta Love,” “Into the Void,” and “Smoke On the Water” as guiding lights. “The main ingredient in any Black Label soup is the riff,” says the larger-than-life frontman.
Black Label Society builds their music on this simple truth, truth as self-evident on Back in Black as on the dozen songs comprising Doom Crew Inc., the eleventh album from the dependable stalwarts. Doom Crew Inc. is both a tribute to the band’s “first to bleed, last to leave” road crew and a salute to the legion whose support, stretching back to 1998, rivals that of the KISS Army. The Black Label Society biker-style battle vest “kutte” is as ubiquitous at hard rock and metal shows as a black t-shirt.
A charismatic heavy metal marauder recognized worldwide as a living legend, Wylde rose to prominence when Ozzy Osbourne chose him as his loyal axe-man, based on a cassette he mailed in as a teen. Guitar World put him on their cover more than a dozen times in recognition of his work on multiplatinum albums by the icon he calls “the Boss” and the two decades of music made by BLS.
Doom Crew Inc. sees Zakk trading solos and twin-guitar parts with Dario Lorina, backed by the rumble of longtime bassist John “J.D.” DeServio and powerhouse drummer Jeff Fabb. Like every BLS album since 2010, the band tracked Doom Crew Inc. at Zakk’s home studio, aka the Black Vatican.
The beautiful simplicity of BLS bangers owe everything to the lessons Wylde first heard on We Sold Our Soul for Rock N’ Roll. “Less is more with everything,” he says. “Except the guitar solos.”